Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Body Under the Bridge by Paul McCusker

A former Scotland Yard detective, Father Gilbert knows about death. But, now a priest of a modest Anglican church in the small town of Hailsham, he didn't expect it to show up like this--in the suicide of a man who threw himself off the church tower, and in the discovery of a two-hundred-year-old body beneath an ancient bridge.

The deaths are linked. The mummified corpse under the bridge, a murder victim, reignites a centuries-old battle between two local families--the Todds and the aristocratic Hayshams. Then both David Todd and Lord Haysham begin to act strangely, fearful for reasons they won’t explain.

When Lord Haysham is murdered, David Todd is the prime suspect. But Todd is maniacal, claiming great forces of evil are at work. An entire history of violence and depravity begins to emerge, interweaving the history of several local families with a secret occult society that engages in Black Masses. Has the Society emerged again?

My review:
   I bought the dramatized Father Gilbert Mysteries on CD that Focus on the Family did some years back, and have thoroughly enjoyed them. When I saw that there was a Father Gilbert mystery coming out in book form, I looked forward to reading it.

   This book is not for the faint of heart. There is a lot of suspense and mystery, a lot of bodies, talk of curses, demon possession, Satanist groups, secret groups, and more. McCusker blends all of these elements together to make a great suspense/mystery novel that kept me engrossed until the very end.

   Often when I am reading a book such as this, I can figure out who the bad guys are, but this book was written in such a way and had such so many twists and turns, that I didn't know for sure who was guilty, nor what was coming next. The book had more surprises in it than I had been anticipating, and made the book all the more enjoyable.

  Father Gilbert came off as likable in the book as on the CDs, and there were some other great characters thrown into the mix to add more flavor and drama to the story.

  The idea of a priest that helps solve crimes is a novel one, but it works for the CDs and now for this book. This was a great read, and I highly recommend it to mystery and suspense readers.

About the author:

  Paul McCusker is the creative content director for Focus on the Family. He has been a writer of fiction, nonfiction, and drama since 1979. His work includes over forty published novels, full-length plays, dramatic sketch collections, and song lyrics. For the Adventures in Odyssey series alone, he has written over 200 half-hour radio episodes, eighteen novels, and two screenplays for the best-selling animated videos. He has dramatized many classics for Focus on the Family Radio Theatre, including A Christmas Carol and Jan Karon's At Home in Mitford. He also wrote and directed the Peabody Award–winning Bonhoeffer: The Cost of Freedom and created the highly acclaimed Father Gilbert Mysteries series. Paul lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with his wife, Elizabeth, and their two children.

Check out his website:

The Body Under the Bridge is available from Lion Publishing, part of the Kregel Publishing family.

Thanks to Kregel for the review copy.