Noah Archer is a renowned neurosurgeon, with an impressive success record. He has a happy home, with his beloved wife Moira, their two adopted sons, and a dog who’s a very good girl.
But Noah keeps a dark secret, shared only with his old friend Father Perry Cavanaugh. When he was just a boy, he was possessed by a demon – and it was only thanks to the exorcist priest that he survived.
Now, Noah works at the cutting edge of medical science and religion, researching the effects of spirituality on the brain. His current research study – The Enlightenment Project – promises breakthrough treatments for depression, addiction, and mental illness, and preliminary results are astounding.
But after a late-night emergency surgery, Noah returns to his office to find Father Perry waiting for him, with a terrible warning. The Enlightenment Project may not be closing the door to the darkness at all … but instead letting it in.
Lynn Hightower recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest thriller, THE ENLIGHTMENT PROJECT:
Was there anything new you discovered, or surprised you, as you wrote this book?
The astonishing ways cutting edge science and spirituality are coming together.
That demonic possession is a recognized psychiatric condition in the DSM. That Exorcisms are now mainstream, with psychiatrists and Exorcists working together as a team.
Without spoilers, are there any genre conventions you wanted to upend or challenge with this book?
Truth, as Mark Twain said, is stranger than fiction. Lynn Hightower marries the two to create an irresistible tale packed with the latest (true) scientific discoveries. As so many of us deal with anxiety and trauma, and as we continue to experiment with unusual and unique ways to cope, THE ENLIGHTENMENT PROJECT will strike a chilling chord — a glimpse into just how powerful the forces of the mind and beyond can be.
No spoilers, but what can you tell us about your book that we won’t find in the jacket copy or the PR material?
This is a spiritual novel, of childhood trauma, and the secrets all of us keep. How these secrets keep the people we love from knowing our true selves.
This is the story of a marriage rocked by these secrets, and of a husband and a wife whose marriage comes unglued, and how they fall in love again, and come back together in the middle of a lethal crisis.
What authors or books have influenced your career as a writer, and why?
Wendell Berry, my mentor and teacher, who taught me to write simply, honestly, and straight from the heart. The novel In Pale Battalions by Robert Goddard, The Color Purple by Alice Walker, Beloved by Toni Morrison, and Cold Heaven by Brian Moore, who showed me the importance of voice, the spiritual lives of our characters, and the influence of the seen and the unseen.
Is there a question that you feel is important to you and/or your novel? Write it in below, but be sure to answer it too!
Q: Is demonic possession real?
A: I believe that supernatural things can happen to good people.
The author of numerous thrillers, including the Sonora Blair and Lena Padget detective series, Lynn Hightower’s internationally bestselling novels have been included in the New York Times List of Notable Books, the London Times’ bestseller lists, the WH Smith Fresh Talent Awards, and the Shamus award. Lynn teaches Master Novel classes in the UCLA Extension Writing Program and works as a Manuscript Consultant/Writing Coach for novelists.
To learn more about the author and her work, please visit her website.