Controversial Debut Novel 'Forgotten Word' Explores Church Taboos and the Eternal, Hidden Battle Between Good and Evil
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SOURCE Sam Jane Brown
New novel weaves a tale of exorcism and power struggles within the Vatican
MANCHESTER, England, Feb. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Some readers may find it disconcerting that Sam Jane Brown's debut novel "Forgotten Word" (http://www.samjanebrown.com) depicts tumult in the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy at a time when the church is, in fact, experiencing a shakeup in its ranks.
But as extraordinary as the factual troubles are, Brown takes the conflict to a whole new level, blending the suspense of a thriller with the unconventionality of speculative fiction and the intellectual challenge of a murder-mystery. The main character is Zena McGrath, a detective working for an International Police Organization. She is charged with investigating the death of an Irish priest based at the Vatican, the latest victim of a chain of unexplained deaths among the Catholic priesthood.
Though Vatican authorities claim the deaths are due to natural causes, Cardinal Donatello, an enigmatic figure who is responsible for training priests in the sacred, secretive and highly dangerous art of exorcism, reveals to Zena that the priests who have died were all exorcists. Donatello reluctantly reveals the gravity of the problems the Vatican faces in the eternal battle between good and evil. He even takes her to see a priest who is possessed by evil spirits, and Zena herself has a chilling encounter with a demonic presence. Donatello convinces Zena to allow the church authorities to fight the evil in their own way.
But then another Catholic priest is discovered brutally murdered in New York. Zena flies to the city, a malevolent presence dogging her every move. During the course of her murder investigation, she is persuaded to take part in a dark rite that enables her to see into the past and identify the murderer of the priest. The revelation leads her back to Rome and the culprit.
As the trial of the murderer progresses, the shocking truth of the Catholic Church's battle against evil and the extent of satanic worship is revealed to a stunned world. The ensuing verdict incites an international media firestorm and worldwide revulsion against all forms of religion.
A movement to banish religion takes hold around the globe, and as the overthrow of world religions gathers pace, Zena returns to Ireland to find peace and tries to rid herself of the evil spirits haunting her. Her quest takes her to the Holy Land, which becomes the site of the intense finale to this tale of good versus evil.
"Forgotten Word" was inspired by Brown's own yearlong in-depth Bible study as well as her experiences working as an air hostess for a leading UK airline and interacting with thousands of passengers. "I incorporate a fair bit of Western religious precepts, but some readers may find some of the novel's theories and taboo-breaking controversial," she acknowledges. "Exploring different aspects of the Bible and Christianity is generally considered taboo in the church but in the end my story is true to Christianity, and religion in general, as Zena is forced to confront anti-religious forces."
In reviewing Brown's book, one Amazon reader writes, "…you can look at this as a complete work of fiction and realize that Sam is quite a talented author and has created an intriguing and compelling story about the battle between Jesus and Satan. …this is quite an exceptional book and I am looking forward to Sam Jane Brown's second novel." Another writes, "Action filled and fun to read, in the beginning somewhat spooky, but … you will not be able to stop reading."
Brown intends to spin off the story into a series highlighting Zena McGrath's mystery-solving talents. She is currently working on her second book.
"The Forgotten Word" can be purchased from Amazon in paperback ($12.38) and on Kindle ($3.50).
If you'd like more information on "Forgotten Word," or would like to schedule an interview with the author or request a review copy, please contact Sam Jane Brown.