Amidst the glitzy fanfare of a new world regime, control is unraveling for self-proclaimed god and Global Community potentate Nicolae Carpathia in Desecration
, the ninth installment in the Left Behind series. It's 25 days into the Great Tribulation, and the newly resurrected Carpathia evinces an increasing fondness for gruesome killing. He's thrown into turmoil when the first two "bowls of wrath" from the biblical book Revelation are poured out on the world. Water turns into blood, and those who are branded with the mark of loyalty become covered with loathsome sores. When Carpathia commits the ultimate act of desecration against the Judeo-Christian community, chaos ensues. Meanwhile, the Tribulation Force soldiers on, receiving visitations from heavenly messengers that prod the team to greater acts of courage. Jenkins's characters seem almost comic book-like in their actions; the author relies on pages of slangy, slapstick dialogue rather than character development or descriptive settings to flesh out his tales. It's the angst of wondering what disaster will occur next and the fascination with end times that keep loyal fans turning the pages. And there's no shortage of angst here. Chang Wong flirts with suicide. Hattie Durham risks her life in a confrontation with Carpathia. Tsion Ben-Judah inadvertently gives away a secret location. Chloe Williams uncovers a remnant of believers. There are touches of the standard Left Behind humor, and even some romance in the last days. As always, readers are left hanging at the edge of disaster, which should keep appetites whetted for the promised next installment. --Cindy Crosby
"Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins . . . are doing for Christian fiction what John Grisham did for courtroom thrillers."
--This text refers to an alternate