The Sacrifice by William X. Kienzle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This Father Koestler mystery has all the elements found in most of Kienzle's books...murder, the Catholic Church, Detroit and a Catholic aspect to the crime. Father Koestler is aging just as the author has, but the topics are as current as ever. This one involves a married Anglican priest who wants to become a Roman Catholic priest. Twenty years ago, this might have been facetious, but the Episcopal/Anglican church has so lost her bearings that many of the faithful are looking for a spiritual home that still has the form of the Episcopal church but without the wild and radical changes in the new "anything goes" Episcopal Church.
But, of course, there is a problem with the Roman Catholic church. An Anglican who wants to remain true to the tenets of the church as laid out in the "Thirty-nine Articles" almost has to look elsewhere and that would obviously be the Roman church, but there are very strong feelings about this. Obviously, the church can't expect the candidate to abandon his family, but the church is desperate for priests. If the authorities of the Roman Catholic church are ambivalent, many of the parishioners are not and that is the plot of this book.
There is a time bomb in the Sanctuary of the church set to explode just as the ordination should have started, but the procession is late and only one person is at the altar. The obvious intended victim is the Anglican convert, but there are other possibilities to be considered. The tale weaves round and round until we seem to have 3 different crimes with possibly more than one perpetrator. The books gets somewhat convoluted before it winds on to the conclusion, but is very interesting and satisfying.
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