Tom Nash has a unique talent. He discovered at sixteen that he can hear people's prayers, and he can help them wih their problems. Usually the prayers he hears are routine, but one night he is jolted awake by a frantic prayer from a little girl, "Please God, don't let them kill me". He is drawn to New York City, not sure who he is to save or how to go about it.
Phaedra is eleven years old, and walking home from a friend's house when she is kidnapped. Her mom is contacted and the kidnappers demand the inheritance she received when her husband was recently killed. Desparate to get Phaedra back, she agrees, and is told enough that it is obvious that the kidnappers are working with a corrupt cop, and that any help she asks for will be communicated back to the mob that has her child.
Into this situation, Tom Nash appears. He doesn't know what he will do, but he convinces the mother that he can be trusted, and will help her off the grid to recover her child. He starts his mission and is drawn to some clues, but soon encounters members of the Russian mob that are the kidnappers. About to be beaten beyond recognition, he is suddenly rescued by a gorgeous Hispanic woman, Erin, who has street smart survival and fighting skills. Even more astonishing, she reveals to Tom that she shares his talent, and that there is, in fact, many Seekers, along with Sages on the side of good, opposed by those on the side of evil, The Scorned.
Erin and Tom are soon involved in a fast-paced race against time to save Phaedra before the ransom deadline expires. There are fires, police arrests, dangerous traps set to harm them and strangers trying to stop them, but they push on. Escaping from the police who have arrested them at the scene of a suspicious arson, they make the ransom exchange just in time, only to have it go awry with a successful outcome seriously in doubt.
David Mack is a new talent in the fantasy genre and The Colling is an amazing book. The action is non-stop and heartpoundingly exciting, the characters are believable and appealing, and the premise behind the action is skillfully woven into the plotline. My first thought after finishing this book was that I hope a TV producer reads the book and creates a series. It would be wonderful to see Tom and Erin fighting evil and helping people on a weekly basis. This book is highly recommended for all fantasy readers, and for those who enjoy thrillers.