Review by Joey Madia
A few months ago, a publicist introduced me to the whimsical, socially conscious, quick-witted work and worlds of the novelist Pete Adams. John Broughton describes him as “the Salvador Dali of thriller writers,” a description I mention because it is so fitting. Two writers that also come to mind are James Joyce (Finnegan’s Wake and Ulysses), and Robert Anton Wilson and his Illuminatus series, although reading his Cosmic Trigger books will also give you a sense of the lineage of which Pete Adams is a part, especially when it comes to the corruption of the international banking cabal.
The front matter describes Rite Judgement as “A politically correct / incorrect, risqué, mischievous, irreverent and, ever so naughty, crime mystery thriller. A real / surreal novel where life imitates art.” Quite a mouthful, and quite correct. Following on the heels of this quote is one from André Breton: “The imaginary is what tends to become real.” This is a form of spelling, or using words and the power of the mind in the form of poetry and prose, incantations, mantras, and the like to speak a new world into existence. After all, as we good (many now lapsed) Catholics and other religious types grew up hearing, and many still believe, in the beginning was the Logos… the Word. Which makes Trickster-Holy Storytellers like Adams invaluable to society indeed.
Still with me? I warn you, even more so than the book I read and reviewed a few months ago—Dead No More, from another of Adams’s series—the wit, metaphors, and action in Rite Judgement unroll at a very brisk pace. It is easy to get lost in the dense forest of words and images. There are plays on words, abundant cultural and political references, and rich social commentary. Therefore, Adams richly rewards those rare polymaths versed in history, art, and psychology, as so obviously is he. Continue reading