The second book in the "Paradise" series by author Ted Dekker is entitled Saint, which follows 15 years after Showdown. The story begins following the bizarre training of a 25 year old man named Carl Strople. Carl has been completely brainwashed by scientists within an entity known as The X Group, who have been working to make him into the ultimate assassin. While their techniques are unconventional and inhumane, the skill of their elite squad is unmatched. However, Carl turns out to be more than just a good shot, he can direct the flight of a bullet over a distance of nearly 2 miles to knock a fly out of the air. Actually this is just the tip of his true powers.
Carl's first mission is to travel from Hungary to the U.S. to kill the Iranian defense minister. At the last minute his orders are changed and he is instead told to kill the president. The X Group is involved in an intricate plot to destroy Israel and re-map the Middle East. Although his mind has been reprogrammed, Carl senses that something is terribly wrong with this plan. However, to disobey will cause his handlers to terminate him with a small device implanted into his brain. So, Carl shoots the president through the chest, but ensures that he does not die. It is then that The X Group sends their top man, one Dale Crompton, to clean up the mess that has developed and complete the mission, leaving absolutely no loose ends.
At this point we start to find out who Carl and Dale really are, as well as their links to Project Showdown and the Books of History. The story is really all about the ongoing battle of good vs. evil. Of course, evil knows its nature through and through. However, the interesting twist in this story is that good was not self-aware and did not appreciate its role and its power until the last moment. An engaging story that was a fun and a light read (and only required me to suspend belief along a couple of Dekker's threads). Now, on to the last volume in the series, Sinner.
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