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About the book:
The city of Lehigh, West Virginia, faces the insidious threat of a sadistic cult bent on eliminating all "unpretty" things in the world.
A bomb goes off at the Conklin Art Gallery, killing eight people associated with a unique Michelangelo exhibit being shown there. The only person who may have seen the bomber is Hummingbird Collins, an aspiring artist who works down the street from the gallery. But she soon starts receiving ominous cassette recordings of a rambling madman who reveals his plan to rid the world of "unpretty" things.
This madman -- known only as Number 26 -- leads a cult known as the Michelangelus Movement, which has kidnapped and tortured people for use in their bizarre artistic experiments over the past dozen years.
When Hummingbird breaks her frightened silence, she enlists the help of Detective Buck Barnes, her brother, and an old family friend, Ready Robinson, a former pro-football player who entered the priesthood after ending his NFL career. But when Hummingbird is abducted by the cult, her friends must discover where she's been taken before she becomes another addition to the leader's horrific replication of Michelangelo's masterpiece -- Last Judgment.
Guest reviewer Erin's review:
For me, I have always been in love with stories that surround religious cults. Don't ask why, maybe it's just the divine thrill I get from them, seeing the unseen and then out of nowhere God just pops up and destroys it all! Unpretty is a story beyond any other thriller I've ever read. And it surrounds a cult like no other.
A secret cult inside a small town starts making headlines by putting a bomb in a local art gallery. Somehow, the police investigating the bombing also believe it may be linked to several strange disappearences that have happened throughout the past few months. One of the cult members works in the police department and was kidnapped then found days later barely alive. But for some reason, he cannot remember a thing that happened to him.
This mysterious cult is obsessed with art. Expecially a painting painted by Michelangelo, "The Last Judgement." A young man who suffers from brain damage discovers an old torn down Baptist church and decideds to explore it. Later he finds the same painting by Michelangelo painted piece by piece behind the alter. This painting is later linked to a young women who the cult leader becomes obsessed with. This young lady is scared for her life, and gains the strength and support from her brother, and an old friend of her fathers.
As a team, they work together to identify the cult and what they are doing, and how The Last Judgment relates in any way to the people who have disappeared.
I really enjoyed reading Unpretty, and I wish there was a sequel that went with it. I could sense the thrill that the author must've been feeling while
writing this story. You will most definately be on edge reading it. It will also remind you that there are occults all over the world. They might even be inside your own town. Unpretty shows how important it is to be very careful, as well as know where you stand in Christ so you will be able to fight against the lies they believe in.
Unpretty was published by Howard/Simon and Schuster and released in September 2008.