Fiction. In his new religious thriller, Richard Gid Powers weaves Church intrigue, corporate crime, religious symbols, mystical theology, ancient history and legend into a high stakes struggle for the soul of the Catholic Church. This fast paced adventure sends Ann Carroll, heir to America’s greatest Catholic fortune, on a quest to reveal the chilling conspiracy behind the murder of the Church’s most saintly bishop. Searching Mt. Athos in Greece, Paris, San Salvador, New York and New Orleans, she discovers crimes at the highest levels of the Catholic hierarchy, rocks the Church to its foundations, and leads a Pentecostal renewal of faith that heals the millennium-long schism between Roman and Greek Catholicism and gives birth to a new Catholic Church.
Richard Gid Powers has had a prolific career as an historian with such works as Secrecy and Power: The Life of J. Edgar Hoover; Not Without Honor: The History of American Anticommunism; G-Men: Hoover’s FBI in American Popular Culture; and Broken: The Troubled Past and Uncertain Future of the FBI. THE MYSTERY OF THE TRINITY (Caravel Mystery Books, 2014), his first novel, draws on his expertise on conspiracies and conspiracy hunting, Catholic doctrine, liturgy and Church politics, and a fascination with the crossroads of science and spirituality. He holds a Ph.D. in American Civilization from Brown University and is a professor of history at the College of Staten Island and the Graduate Center, CUNY. He is the son of Science Fiction Hall of Fame illustrator Richard M. Powers and as far as he knows he is not the literary novelist Richard Powers, nor one of his relatives.
Mark Carnes, Barnard College –
Richard Gid Powers, a distinguished historian who has uncovered the secrets of J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI, has now written a spine-tingling and head-spinning thriller that takes on the mysteries of the trinity. A thinking man’s (or woman’s) Da Vinci Code, The Mystery of the Trinity probes the meaning of faith in an age of science, and reveals the capacity of the past to illuminate the dark secrets of our own age. Like Umberto Eco and Gore Vidal, Powers demonstrates how all good stories have deep roots in history.
Harriett Klausner, Genre-Go-Round –
In New Orleans during mass at St. Patrick Church, someone shoots and kills controversial traditionalist Father Stan Klaves, who has demanded a return to the Faith of Our Fathers. New York Timothy Cardinal Ryan gives the eulogy at Father Stan s funeral. NOPD claims the assassin committed suicide. Like her late father, Ann Carroll provides benefactions to Cardinal Ryan who worries his most generous supporter will take over leading the Klaves movement. Ann and her beloved Jack Logan (whom has drawn the wrath of the Cardinal for his work on neuroscience and spirituality) meet with excommunicated Sister Patricia Sullivan and National Christian Reporter journalist Peter Newland who witnessed the assassination. Cardinal Ryan joins them; insisting that the Church will die if it supports a culture of death as Klaves demanded. Not long afterward in Alexandria, Louisiana, a gunman tries to kill Ann; but instead murders a cop. A Greek monk murders the captured gunman, but escapes back to Mt. Athos, Greece. This leads to Ann and her allies on a global quest to uncover a Church conspiracy of death that includes the killing of Father Romero. The Mystery of the Trinity is an intriguing thoughtful drama that concentrates on the modern day Catholic Church; especially the schism between the traditionalists who want to return to the strict past and those who believe this return denotes a culture of death leading to papal suicide. The use of famous people, social media and locations enhance the overall realism of the intense theme. Not for everyone since the stimulating storyline contains a lot of passive religious debate (that I personally esteemed); Richard Gid Power authors a mesmerizing Catholic Church conspiracy thriller.
Elaine G. McGillicuddy, Midwest Book Review –
There is something for everyone in this book. Correctly dubbed a religious thriller, this novel is, nevertheless, no ordinary religious thriller; readers are offered too rich a fare for that. Its author, a historian, has knowledge in a wide variety of fields. Besides being an expert on conspiracies (the subject of his books), his expertise branches out to include: Church politics, Catholic doctrine, liturgy, mysticism, science, spirituality, and surely more. The fast pace plot centers around Ann Carroll, an heiress quest to solve the mystery behind the murder of Archbishop Romero. It s one action-packed adventure after another, as Ann and her small band of friends which includes Patricia, an ex-communicated nun and a former priest embark on planes to Mt. Athos in Greece, Paris, San Salvador, New York and New Orleans. Ann s mission to reform the Catholic Church through a traditionalist, conservative (fictitious) movement called Faith of Our Fathers is another driving theme that yields fruit at the end. … So this novel is clearly cerebral, abounding in flights of abstract thinking. Yet Powers is more than capable of handling the love stories and in painting poetic scenes like this one in Central Park at the end of Book One: Above the trees a grid of golden lights on the wall of skyscrapers rose to meet the stars. He also creates delicious irony: The erotic scene in Cardinal Ryan’s bedroom is introduced by his mentioning that Bach’s B-minor Mass was starting up like thunder: Kyrie Lord have mercy.