This novel did not grab me at the beginning but by the time I was half way through I couldn't put it down. It is a captivating journey through the fields of British mystery strewn with the boulders of spiritual warfare.
Father Gilbert is a former Scotland Yard Detective, having left the force to be able to deal with evil in a better way. When a mummified body is found in a boggy area, he is called in to help. The uncovering of that body also begins the uncovering of a complex history of animosity and spiritual deception. At the center of the swirling spiritual forces is the Woodrich Set, a sword, a medallion, and a ring that symbolize powers no human should endeavor to encounter.
This novel does get off to a slow and possibly confusing start. There is a mystery involving many people from the past and I was a little bogged down with all of it. Father Gilbert uncovers information even as contemporary deaths begin to happen. It is a good plodding British mystery but I think its true strength lies elsewhere.
This novel is more about spiritual warfare and similar spiritual concepts than anything else. The battle Father Gilbert finds himself immersed in is between real good and real evil. Gilbert himself experiences visions, dreams, and a sense of evil that play into the warfare.
There are many spiritual issues brought up in the novel that beg thought and discussion. There is the question of predestination and/or the influence of ancestors on their descendants. Is one really locked in to being a certain kind of being?
Another issue is the possibility of spiritual power in physical objects. I learned the history behind locked covers on baptismal fonts and the reason the Catholic Church locked up the consecrated bread and wine. Referencing the men who died when they touched the Ark of the Covenant as it was being returned, McCusker explores the power of God in things and the possibility of evil mimicking that power.
I highly recommend this novel to those who like a good mystery permeated with paranormal manifestations. It's all from a strong Christian spiritual viewpoint and is a good reminder of the real battle of good and evil that takes place around us. This leads to a warning. McCusker is a creative author at describing spiritual warfare and clearly describes scenes such as demonic facial transformations. That may be disturbing to some readers. Be prepared to stare evil in the face, so to speak, when you read this novel.
My rating: 5/5 stars.
Paul McCusker is Creative Director at Focus on the Family. He is an award winning novelist and dramatist, having sold more than a million books and twenty million audio drama. He is also heard on the Adventures in Odyssey radio series. He lives in Colorado. You can find out more at http://www.paulmccusker.com/.
Lion Fiction, distributed in the U. S. by Kregel, 320 pages.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kregel for the purpose of an independent and honest review.