William Peter Blatty
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William Peter Blatty has thrilled generations of readers with his iconic mega-bestseller The Exorcist. Now Blatty gives us Dimiter, a riveting story of murder, revenge, and suspense. Laced with themes of faith and love, sin and forgiveness, vengeance and compassion, it is a novel in the grand tradition of Morris West’s The Devil’s Advocate and the Catholic novels of Graham Greene.
Dimiter opens in the world’s most oppressive and isolated totalitarian state: Albania in the 1970s. A prisoner suspected of being an enemy agent is held by state security. An unsettling presence, though subjected to unimaginable torture he maintains an eerie silence. He escapes---and on the way to freedom, completes a mysterious mission. The prisoner is Dimiter, the American “agent from Hell.”
The scene shifts to Jerusalem, focusing on Hadassah Hospital and a cast of engaging, colorful characters: the brooding Christian Arab police detective, Peter Meral; Dr. Moses Mayo, a troubled but humorous neurologist; Samia, an attractive, sharp-tongued nurse; and assorted American and Israeli functionaries and hospital staff. All become enmeshed in a series of baffling, inexplicable deaths, until events explode in a surprising climax.
Told with unrelenting pace, Dimiter’s compelling, page-turning narrative is haunted by the search for faith and the truths of the human condition. Dimiter is William Peter Blatty's first full novel since the 1983 publication of Legion.
murmured, “Who cares? The world is ending tonight.” But this early March morning he found a different path. In his narrow staff quarters at Hadassah Hospital’s medical school, the neurologist awakened in the tunnels of night with a quietly pulsing sense of dread. Wide awake, he lay still, staring up into darkness while he listened to the whirring and the flurry of his thoughts. He had dreamed. Something strange. But what? He sat up, turned on a bedside tensor lamp, and squinted down at the tiny
Christ. Six weeks ago one of them had murdered the other. The killer, a captured seventeen-year-old Syrian soldier who had lost his genitalia in combat, had unexpectedly, blithely and without provocation slit his victim’s throat with a twelve-inch kitchen knife, which he afterward held against his own throat while threatening suicide at the approach of hospital security. Locked in this impasse, someone had thought to call Meral, waking the policeman in the dead of night. At the sight of him
were those stray bits of hope that Meral sometimes gleaned from the comments of the priests who led the pilgrims on their tours, though their balm was always brief. Over coffee during Easter week the year before, a former United States Army chaplain, after noting how so many of Christ’s disciples had chosen to die rather than to deny that they had really seen the risen Christ, ended wryly, “Call me nuts, but I tend to believe a man’s deathbed confession.” On hearing this, Meral had felt a slight
yet for centuries the Dogon have believed that it’s the most important star in the sky, which might explain why they’ve built their religion on it. Astronomy, cosmology, biochemistry—the Dogon have knowledge of all these things and insist they were taught by alien beings they refer to as “the Nommo” and whom they divide—at least according to an ancient Dogon text—into separate kinds: the Nommo Die, who is God; the Nommo Titanye, who came to the Earth in spaceships and are the Nommo Die’s
turn it around. The faint porcelain squeaks drew Wilson’s gaze back to Meral. “Yes,” Meral mused, “they say that ever since the death of his wife he was depressed and tormented by guilt.” “He lost his wife?” “These things happen. And sometimes the pain is so great one cannot breathe.” Meral stopped turning the cup. His faraway stare and his fingertips continued to hold it in silence. He felt Wilson’s stare and looked up to see him studying him. What was that in his eyes, Meral wondered?