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Trouble is brewing in Baker, Washington. Three popular athletes have been stricken with a mysterious ailment--or phenomenon--that leaves them ranting incoherently, paranoid, and eventually comatose. Ever ready to seek truth and justice, teen twins Elisha and Elijah and their parents hop in their van, the Holy Roller, and head to Washington. As members of a top-secret presidential investigative team, the Veritas Project, the family must be prepared to go undercover at any moment. Soon they are deeply embroiled in a deadly mystery that involves witchcraft, bullying, the ghost of a boy who hanged himself long ago, and a most diabolical weapon.
Frank Peretti, well known for his Christian thrillers (This Present Darkness/Piercing the Darkness, The Visitation, etc.) draws from his own experiences of not fitting in as a child to create this alarming tale of vengeance. The twins and their parents occasionally turn to their faith for guidance, but the crux of the story lies in the danger that comes from treating less cool kids like second-class citizens. References to the tragedy at Columbine remind readers just how painfully real the problem is. Peretti seems to use the twins' father as a voice for his own viewpoint: "Metal detectors may keep weapons out of the schools, and security officers can maintain at least a surface tranquility, but these will not keep out the pain, anger, and loneliness that cause a child to bring a weapon to school in the first place." (Ages 13 and older) --Emilie Coulter [via]