Title: The Canary List
Author: Sigmund Brouwer
Publisher: WaterBrook Press
Protected by the dark of night, Jaimie Piper runs. But is anywhere safe when Evil is hunting you?
She’s just a twelve year-old girl, bumped around between foster homes and relegated to school classes for challenged kids, those lagging in their test scores or with behavioral issues. But her real problem is that she can sense something the other kids can’t—something dark. Something compelling her to run for her life.
All Crockett Grey wants is to mark the anniversary of his daughter’s death alone.
But when his student Jaimie comes to him, terrified, her need for protection collides with his grief, and a tangled web of bizarre events sends them both spiraling toward destruction.
Crockett’s one hope of getting his life back is to uncover the mysterious secrets of Jaimie’s past and her strange gift. It isn’t long before his discoveries lead him to a darker conspiracy, secrets guarded by the highest seat of power in the world—the Vatican.
When we first meet Crockett Grey, a teacher his troubled students affectionately call “Mr. G.”, he’s determined to get as drunk as possible in an attempt to dull the pain of losing his daughter. He thinks he’s seeing her ghost at his window, but then he realizes it’s one of his students. Jaimie Piper is terrified and Mr. G. is the only person she can trust to keep her safe from Evil, which she can feel hunting her. Unfortunately, her arrival draws Crockett into a complex and frightening conspiracy that extends all the way to the Vatican. In order to protect Jaimie and regain control of his own life, Crockett must work with child psychologist Dr. Madelyne Mackenzie and a hacker named Catfish to uncover the truth.
Author Sigmund Brouwer doesn’t disappoint with this speculative fiction thriller. From the beginning, readers are drawn into a dark and scary conspiracy that takes the standard “what if” question to a whole new level. The main question explored in The Canary List appears to be “What if a Satanist holds a high position in the Catholic Church?” As expected, this leads to a plot full of twists and turns, fraught with danger, and many references to make readers wonder if demons are real.
This book is not for the faint of heart. However, if you enjoy conspiracy theories, thrillers, suspense, complex mysteries, or speculative fiction, this may be the book for you. The Canary List contains all of this, along with a very disturbing look at what could happen if certain key elements of the story were real. The story grabs readers from the first page and holds them captive until the very end. I look forward to reading more of Mr. Brouwer’s work in the future.