Death in the Shadows (Father Gilbert Mystery #2)

Title:  Death in the Shadows (Father Gilbert Mystery #2)

Author:  Paul McCusker

Pages:  302 (including ch.1 from The Body Under the Bridge)

Year:  2016

Publisher:  Lion Fiction

My rating is 2 stars.

Father Gilbert is at a conference with other religious leaders.  He checks in to the hotel and goes to the hotel restaurant where he encounters a ghost.  He quickly learns that the apparition that appeared to him is that of a recently murdered prostitute.  He also experiences the appearances of multiple ghosts occasionally in the story.  He doesn’t know why he sees dead people, but discovers there is someone else who can see them too.  He has an old friend who is in the local police department and soon is consulting on this prostitute’s murder.  A local priest had been visiting the prostitute before her death and is a suspect.

While Father Gilbert is in the midst of this case, a local priest approaches him for help in finding the daughter of an immigrant.  Father Gilbert helps as he can, but soon learns that all is not as was presented to him and that the missing girl case may be related to the dead prostitute case.  The crime boss from the area, who was in the last book, Jack Doyle makes himself known in this story by meeting Father Gilbert face to face.  He makes threats, but Father Gilbert is determined to find the killer and bring him/her to justice.

I read the first book in this series and thought it pretty good, but in this second book I just couldn’t connect with the story.  It is a very dark and often times for me disturbing topic that is the basis for the story, that of human trafficking for sex.  Homosexuality is mentioned in the story between two minor characters.  The story itself is well written, although some of the chapters are long, and it did make me think about the societal responsibility for these women being in this horrific situation and what we can do about it.  I do like the character of Father Gilbert and his persistence in solving a crime.  Also, the supernatural aspect of the story just didn’t seem to work well for me.  I don’t believe in ghosts, so having Father Gilbert get involved in a mystery because of the appearance of a ghost was hard for me to accept.  I’m not sure if I will continue reading this series or not.

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