In Sympathy for the Devil, the third Morris and Chastain investigation, Quincey and Libby encounter their most bizarre case yet. Senator Howard Stark, dark-horse candidate for a major party's presidential nomination, is secretly possessed by the terrible demon Sargatanas. The Lords of Hell think that having one of their own secretly in charge of the world's most powerful nation is a perfect way to achieve their millennia-long goal: the destruction of all humanity.
Although Stark entered the race a long way from being the front-runner, his chances begin to improve, as the other candidates for the nomination begin to leave the race – some through death (natural causes, of course) and others through scandal (the revealing of information that no living person could possibly know). With the eager assistance of Mary Margaret Doyle, Stark's administrative assistant (who was responsible for his being possessed in the first place), Sargatanas is "thinning the herd" of his competition.
Quincey and Libby eventually find out what is happening, after one of these arranged "accidents" hits too close to home. But now they face a seemingly unsolvable conundrum: if they go public with what they know, they will be dismissed as lunatics; if they do nothing, there's a good chance that Hell's candidate for President will win – with worldwide devastation to follow; and if they try to arrange an exorcism against Stark's will, there is the small problem that he is protected, day and night, by dedicated agents of the U.S. Secret Service.
Some pundits like to say "politics is hell." If only they knew...
Justin Gustainis is a college professor living in upstate New York. He is the author of the novel The Hades Project (2003), as well as a number of short stories. In his misspent youth, Mr. Gustainis was, at various times, a busboy, soldier, speechwriter and professional bodyguard. To balance his karma, he collects teddy bears.