Way back in the 1940s, they had all been young together. Inseparable pals Mike and Manny, both preparing for the priesthood . . . Mike’s beautiful twin sister, Rose, and her best friend Alice, sharing a dream of becoming nuns . . . shy altar boy Stanley and everybody’s good friend, Bob Koesler, also headed for the priesthood. Six Detroit adolescents moving step by measured step into the bosom of the church. Or so they believed.
Now, more than fifty years later, one of the six has died a sudden, violent death, and Father Bob Koesler—these days a retired parish priest—is sadly suspicious that someone in this tiny band of lifelong friends may be responsible. But who and why? Before long, Koesler has reason to believe he knows the shocking answer. . . .
Precisely when the solemn ceremony receiving renegade Episcopal priest Father George Wheatley into the Roman Catholic priesthood is set to begin, a bomb explodes under the altar. Fortunately Father Wheatley arrives late, but poor old Father Farmer dies in the tragedy.
Father Wheatley’s switch to the Roman church has certainly stirred up murderous passions in the parish. His son and daughter–one already an Episcopal priest, the other studying to become one–are seething. Conservative Catholics are enraged by the very idea of a married priest. As blind prejudice, jealousy, and thwarted ambition swirl around St. Joseph’s, that shrewd sleuth Father Koesler meditates on one question: Who placed the phone call that made Father Wheatley late for his own murder?
For years, a little group of priests and nuns have struggled together to recover from the rule of virtual slavery imposed upon them by tyrannical Father Angelico, now thankfully gone to his reward. But for some of them the group is no longer a godsend. The ties that once bound beloved Father Rick Casserly, beautiful former nun Dora Ricardo, defrocked priest Jerry Anderson, and warm and lovely school principal Lil Niedermier unshakably to their church are becoming dangerously frayed by the human passions their faith denies them. No one foresees the terrible events that will soon leave one of them dead, and only Father Koesler, in the wisdom of his seventy years, grasps the shocking truth. . . .