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    THE DEATH OF AN IRISH SINNER by Bartholomew Gill


    William Morrow, 2001

    When an elderly Irish writer is found murdered, there are fingers pointing everywhere. Her priest tries to hush up the whole thing. Ex-priest and journalist Parmalee is sure that the militant Catholic organization Opus Dei is responsible. The Opus Dei agents themselves come up with a range of suspects depending on exactly what Inspector Peter McGarr is looking for.

    The stakes are high for everyone. Mary Jo Stanton was one of the richest women in the world. There were those in Opus Dei who believed her to be holy as the (rumored) daughter of the founder, yet others who felt that her birth could threaten the order. The local politicians argue hard for a solution--any solution--that does not involve the church. Yet there is plenty of evidence that Opus Dei will murder without hesitation should the need arise.

    Author Bartholomew Gill has created a fascinating environment. Set in Dublin, Ireland, THE DEATH OF AN IRISH SINNER plays the morals of the police against the morality of the church itself. An almost all-powerful but still credible secret power creates a chilling and exciting environment against which the mystery plays.

    The novel is not perfect, of course. In particular, I found the conclusion to be a little difficult. In addition, the threat to McGarr's wife didn't seem rational. Still, I found myself staying awake for 'just one more chapter,' finishing the book in the wee hours.

    Three Stars

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