The best thing about my copy of The Resurrectionist is the cover art, by Phil Heffernan. Often it is the cover art that originally attracts us to a book, and all too seldom is the artist credited. Thankfully, Warner Books has done so, and Heffernan's metallic, disembodied head and arms in a crucified position is an arresting image.
But Monteleone's text doesn't stand up to this gripping image. The plot is unique and interesting, but Monteleone doesn't really grapple with the issues he raises. The title character is a US Senator who discovers he has the power to raise the dead--at least temporarily. Naturally everyone wants a piece of his gift, including the US government, who seek to keep it to themselves. Rather than exploring the nature of his character's singular abilities, or their origin, Monteleone gives us just another shady government conspiracy novel, albeit complicated by a mysterious presence that ultimately turns out to be discouragingly mortal. But the nature of death, or the afterlife, are hardly dealt with--one resurrected character describes hovering over his own body, but that's about all. More time is spent on the effect of the Senator's powers on his campaign for president, and whether they should be concealed or revealed.
There are some good moments in the book, particularly in Monteleone's characterizations. Suddenly discovering that he has the ability to raise the dead puts a tremendous strain on the Senator, and Monteleone portrays this well. But readers hoping for a supernatural thriller (whether of the Christian persuasion or not) are sure to be disappointed. In that regard, The Resurectionist's powers are treated as nothing more unusual than a scientist with a secret nuclear formula.
Monteleone has repeatedly gone to the well of Christian-related supernatural fiction with The Blood of the Lamb : A Novel of the Second Coming and The Reckoning. This time he comes up dry.