Most first novels have high ambitions. Few achieve them. Gospel Prism is the rare exception.
On the surface it's an account of its formerly high-flying protagonist's fall from grace to land in a minimum security prison for a brief stint. But once there he's visited by a female messiah and begins a spiritual quest in multiple episodes that references, without imitation, Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress.
The language is lush and often funny; the plot dense and rich.
The book's backstory can't be ignored. When the body of journalist Marie Colvin was recovered in 2012, its manuscript was found in her backpack along with two satellite phones and a few changes of clothes. She had it with her when she was killed.
This is neither a quick nor an easy read, but it makes the effort well worth while.