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Paul Mohrbacher's writing career began as a play-wright. His first play, The Chancellor's Tale, (The Dramatic Publishing Company) won first prize in the 1991 Julie Harris Playwright Award Competition and has received numerous productions and readings. The Magic Fault is his first venture into genre fiction. He lives with his wife Ruth Murphy, in St. Paul, Minnesota, surrounded by grandchildren.
on March 17, 2015 :
Paul Mohrbacher’s The Magic Fault is a fascinating modern-day thriller built around the theft of a sacred relic—the Shroud of Turin. The blend of historical mystery and current events, plus corporate greed and personal determination, is very pleasingly done and the protagonists, history professor Tom Euland and his girlfriend Rachel Cohen, make a very enjoyable pair of detectives. The Shroud of Turin has a long and fascinating history which feeds well into the tale, and the mystery and intrigue of curious monks, violent crime, high-speed car-chases and cryptic clues combine to build a truly enjoyable novel.
Is the fate of the world at stake or just the fate of big business? Will genetically modified foods save or destroy the hungry poor? Can a Lutheran professor, a Jewish activist, a Catholic archbishop and a Muslim businessman really work together? And who is truly behind this plot?
I loved the interactions between characters, the nicely low-key religiosity, and the underlying care for earth, faith and peoples in this exciting tale—an adventure novel with depth, where human interest replaces the tortuously esoteric erudition of some other religious mysteries. Magical thinking, where faith in God devolves into belief in ritual, is pitted against rational resolution and the heavenly touch of perfect timing, making this a truly satisfying read on lots of different levels. Highly recommended.
Disclosure: I received a free ecopy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
(reviewed the day of purchase)