As the national debate between Hollywood and the Christian Coalition heats up, one man must battle an entire town's prejudice to find a fundamentalist killer.
With the U.S. presidential campaign in full swing and the players ranging from the Hollywood elite to the Religious Right, Passing Judgment is a novel poised on the border between politics and religion. In this charged atmosphere, New Spirit stands at the center of Southern Christian fundamentalism, a high-profile showplace where everyone knows one another but no one is quite what he seems. And these followers and residents of New Spirit are clashing with their local devil...Baird Lowen.
A highly acclaimed Hollywood director forced into early retirement as a result of tragedy on the set of his last masterpiece, Baird is content to fish for bass in the nearby pond and write incendiary articles about New Spirit. But when the fiery death of a fellow detractor spurs Baird to find the murderers, he must first uncover a plot of extortion that circles back on his own troubled past. National anti-drug crusader and gubernatorial hopeful Roy Duncan is the right-hand man to New Spirit's Reverend Frederick Prescott, and both are suspects in Baird's private search for the killers. But it is Roy who seeks Baird out with an offer he really can't refuse: Find Roy's blackmailer or suffer the exposure of his own tragic secret.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
The former longtime editor-in-chief of Omni magazine makes a strong fiction debut--not with science fiction, however, but with a morally charged crime novel set in rural North Carolina. Narrator Baird Lowen lives a hermit's life, four years after retiring due to a violent incident, shown in flashback, at the height of his Hollywood directing career. His former high-school classmate, meanwhile, rising state legislator Roy Duncan, who married Baird's first love, Ellen, has become a powerful attorney closely allied to televangelist mogul Frederick Prescott. Using the incident that drove Baird from Hollywood as leverage, Roy coerces the former filmmaker into returning to their home town to find out who has been threatening to release graphic photos of Ellen having sex with Baird, taken when they were 16 years old. Despite the overlay of violence and death, this novel is not so much a thriller as a forceful yet balanced examination of the rise to political power of the religious right. The plotting is smooth and the characters true, particularly those who wield power with a sure and ruthless charm. Ferrell proves a natural storyteller here, with a voice all his own.