Monday, July 20, 2015

Father Gilbert Mysteries continue . . . IN BOOK FORM!!!

A former Scotland Yard detective, Father Gilbert knows about death. But, now a priest of a modest Anglican church in the small town of Stonebridge, he didn't expect it to show up like this - in the suicide of a man who threw himself off the church tower, and in the discovery of a two-hundred-year-old body beneath an ancient bridge. The deaths are linked. The mummified corpse under the bridge, a murder victim, reignites a centuries-old battle between two local families - the Todds and the aristocratic Hayshams. Then both David Todd and Lord Haysham begin to act strangely. They are fearful for reasons they won't explain. When Lord Haysham is murdered, David Todd is the prime suspect. But Todd is acting maniacal, claiming great forces of evil are at work. An entire history of violence and depravity begins to emerge - interweaving the history of several local families with a secret occult society that engages in Black Masses. Has the Society emerged again?
Ohmygosh, ohmygosh, ohmygosh!!!

For those of you without a clue, Father Louis Gilbert is a character created for a Focus on the Family radio theater drama, performed by Adrian Plass from 2001 to 2006. The series had 9 episodes in 4 collections and ended very abruptly, IN A VERY BAD PLACE. I have literally spent the last 9 years listening to this radio series over and over again and always grinding my teeth at the ending of the final episode which should have NEVER been a final episode.

But now!!!!!

Oh, look, glorious miracle that is to come, BOOKS ARE BEING PUBLISHED!!!! Paul McCusker is writing a series of 3 novels for Father Gilbert, starting with the above The Body Under the Bridge. The release date is set for January 27th, 2016. WHAT AN AWESOME BIRTHDAY PRESENT!!!

I have already pre-bought my copy. And you have NO IDEA who much easier it is to wait a few paltry months for the book than to have waited nearly 10 years thinking there was no hope of continuing the story. Oh my life is now so much more complete!! Bless you, Paul McCusker!!!!


  1. I still haven't finished listening to all of these (they are sitting on my desk, as a matter of fact) but... it ends in a bad place? Why didn't they continue with the series? Surely it was popular; why wouldn't it be?

    Even so, this is cool. I'll have to read it.

    1. Maybe a bad place is too dramatic. It ends with Father Gilbert going back into seclusion to deal with some personal crisis. He's actually rather broken at the end and then . . . that's it. It was absolutely terrible.

      I wish I knew why it was canceled! That never made any sense to me! But I've never heard a reason given and I like to believe they were popular, although just because I love them doesn't mean everyone else loved them too. It just seemed an unfair place to leave it. I think part of their problem is that they stopped dealing with the supernatural in the last 2 episodes and instead were dealing with Father Gilbert's family life instead. I love back history on characters so it didn't bother me, but that final collection didn't follow the set pattern for the series, with the spiritual and the supernatural.

      This new book sounds amazing though, and I do like McCusker's writing style, crisp and clean without a lot of meandering. Now I just have to keep my expectation levels reasonable so it doesn't let me down!

    2. I listened to the Gray Lady the other day while painting, and commented on McCuster's writing style. I like it. He's a bit mystical and ambiguous, which I like.

      Well, I'm glad it's not a cliffhanger at least. And I'm sorry to hear the last two episodes deal more with his personal life than cases. I quite like the creepiness of the series overall.

  2. I just found out today about the coming novel and I too am glad to know that Paul McCusker has found a new way of continuing this wonderful series. I too found the last two stories quite unsatisfying because of the personal torment it put Father Gilbert through. I felt that they had already explored that far more effectively in "Dead Air" (which IMO is the best Christian horror story ever dramatized) that it seemed like overkill in the worst way to then give him such an angst-ridden personal background. I enjoy the first seven stories immensely but I just can't bring myself to listen to the last two again. I hope that McCusker's books will take place *after* the events of the final radio drama and won't be stories set *within* the time frame of the others but even if it doesn't I know I'll enjoy this immensely.

    I will say though that it is likely that one reason why the radio series ended was because Focus On The Family was by that point cutting back its radio series production after an intense output from 1996-2006. In the decade since they have only on occasion done one big production of something every couple years (and none since 2013).

    1. I definitely agree with you about Dead Air. That particular drama sends shivers through me every time I listen to it because it strikes so close to home and gives us all spiritual pause.

      You know, I do wish that Focus hadn't cut their radio drama production. I wear headphones 7 hours a day doing data entry and the stories Focus dramatized have been so helpful. Most of them are remarkable.

      I guess we should be thankful that McCusker found another outlet for Father Gilbert. Such an incredible character shouldn't be forgotten.


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