Author: Regis Schilken
Publisher: TurnKey Press
The following review was contributed by: S.V. SWAMY: CLICK TO VIEW S.V. Swamy's Reviews
This novel attempts to portray the ever-raging conflict between good and evil,
between altruism and greed, through a religious setting. The story takes place
in a Catholic Church. A cross is sent for renovation to a nearby monastery.
Brother Anthony who is doing the renovation disappears suddenly without a trace.
Nothing much is made of the mystery because it is not too uncommon for Fathers
and Brothers to get bored of the monastery life and disappear to surface under a
different name and lead the so-called 'normal' life. No one is beyond
7 years later, suddenly a 'miracle' starts taking place in the Church where the
restored cross is installed. Tears start forming from the eyes of the statue of
Jesus Christ. When investigation is attempted, deaths start taking place and
threats are held out. The connection between the renovation of the cross (and
the body of Jesus) and the present miracle is lost on the people because of the
Pastor Paul Logue's gut instinct keeps telling him that the few drops of water
that fall from the eyes of the statue suspended in the old, Gothic Church are
probably a diabolical human ruse or possibly a display of Lucifer himself. But
for simple believers and to his Bishop, the word miracle arises in the mind and
it spreads like a raging fire fanned by the media's unquenchable desire for
sensationalism. The unique occurrences at his church quickly become national
phenomena. Money pours into church coffers as droves of curiosity seekers,
tourists, and religious believers visit Saint Martin's to glimpse the miracle
cross and to leave behind extremely generous donations. The mystery is finally
solved by the help of a policeman and his live-in partner, a school teacher.
They are aided by an young woman in the police department and an intelligent
technician working for the villain.
The author succeeds in conveying a few ideas through the characters of this
interesting book. Firstly miracles do take place. But all apparent miracles are
not necessarily real and thus need to be investigated thoroughly. The forces
that are trying to bring about the miracle, human or otherwise will not keep
quiet when the investigation is attempted and will try to thwart the same
through threats, murder etc., It is not necessary for a human being to believe
in Church to be good, and it is entirely possible for an evil person to be in
the robes of religion, since normally suspicion doesn't point there.
The story is written well and till half of the book, the suspense of who could
have done the killings is well maintained. Though the villains are identified
fairly early in the book, the plot keeps unfolding nicely and a good climax is
presented. The end is quite mysterious.
The physics behind the formation of the water drops is fairly simple and is well
presented. To lay people, the science could indeed be mystifying and magical. I
felt that graphic descriptions of love making are out of place in such a book.
The story stands quite well without such descriptions. The characters are well
developed and look plausible. The effects of war and violence combined with the
innate greed could certainly make a man inhuman.
All in all, it is a good read.