The Plumber of Souls

You never hear about the really dirty work. But when the human soul becomes clogged with guilt and horror, they call the Plumber of Souls, the Catholic Church's top cleaner who roams the globe purging souls and makes the world safe from humanity. Haunted by a childhood of abuse at the hands of pedophile priests and armed with a rapier wit, a pair of silenced Derringers, twelve starched priest collars, and a face which inspires trust enabling him to milk the deepest secrets from absolute strangers, the Plumber of Souls functions as a kind of human enema. I flush emotional waste from the system. In Guinzberg's believably insane, darkly enthralling world, the unspeakably sad Pope is addicted to fast food and cable television, software billionaires clone children to molest, British beef barons marry cows and consummate their bestial love in grand master bedroom suites, and a cult of ex-Resistance fighters and their descendants live in the sewers of Paris. These are the choppy spiritual waters through which the Plumber wades, before encountering the inevitable, ultimate spiritual crisis. In Guinzberg's hands, the laughs burn as they go down, and it all ends up feeling almost uncomfortably close to home.