It took me a long time to finally get to this one because -ehn- religion. Big religion is like politics and I can only take so much, usually accompanied with a grain of salt. I have a soapbox around here somewhere . . .
Aaanywho, it turns out The Bishop's Man is more drama than religion, which I appreciated in a solid back-yard-summertime-read sort of way. It's fairly quick and sometimes heavy with a suicide, some spin-doctoring, much introspection, and a love interest! I don't have much else to report but I will certainly be looking out for this author's new book Why Men Lie. The title alone!
Father Duncan MacAskill knows all about temptation, all the devious ways that lonely priests persuade themselves that their private needs trump their vows. His fellow men of the cloth call him the 'Exorcist' behind his back because he spent most of his priesthood as the bishop's clean-up man, the enforcer sent in to discipline the wayward priests and tidy away potential scandal. Tidy away the emotions of the victims too, which is something that has been increasingly wearing away at his sense of justice and calling.
And so, when the bishop catches wind that a big media scandal may be heading their way and suggests that now might be the time for Duncan to relocate to duties in a country parish far out of the line of fire, he is only too willing.
The trouble is the parish is very near where Duncan grew up. The long nights in the glebe give him too much time to think about his own troubled childhood, and to drink, and to think some more. He's already teetering when into his orbit come not only a woman he thinks he might love but also a boy who may have been the victim of one of his perverted charges: his fault, his chance of redemption, his comeuppance.
Pushed to the breaking point by loneliness, tragedy and sudden self-knowledge, Duncan sets out on a course of action that reveals how hidden obsessions and guilty secrets either find their way to the light of understanding, or poison any chance we have for love and spiritual peace. (inside flap)