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Absence of Faith [Kindle Edition]

Anthony Samuel Policastro
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $11.99
Kindle Price: $2.99
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Book Description

Bestselling author and psychic Sylvia Browne writes in her book, Prophecy, that, "...our beliefs are the driving force behind our behavior, our opinions, our actions. Without faith, without our beliefs, we're lost."

In this medical mystery thriller, Doctor Carson Hyll falls asleep and drives into a river and experiences one of the worst nightmares of his life.

The young intern is knocked unconscious and has a negative near death experience so real, so frightening that he thinks he died and went to hell. When others in the highly-religious small town of Ocean Village have similar negative near death experiences and wake up with burnt skin, they believe they went to hell and that God has abandoned them. Matters get worse when a local cult uses the opportunity to promote their beliefs and win over the town residents.

Will the heroine, Chantress, be able to stop cult leader Kyle Mabus or will he succeed in destroying all known religions in the world?

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Anthony Samuel Policastro has been writing all his life. The publication of his first novel, Absence of Faith, is the pinnacle of his work having previously published articles in The New York Times, American Photographer and other national, regional, and local publications. Policastro was the former editor-in-chief of Carolina Style magazine, a regional lifestyle publication similar to Southern Living magazine. He was a former journalist, photographer, and web master. The author's background is in technology, business intelligence, and communications. Born in New Jersey, he now lives in North Carolina.

Product Details

  • File Size: 515 KB
  • Print Length: 322 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1442109556
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Outer Banks Publishing Group (January 10, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001B3V536
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,503,899 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Wanted: Copyreader for creative writer February 28, 2009
Format:Kindle Edition
I'm nearly finished this book, but only because I finish things I start. Perhaps it's the English teacher in me, but the abundance of errors in this book is a definite turn-off.

I would highly recommend that this author employ a copyreader. He has a COLLEGE degree in creative writing, but this reads like it might have been his rough draft. Not only does he omit many of the articles (a, an, & the), but he does not follow the rules of paragrahing for dialogue -- you know, start a new paragraph each time the speaker changes.

In addition, I found it laughable that instead of using the correct term for the veins in the neck that drain blood from the head, brain, face and neck and convey it toward the heart which, by the way, is JUGULAR, he used the word "juggler."

If I were grading this as I'd grade a secondary English composition, I'd give it a D -- only upgrading from an F for his effort to produce a book-length document. Having a degree in creative writing may have its merits, but without a thorough editing, attempts at writing come across, in my opinion, as that of an uneducated person.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Absence of Faith June 19, 2009
Absence of Faith by Anthony S. Policastro is a fascinating mixture of medical mystery and paranormal nightmare. It starts with an intriguing description of a young doctor's near-death experience. But this isn't your usual, walk-into-the-light type of thing, and soon there are people all over the small town of Ocean Village convinced they've died and gone to hell.

The story-line was intriguing enough to keep my interest, though there were incidents that stretched my credulity---which probably says more about me than about the writing. After all, I'm English; I've never lived in small-town America; the only doctors I know work in big-city hospitals; and my inter-faith experience is colored by my own multi-Christian background.

The author paints some fascinating characters with his words, fully formed before they enter the fray. Sometimes I loved this. Sometimes I just wanted him to get on with the story. But the effect is clever, leaving the reader never sure of where the enemy lies.

The portrayal of a young man falling into evil is particularly chilling; the slow seduction of experience conquering the flighty attraction of love. The scenes of a town gone wild are reminiscent of various scary movies I've seen---ah, but only in America says my English side. And the question of whether those threatened by evil will consider themselves betrayed by faith, or will continue to trust in God, is certainly an interesting one.

Satanism vs. an absence of faith. A fascinating concept. An entertaining book. And some truly haunting scenes to stay with you when the story's done.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Quintessential Battle Between Good and Evil May 20, 2009
Dr. Carson Hyll is hoping to build a happy, quiet life for him and his wife in the town of Ocean Village. But when his car drives off a bridge resulting in a near-death experience, life begins to change. Other villagers have had identical near-death experiences, right down to the first-degree burns on their skin. The town's Christians are terrified the devil is rising and that God has abandoned them, a fear that appears to have validity when a young man with a taste for human blood begins to lead a Satanic cult.

Absence of Faith is a chilling story of good versus evil, as friends become enemies and citizens grow more terrified by events beyond their control. There's a lot to admire about this book. Author Anthony Samuel Policastro's well-paced plot steadily builds the suspense until it's impossible to stop reading during the last one hundred pages. The story also addresses some uncomfortable questions such as what does a Christian do when he's convinced God has abandoned him? And what happens when a doctor's faith in science is up against religious fervor.

I would have liked to have seen more character development in the book, but there are a fair number of key players in this story and each has his or her own point of view. Also, there are a number of spelling mistakes and other grammatical glitches. But if you're looking for a good story about medical science intertwined with religious faith then give Absence of Faith a chance.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Thrilling Read March 7, 2009
Format:Kindle Edition
There are some stories that haunt you long after you close the cover - Absence of Faith is one of them. Some of the inhabitants of Ocean Village suddenly have horrible hallucinations and near death experiences. Their red, burned skin and terrible symptoms confuse and frighten the entire town and many are certain they've literally been to Hell and back again. Law enforcement is baffled and a group of Satanists takes advantage of their momentary confusion, paving the way for the third Anti-Christ, Kyle Mabus.

Finally, detectives and well-meaning citizens unite, exposing the coven and eliminating their threat to the peaceful townspeople. Unfortunately, Kyle Mabus escapes a fiery death, surviving to spread fear, pain and destruction elsewhere.

All of the time I was reading this book, I kept thinking about what an incredible movie it would make. The special effects wizards would have a field day with this! Like Poltergeist, Absence of Faith lingers on in the uncertain recesses of my mind, a dark black shadow in a quiet corner of my thoughts. Was it real? Could such a thrilling but monstrous tale really occur? I wonder.
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More About the Author

Writing has been something I always did no matter where the winds of life took me. I always wrote.

It could be a paragraph here or there, an idea for a new piece of technology or how I felt about a particular political situation or news event. I feel I have this voice inside that is always trying to say something, get its message out, make a difference, enlighten, entertain or just make people see things a little differently. I think everyone has a unique voice, but some choose to express theirs more than others. Mine seems to be shouting all the time.

Words are powerful things - they change people for better or worse, move mountains, and cause monumental changes. Look what words did to Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare's words are just as powerful today as they were when he wrote them over 500 years ago. Imagine, writing something today that is so universal, so truthful, so inspiring that people still read it 500 years from now.

Words have that powerful effect on us no matter where we find them, in a book, in a magazine, on a computer screen.

Words are food for the mind. They make us think, imagine, dream, dance in the joy of the things we love.

When I write a scene I know that each one of us who reads it will see different images, experience a different experience and have a unique feeling. This is the power of storytelling. TV or video games can never awaken our imaginations like words do when you read a story. If you choose to express your inner voice through words like I do, then all you can do is write.


Anthony S. Policastro has been writing all his life.

The publication of his first novel is the pinnacle of his work having previously published articles in The New York Times, American Photographer and other national, regional, and local publications.

Policastro was the former editor-in-chief of Carolina Style magazine, a regional lifestyle publication similar to Southern Living magazine. He was a former journalist, photographer, and webmaster.

The author's background is in technology, business intelligence, and communications. He is the former senior business analyst for, the largest do-it-yourself publisher in the world headquartered in Raleigh, NC.

A member of the Backspace writers group, he has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Creative Writing and a BA in American Studies both from Penn State University.

His short essay on "What does it mean to be an American family" won in the Borders books contest to promote the movie and book, Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri.

He currently writes a blog with Michael Neff, creator and editor of the Webdelsol and Algonkian websites, about writers' issues called The Writer's Edge. Policastro and Neff have been referred to as the Ebert and Roeper of the literary scene with their point/counterpoint posts.

He has two BA degrees - one in Creative Writing, and another in American Studies from Penn State University, both of which have greatly enhanced his writing career.

Born in New Jersey, he now lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with his wife. He has two sons and a daughter.


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