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God Is a Bullet

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  410 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
Christmas, 1995. A 14-year-old girl is kidnapped by a bloodthirsty Satanic cult. Bob Hightower, the girl's father and a small-town cop, embarks on a desperate mission to find her, but his only hope lies with Case Hardin, an ex-cult member and ex-junkie living in a halfway house in Hollywood.
Paperback, 371 pages
Published March 26th 2002 by Ballantine Books (first published 1999)
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(showing 1-30)
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James Thane
Jan 05, 2012 James Thane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction, noir
Bob Hightower is a by-the-book sheriff's deputy in a small California town right up until the night that his ex-wife and her new husband are butchered in what appears to be a demented cult killing, reminiscent of the Manson Family. Even worse, Bob's young daughter, Gabi, has been taken by the killers. Traditional police methods turn up no leads to the killer or to Gabi, who may be dead or alive. Hightower is nearly at the end of his rope when he receives a letter from a young woman named Case Ha ...more
Tim The Enchanter
Couldn't Stand the Machine Gun Style - 2 Stars

This Winner of the 2000 CWA New Blood Dagger just did not do it for me. I have a reading challenge to compare the winners of the this award with the Winners of the Edgar Award for best first novel. In 2000, the later award was won by The Skull Mantra and this volume was nominate for both awards.

Unfortunately, The Skull Mantra proved to be far superior and I abandoned God is a Bullet after reading around 40%. This amounts largely to taste. I found
Dec 29, 2010 Jim rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Boston Teran? Boston Te-h-ran? Give us a break mate. But his book is as likely to make you boke as his name. Crime novels like this must make James Lee and Elmore weep, as it almost did to me. It's like he's trying to write the most violent, most terrifying, most piercing commentary on the vileness of the human condition EVER, and it's toe-curlingly awful. The dialogue. Where do I begin? The unnecessary cruelty. The complete and utter lack of humour that made something like The Crosskiller reada ...more
Apr 21, 2009 Rasma rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I just saw someone rated Haunted as the worst book they'd ever read, and it reminded me of good old dog bullet god bullet. My friend Pål and I read it together, thought we'd get a little book discussion partnership going, and this was the worst choice, it ruined our project. Though come to think about it, we could at least commiserate on its awfulness.

I recommend this highly for creative writing classes to read and dissect and rewrite... anyone with half an intention could write better than Bost
Edwina Hall Callan
Jun 15, 2016 Edwina Hall Callan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bookcrossing, 2016
Just read on the author's website that this book is based on a true story --- Mind Blown!
Oct 07, 2012 Still rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: thriller fans
Recommended to Still by: can't remember why but I collect the collective Boston Teran

This was a very slow read for me.
I should add "re-read" ...2nd time around.

This is the 1st Boston Teran book published as far as I know.
It's nowhere as good "his" later novels but it has its moments.
The author(s) excel in the descriptive action sequences only to strand the reader on the shoals of ponderous psychological aphorisms and the characters emotional depth.

I don't need that crap. "Emotional depth".
Not in a thriller, anyway.

I can't take away my original 5 star rating.
It's a great thrille
Michael Alan Grapin
I wasn't expecting to enjoy this thriller as much as I did. I was expecting nothing more than gory details offered for shock value and there was plenty of that but quite a bit more. It was a psychological study of what people have to do to survive in a less than perfect world. Cyrus is the head of a Charles Manson style cult that traffics in drugs, prostitution, murder and mayhem and some of the story delves into the roots of his evil. We are given glimpses of his connections to polite society w ...more
Lee Battersby
Jan 08, 2013 Lee Battersby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a stunning first novel, unrelenting in its ferocity, with realistic characters scattered throughout and protagonists who act from a consistent sense of righteousness, no matter which side of the narrative they inhabit. There are no compromises at play here: the narrative is brutal, and unrelenting, and as tough as the transformation of Bob Hightower into Bob Whatever is, it's nothing against watching the struggle as 'supporting' character Case fights against a return to her 'Headcase' beginnings ...more
Michelle Holden
Oct 17, 2013 Michelle Holden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
A cult classic I loved this book. The writing is as fast paced as the story but at times is almost poetic. I first read this book at University and have just re read it some fifteen years later and was not disappointed. The subject matter is dark but it also deals with a lot of self philosophy. What is god and what is religion? I have ordered back copies of all of Boston Terans other books after reading this. Not perfect but made me think and had a great story line.
Bronco Billy
Dec 16, 2013 Bronco Billy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Par où commencer ? Je ne sais pas ce qui me dérange le plus dans ce bouquin. La faiblesse de l'histoire, la stupidité des dialogues, ou bien encore l'échec de l'auteur à créer ne serait-ce que le moindre début d'empathie pour ses personnages (non, mais c'est qui ce "Bob" ?). Non, ce n'est pas le manque de travail qui me gêne le plus, parce que que c'est quelque chose que l'on peut pardonner, non le pire c'est la prétention de ce roman, infesté de considérations pseudo-philosophiques sur la natur ...more
Jan 01, 2010 Lee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fourteen-year-old girl is kidnapped by a satanic cult that calls itself the Left-Handed Path. The leader, Cyrus,is a vicious,sadistic,& one of the scariest characters ever in a book I've read. This was an amazing debut novel.
Apr 04, 2009 OMalleycat rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I learned from this book that there's a point where I'm unable to suspend disbelief, let alone tolerate impossible plot elements and coincidences and abhorrent behavior by humans.
Jun 04, 2009 Max rated it it was amazing
Had me crying by page 50. Definitely intend to read everything else this author's written.
Sep 20, 2014 Micah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I guess this book gets compared to James Ellroy a lot?

Its not an unwarranted comparison, but this isn't like elder statesman Ellroy. Its like, this actually is your daddy's Ellroy knockoff. In at least two key ways, God is a Bullet has got a lot more in common with Ellroy's early 1980s Lloyd Hopkins stuff than the massively multivolume historical crime-n-conspiracy books he writes now.

First: This is Border fic. SoCal lit crime. Poetic splattercore set in LA and San Diego and the desert between
John Page
Jan 21, 2010 John Page rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my first review online so I will try to be cohereant, make my thoughts clear, and not give away any spoilers.
First off, what a violent, bloody, horrific but immersive book this is. I loved the main characters, they were well thought out and drove me to turn page after page to find out what they did, what they were thinking, and how they could get through this with some shred of their souls. You feel their pain, live their horrors, and want/need them to come out the other end of this nigh
Apr 12, 2009 Ann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tom Tischler
Apr 18, 2016 Tom Tischler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's Christmas 1995 and a 14 year old girl is kidnapped by a Satanic cult. Her father
is a small town cop and he goes on a desperate mission to find her. His only hope of
finding her is with an ex cult member named Case Hardin. The leader of this cult is one
of the worst around and even with Case the odds of them finding her are slim and none.
He only seems to go after people who have done something to him in the past and
he never seems to forget. So someone in the cops family has done something t
Martin Stanley
Aug 22, 2016 Martin Stanley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Violent and nihilistic thriller set on both sides of the US-Mexico border. A former cult member and ex-junkie and a god-fearing, desk jockey police officer team up to retrieve the officer's daughter from the clutches of a psychopathic cult leader, without knowing that there's more to it than a simple case of murder and kidnapping. It's rough stuff, powerfully executed; and although there are moments when the dialogue gets a bit new age and the plotting gets a tad scruffy around the edges, there ...more
Mar 15, 2011 Khosch rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was nicely written and the story was interesting. I just couldn't take Cyrus seriously though - no one would be allies with anyone who was so universally horrible to everyone. Granted, his closest allies are kept on his leash because of their addictions, but he doesn't seem to have any compunction about hurting and killing them. Also, I didn't really like the other characters either.
This book is very much not my kind of book, but my book club picked it and I try to read them so that when we meet I can say something. This one just wasn't for me. It was so odd to start with and I found myself very confused. I tried to keep reading, but after a few pages just didn't care if I figured it out.
Aug 22, 2009 Steve rated it really liked it
Super violent, over-the-top pulp thriller that crosses elements of The Searchers with the Manson family (and a satisfying touch of The Missouri Breaks at the end). Case, the junkie bad girl heroine, is as tough as they come, which is good news, because she'll need to be. Teran's first book, and still his best. I suspect "Teran" is pen name.
Sep 23, 2008 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's a lot I liked about this one. Good story, dark, gritty as hell, interesting characters. But, believe it or not, there's some pretentious to some of the writing. Occasionally that shit took me out of the filthy world I'd been drawn into and annoyed me. Still worth reading overall...
Apr 05, 2009 Ashton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Michelle recommended this book to me and I was reluctant to read a book about ex-cults and drug rehab and killing, but there was more to it then that. It was also about love, lust, religion, and death. It taught me so much and i devoured it. The reason for the title held much learned.
Jeffrey Brown
Feb 24, 2016 Jeffrey Brown rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic. This is the one that gets all the glory for the gritty well told story, but I still consider his "Never count out the Dead" to be my favorite grit/core/prose by far.

Amazing author if you want to "see" everything that is happening while you read it
Karen Burgess
Jul 30, 2013 Karen Burgess rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book! Great characters, complicated but believable plot. I'd give it 4.5 stars if I could... Read more:
Dec 30, 2012 Edward rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I registered a book at!
Sep 10, 2016 Charles rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
I'm going to claim this one. I don't remember the book, based on the summary, but I do remember the title. I have a vague feeling of disappointment that the book did not live up to the title.
Jun 20, 2014 Kent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Everyone seems to agree; crazy violent. Quite the page turner, an overnight read. Reflections of Charles Manson.
Aug 31, 2012 Lewis rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a solid book, cant really criticise it in any major way, but while it was mostly alright, that was all it was for me - nothing made it stand out
May 06, 2007 owen rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: goth kids, sean moran
really really unique. lots of child molestation and satanism and ugly people. bends back and forth between poetry and straight fiction so much that it takes a few chapters to get the hang of.
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Boston Teran is the acclaimed author of six novels. GOD IS A BULLET is considered a cult classic that has been compared to such seminal works as Joan Didion’s THE WHITE ALBUM and John Ford’s THE SEARCHERS. NEVER COUNT OUT THE DEAD has been called a modern equivalent of MacBeth and TROIS FEMMES (THREE WOMEN) has been reviewed as "a true masterpiece."

His two newest works: GIV - The Story of a Dog an
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