Synopses & Reviews
Father Brennan Burkes patience is tested to the limit when a young woman announces to the world that the Virgin Mary has appeared to her in his churchyard, and hordes of pilgrims, souvenir hawkers, and reporters converge on the scene. But, as unwelcome as these guests may be, they pale in comparison to yet another aggravation in Father Burkes life, a controversial talk show host who clashes with Burke the minute he arrives in town.
Events take a darker turn when a body is found at the apparition site, and the talk show host is picked up for the murder. There is enough aggravation to go around, as lawyer Monty Collins learns when he takes on the loud-mouthed TV man as a client. Monty and Brennan both have a stake in uncovering the truth about the murder, and learn disturbing things about the accused and other suspects in the case. Problem is, Monty and Brennan cannot talk to each other about what they find out, because one is bound by solicitor-client confidentiality and the other by the seal of the confessional.
"Miracle or fraud? St. Bernadette's church in Halifax is thrown into the spotlight when the recently-fired parish secretary claims to have a vision of the Virgin Mary floating above a statue on the parish lawn. Father Brennan Burke is less than thrilled when a ragtag group of soapbox preachers, hustlers, and pious pilgrims descend and turn the church lawn into a circus. CTV even sends Pike Podgis, a controversial talk show host, to stage a faith vs. science debate between Fr. Brennan and an atheist sociology professor. Events take a sinister turn when a young woman is murdered at the scene, and Podgis is arrested for the crime. Fr. Brennan's drinking buddy, Monty Collins, is called upon to act as defense for the accused. Meanwhile, someone is tormenting Fr. Brennan in the confessional, divulging details of this and other past murders. As good friends, Monty and Fr. Brennan have a hard time discussing the case, as Monty is bound by solicitor-client privilege, and Fr. Brennan by the seal of the confessional. In this seventh book in her Collins-Burke series, Halifax lawyer and award-winning author Emery (Children in the Morning) uses strong characters and dialogue to deftly touch upon the paradoxes between superstition and belief, between reason and faith, and between justice and forgiveness. (Nov.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Following Monty and Father Burke through the back streets, blues clubs and waterfront district of 1992 Halifax in search of the truth is an enjoyable quest . . . Emery skillfully blends homicide with wit, music, theology, quirky characters and a Nova Scotian atmosphere." —Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Anne Emery is a lawyer and the award-winning author of the Collins-Burke mystery series. The first book of the series, Sign of the Cross, won the Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel. The fifth book in the series, Children in the Morning, won a silver medal in the 2011 Independent Publisher Book Awards and the 2011 Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction. She lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.