by Paul McCusker
To start at the very beginning, I requested this book to review because I know Paul McCusker as the script writer for a movie made by our friends. I was curious to see what his writing style was. My conclusion? Mr. McCusker's writing style is quite good and engaging. Almost too engaging at times! This book was hard to put down; easy to follow and captivating.
However, the content was rather disturbing. Father Gilbert is the main character in this mystery and as a priest he is against demons and the occult practices encouraging them. Thus, he is acutely aware of the demonic forces around him and has several out of the body experiences/ visions. I will put it out there that I love Sherlock Holmes mysteries and have always read exciting books. However, this book was so creepy I could not read it at night. Even so, I had nightmares following the reading of this book which were incredibly unsettling and took prayer and reading of my Bible to dispel! And I am a grown woman. This led me to question the godliness of using such a topic as demonic oppression in a book. I wonder if this somehow brings glory and attention to demons? I am not an expert in these matters, but I certainly did not feel like this book brought me closer to God!
Which brings me to the bothersome fact that Paul McCusker himself isn't the Christian that I thought he was! My belief was that he was Baptist. After all, he works for Baptist companies- correct?
However, if you read this article and any others you find online, you will see that he grew up in a Baptist church and publicly became Catholic in 2007! I am not unkind to Catholics but according to Scripture you are either a New Testament believer in Christ (Christian) or you are Catholic, Jewish, Mormon, etc. etc. etc. I believe it is possible to become saved in any of those churches, but if you are truly saved you will not stay in those churches but join a bible-believing church.
In The Body Under the Bridge, there were several confusing topics which are now made clear under the knowledge that Paul McCusker is Catholic. The Lord's Supper is mentioned as a sacrament with the bread turning into Christ's flesh and the wine into His blood. Later, Thomas Cranmer is really put down. Now I don't know much about Thomas Cranmer's spiritual state, but he helped with the English Reformation and thought ill of the Pope and that is exactly why he is put down in The Body Under the Bridge!
In conclusion, I am not trying to open up an argument with Catholics. You may read this book if you like. My goal is to give a head's-up to evangelical Christians about the background of this book and Paul McCusker! If you are going to read this book, regardless of your religion (of course I read a variety of books myself!), I want to put a disclaimer that this book is, as mentioned, intense, rather gory and unsuitable for readers under age 14! The priest also has to overcome temptation and lustful thoughts at several portions which I didn't find appropriate for younger readers either.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. Thanks!
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