Mysterious Book Report The Sixth StationThe Sixth Station by Linda Stasi

Forge, $24.99, 361 pages, ISBN 978-0-7653-3427-5

. . . the intersection of science and religion.

It’s always been impossible for me personally to be well-informed about the world’s religions and a believer in church dogma at the same time.  The more I’ve learned the more confusing it all seems, because on one hand, the world’s religions all offer succor in times of distress, preach love and peace to all mankind . . . BUT . . . on the other hand, religion has been the basis for wars and deaths by mega-millions since time immemorial.  It could be that that’s true because deep down, all religionists, convinced about the right-ness of their beliefs . . . want to impose their values on others by any means possible.  So there, I’ve said it; I am skeptical about religion and will always be so.  And hey, before you send that angry email to me, may I point out that the above is an entirely different, separate discussion from one about the existence of a higher power or God?  Thank you.  By now, you’re probably scratching your head, wondering where in the hell I’m going with this in a book report.  You’ll be happy you didn’t throw me away for the food or sports section; because this week’s MBR No. 92 is one of the most interesting thrillers I’ve ever read.  As Bill O’Reilly (yep. The Fox News guy) says at the top of the front dust cover; “If you like controversy with your suspense, this one’s for you.”

The Sixth Station by Linda Stasi begins with the ‘the trial of the millennium.’  The world’s most wanted terrorist, Demiel ben Yousef, is being tried by the World Court at the United Nations in New York City for crimes against humanity.  His supporters and his detractors have turned out by the hundred of thousands to demonstrate, while the entire world is transfixed by the trial, watching and waiting for the outcome and on the verge of utter mayhem.  In New York City, the police are barely able to keep the crowds in check as the trial is about to begin.

Newspaper reporter Alessandra Russo is waiting in a raucous crowd of people for the police to escort the accused into the UN building when he stops in front of her, and does something so outrageous and extraordinary, that her life is changed instantly and forever.  Hours later, she’s running for her life, pursued by all the police forces of the world, several spy agencies, shadowy groups of suspect origin and others who may be either friend or foe.  It’s impossible to tell who’s who.  From New York to Canada to Istanbul, Turkey to Rome to Barcelona, Spain and finally a remote, mideval village in the south of France, the pursuit of Alessandra is relentless and deadly.  Trust no one becomes her mantra as the trial continues in New York to it’s seemingly inevitable conclusion while the world teeters on the brink of anarchy . . . or maybe Armageddon.  Is Demiel ben Yousef, as many millions believe, the second coming of Christ?  Or is he as many others, including the organized religious of the world are convinced, the Antichrist?  Is the apocalypse starting?  What are the Cathars?  How and where do they, and the Knights Templar fit into the puzzle?  You’ll get the answers when you read this outstanding thriller.  It’s well researched, well-written and exciting.  One small caveat: I found the first forty or so pages a bit over-descriptive, which made them slightly tedious for me.  But don’t you dare let that keep you from reading The Sixth Station, because the action picks up with such intensity that you’ll be hard-pressed to quit reading before you reach the stunning conclusion.  Read it and I promise that you’ll be talking and thinking about it long after you’ve read the last page.  I know I will.  It’s controversial and it’s megagood!


John Dwaine McKenna