Paul McCusker’s Father Gilbert was the lead character in a series of radio plays for Focus on the Family’s Radio Theater. McCusker brings the character back in the novel, “Body Under the Bridge.”
“Body Under the Bridge” has a stunning opening as Father Gilbert confronts a man who’s about to jump off the roof of Gilbert’s church. The man jumps, leaving an object behind. However, Gilbert finds out no one saw the man in the church, and he was committing suicide by another method somewhere else. However, Gilbert still has the object. At the same time, a long-dead body is found at the site of a contentious construction project.
Overall, McCusker’s written a strong mystery. He’s woven an intricate narrative going back hundreds of years, with a complicated web of dark secrets that’s ensnared many of the town’s inhabitants. The story has a lot of well-done atmospheric moments that increase the tension.
We introduced to a slew of characters, most of whom are likely suspects, and we never quite know who to trust besides Gilbert. The story has several great twists and never drags for a moment. Gilbert is well-written and is believable both as an ex-cop and as a priest.
The reader should be aware this story leans more to the supernatural stories Father Gilbert appeared in such as, “Dead Air,” and does have some disturbing sequences. However, it does mostly steer clear of the melodrama around Gilbert’s family life that hurt later episodes of the series.
For fans of the original series, this book is a much-welcomed addition to the Father Gilbert canon. If you like detective stories with a supernatural twist, you can also enjoy the book even if you’ve never heard the radio series.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
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