Take twin brothers from Boston. Make one a politician and the other a priest. Throw in an assassination and a terrorist attack, an interfaith marriage, the horror of radical Islam, and you have the makings of “A Prayer for the Devil.”
It’s the first published novel written by Dale Allan, a member of St. Kilian’s parish, Farmingdale, L.I., and it’s been getting a lot of positive notice.
The story revolves around Father Luke Miller, who takes it upon himself to solve his brother’s murder. Aaron Miller is killed during a bombing that takes places during a political rally with a future presidential candidate.
The plot takes on contemporary overtones with radical Islam very much interwoven into the story. The priest also has to confront his priestly promise of celibacy as well as his commitment to his vocation.
I won’t give away the rest of the story, but I promise you a compelling read. I couldn’t put it down once I started reading it. If you’re a James Patterson or David Baldacci fan, you’ll love this local author’s style and ability to tell a story and keep your interest, even with several subplots in play.
Don’t take just my word. Bill Donohue, president of The Catholic League, said “‘A Prayer for the Devil’ is a gripping tale of mystery, politics and religion. Fast-paced and entertaining, it is also an important cultural marker. It deserves a wide audience.”
And the book has been nominated as a finalist for Book of the Year by the Forward Review service and presented the Kirkus Star as a book of extraordinary merit.
The author, who consulted with several priests and even a bishop while writing the story, said he wanted to make sure that he did not hurt the Church or any religion. The clergymen read it and encouraged the project. The bishop even made a suggestion to balance the portrayal of Islam.
“I didn’t want to put down or disparage any religion,” said Allan. “But I did want to show the sharp contrast and how radical, radical Islam is.”
In an interview with me on Currents, the daily news show on The NET, Allan told me that this was a story he felt compelled to write.
“I thought this would be interesting – a priest who is a really good guy and his brother who is killed in a terrorist bombing incident.”
He said he wanted to show the “the human feelings about how the priest is going to react to this and his desire for justice.”
This exciting thriller could easily be made into an action-packed motion picture, although there may be some politically correct critics who wouldn’t like it.
And how about the characters? Will we see them in a sequel?
“I dream about these people at night. It’s hard to give them up,” said Allan. “They become part of your life. I tried to end the book in some ways and to leave it open-ended in others. So, at the end of the story, Father Luke Miller is on his way to the Vatican. The next book I see opening up in Italy, and we’ll see what happens from there.”
You can find “A Prayer for the Devil” in your local bookstore or order it online. Published by The Emerald Book Co., it’s easily accessible by Googling the title. It’s also available on Kindle.