Hiding and Exposing Sins

Outcry Witness
Thomas Zigal
TCU Press (http://www.prs.tcu.edu)

This concluding novel in Thomas Zigal’s “New Orleans Trilogy” is a compelling and well-written mystery thriller. It also is timely and reflective of controvery. Worldwide, Catholicism continues to be roiled by dark headlines about sexual abuse cases involving supposedly celebate priests and other church officials.

In U.S. law, according to Wikipedia, “an outcry witness is the person who first hears an allegation of abuse made by a child or another victim of abuse or sexual crime. The witness is legally obligated to report the abuse, and may be called upon during the trial proceedings.”

In Thomas Zigal’s Outcry Witness ( https://amzn.to/2VgHIvn ), a priest, Father Edward McMurray, and the priest’s nephew, Peter Moore, director of communications for a Catholic diocese in New Orleans, first help cover up the sex-related murder of a parish assistant pastor. Later, they conduct their own dangerous investigation, both to try to find the killer and to keep the police misinformed about how the assistant pastor died.

Allegiance and Cover-up

Why do they risk their careers and also their lives to do this? “Call it Catholic allegiance. Semper fidelis,” Peter Moore confesses to himself at one point in the novel. “Religion had been a blood sport for centuries, and even as schoolchildren, we Catholics had been taught that an attack on the Church was an attack on each one of us. I didn’t want to give the smirking haters an excuse for ridiculing the faith I’d practiced all my life.”

But, if they are able to find the murderer, can ufficient justice be achieved, and meted out, within the protecting walls of the church?

Si Dunn ( http://www.sagecreekproductions.com )

My thanks to TCU Press for sending an advance reading copy of this book for review, and for granting use of the book’s cover image.

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