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Fallen Men, published on Amazon Kindle in September 2012, is a story of three priests. All are good, spiritual men so why does young Father Ray Canavan Ray find himself on trial in a Dublin court for statutory rape of a minor? And why is his equally popular friend, Father Dan Patterson, raucously accused of murder by a member of his congregation as he attempts to celebrate a Requiem Mass? And why does Canon Tony Mulholland so lose sight of his priestly responsibilities that he tries to cover up Ray’s indiscretions by sending him to hide in Italy ?
Fallen Men touches on dark themes but ultimately it is a novel of redemption. It is a story that will bring tears to many eyes and characters who will remain in your heart long after you have put the book down. John Anthony, publisher, says: “Anyone who has read and enjoyed Colleen McCullough’s Thornbirds will also enjoy Fallen Men.”
The Doom Murders My second novel has just been published on Amazon Kindle (December 2012) and represents an even more dramatic change of genre. This time I have written a murder mystery set in Belfast. Echoes of ‘the Troubles’ and their lingering aftermath are never far from the surface but these echoes are just background. The story, the themes and the plot have a much more general appeal.
What triggered The Doom Murders? Among my various interests, I like to read about art and have many books on artists from all over the world. I was browsing through one of these books and spent some time contemplating a painting of The Last Judgement by a fifteenth century artist, Rogier van der Weyden. For some reason, a piece of advice to writers from Stephen King came into my head. King said, “Always ask ‘why?’, or ‘what if?’ “. I was studying the distorted figures of the damned souls hurtling down into the abyss and wondered: “What if a Chief Inspector was faced by a series of gruesome murders and found the bodies posed in strange and grotesque shapes identical to those on this Doom?” And came the next question, “Why would anyone want to do that?”
From these two questions came the inspiration for a new story and The Doom Murders was written. Dooms are mediaeval paintings of The Last Judgement. The killer in this novel has been inspired in his “work” by the painting of The Last Judgement by Rogier van der Weyden.
This “work” comes to the notice of Chief Inspector Jim Sheehan when a number of high profile figures in Belfast are brutally murdered. The bodies are left naked and oddly distorted. No clues are left at the forensically immaculate crime scenes except seemingly pointless theatrical props and some random numbers and letters. Sheehan is baffled. How are the victims linked? What message is the murderer trying to send via the vaguely religious symbolism of the killings? Faced with one of the most complex cases of his career, the Chief Inspector turns to an eminent Professor of Psychology at Queen’s University and a senior cleric who is a biblical expert. With their help, he begins to piece together some understanding of the killer’s psychopathy but can he learn enough to identify the killer and put an end the murders?
The Doom Murders is now available from Amazon Kindle Books.
“A Spiritual Odyssey” is the compelling story of a six-year journey that took the author on two converging paths – a burgeoning spirituality, and a dramatic physical degeneration that took the author to the doors of death. It is essentially a witness to the miraculous grace of God, and how it reaches into both soul and body. The author struggles with questions of a theological nature, but not in an academic way. The questions emerge from the practical, often confusing circumstances, in which the author finds himself and he tries to understand his growing spirituality and to seek intimacy with Jesus.