St. Lucy's, a humble edifice at the heart of a venerable Chicago neighbourhood, is suffering the throes of gentrification. St. Lucy's has long stood as a bulwark against evil and change, which some in the community have often seen as much the same thing. Now three dead bodies have been left in the sanctuary, stripped, mutilated, and shot through the head, execution-style. A warning to those who would remake the neighbourhood - or to St. Lucy's charismatic monsignor, who has made a few enemies of his own? Dispatched by his Cardinal to investigate, Bishop "Blackie" Ryan fears that the atrocious murders are only the beginning of a campaign of terror directed at this particular church. But to solve the mystery and banish the evil gathering over the community, Blackie will need an unexpected assist from his own long-dead father, as well as the help of Declan O'Donnell, a savvy young cop with a touch of the second sight, and of Camilla Datilo, a radiant Assistant States Attorney of Sicilian origins.
Priest, sociologist, author and journalist, Father Andrew M. Greeley built an international assemblage of devout fans over a career spanning five decades. His books include the Bishop Blackie Ryan novels, including "The Archbishop in Andalusia," the Nuala Anne McGrail novels, including "Irish Tweed," and "The Cardinal Virtues." He was the author of over 50 best-selling novels and more than 100 works of non-fiction, and his writing has been translated into 12 languages.Father Greeley was a Professor of Sociology at the University of Arizona and a Research Associate with the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago. In addition to scholarly studies and popular fiction, for many years he penned a weekly column appearing in the "Chicago Sun-Times" and other newspapers. He was also a frequent contributor to "The New York Times," the "National Catholic Reporter," "America "and "Commonweal," and was interviewed regularly on national radio and television. He authored hundreds of articles on sociological topics, ranging from school desegregation to elder sex to politics and the environment.Throughout his priesthood, Father Greeley unflinchingly urged his beloved Church to become more responsive to evolving concerns of Catholics everywhere. His clear writing style, consistent themes and celebrity stature made him a leading spokesperson for generations of Catholics. He chronicled his service to the Church in two autobiographies, "Confessions of a Parish Priest" and "Furthermore!"In 1986, Father Greeley established a $1 million Catholic Inner-City School Fund, providing scholarships and financial support to schools in the Chicago Archdiocese with a minority student body of more than 50 percent. In 1984, he contributed a $1 million endowment to establish a chair in Roman Catholic Studies at the University of Chicago. He also funded an annual lecture series, "The Church in Society," at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, Mundelein, Illinois, from which he received his S.T.L. in 1954.Father Greeley received many honors and awards, including honorary degrees from the National University of Ireland at Galway, the University of Arizona and Bard College. A Chicago native, he earned his M.A. in 1961 and his Ph.D. in 1962 from the University of Chicago.Father Greeley was a penetrating student of popular culture, deeply engaged with the world around him, and a lifelong Chicago sports fan, cheering for the Bulls, Bears and the Cubs. Born in 1928, he died in May 2013 at the age of 85.