I picked up Melinda Snodgrass’s “The Edge of Reason” (2009) because she wrote one of my favorite Uhura classic Trek pro novels, and I like her writing. The Edge is a little uncomfortable in places but riveting throughout. It has a clever concept. Religions today use magic and Lucifer is using science to help save the world. For that, he needs a broom-up-his-butt cop in New Mexico who accidentally witnesses a battle between the two factions and rescues a young witch. The poor cop, a pretty rich kid from Connecticut has a walk-in closet of skeletons, but is obsessed with doing the right thing. The reason Lucifer is interested in him is that Kit is completely magic-free. To the magical bad guys, Kit is invisible.
Lucifer enlists him in the celestial army between good and evil (on the side of goodness and science), and as a powerful gazillionaire with connections, he orders the new beat cop promoted. Kit the cop has no problem accepting the spells and magic, but he has a little more trouble being seen as the pampered golden boy detective. Ignoring the sneers, he enlists the help of his partner and the coroner, telling them the real secret of secret societies. Since humans crawled out of the cave, their irrational fears have opened dimensional doorways and let monsters (and gods) through. With the arrival of creationism and intelligent design, some big holes are opening up and some hairy monsters are planning to come through.
Poor Kit the cop and his intrepid ensemble (the nuclear scientist witch, the bum who keeps blowing up and shattering into some dangerous copies, his streetwise partner, and the coroner eager to jump Kit’s bones) try to track down mysterious murders while refusing a deal with a human devil (a televangelist). When dark, sexual secrets about Kit come out and his mother is coerced into suicide, monsters run amok and Kit has to relive his brutal past to prevent the end of the world.
If you can get past the grisly bits (poor Kit was too pretty for his own good as a youngster), the rest of the story is a roller coaster ride. Kit hops across the US tracking down evil-doers and monsters. Someone from his own team has been seduced by the other side. His father hates him. Lucifer is incapacitated, and Kit has no choice but to call in the calvary.
It ends rather abruptly with the team members promising the keep up the good fight and is obviously a set up for further adventures of Kit and his Scoobies against dimensional demons. I may need to take a shower and read something a little less disturbing before I tackle the sequel.