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Holy Innocents is the first in a series of provocative and highly topical mysteries to be released over the coming months by Catholic journalist and media critic Bill Kassel. It breaks new stylistic ground, bringing a contemporary moral edge to the "cozy mystery" genre. Its a new kind of adult religious fiction: edgy, political, and written in a fast-paced, readable style.
The book deals with two of todays hottest issues: abortion and school choice. It presents the struggles of a colorful and authentic cast of characters, admirable people attempting to live their values in spite of conflicts that assault them personally and threaten the peace of their community. It puts a human face on the abortion dilemma, examining the one concern often overlooked in pro-life writing: the emotional suffering that can drive a young woman to take the life of her child.
The story opens with a riveting first scene: discovery of an aborted fetus at a closed Catholic school. This shattering incident is particularly unnerving to Father Karl Muller, a disillusioned old priest with a troubled past, who longs for a peaceful retirement. Alan Kemp, who had been an investigator in the Air Force, is asked by a friend in the bishops office to look into the situation. What he finds is a well of resentment among teachers in the local public school district who suspect that the diocese plans to reopen the school (called Holy Innocents) to compete for state education funds.
Holy Innocents has been hailed by a wide variety of commentators, such as William A. Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, who noted: "Bill Kassel has put together a solid mystery with a backdrop of issues that touch our lives. Holy Innocents will take you on a good ride, and leave you thinking."
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