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Candle for Consuela
A shocking political thriller inspired by true events – the tragic murder of six innocent Jesuit priests in El Salvador on 16th November 1989 – a murder that echoed around the world.. CONSUELA FLORES is damaged. Though her wounds are well hidden, they sometimes emerge to drag her to a place she never wants to visit again. Having fled for her life from El Salvador, she trailed through the US, France and Britain before finding safety and work in St Mary Magdalen’s Catholic Church in London. FATHER JOHN DOYLE, the devout priest at St Mary’s makes Consuela feel secure after years of turmoil, and they grow close as they work on the ‘Mission to the Homeless’. When he meets SENOR ADOLFO GUZMAN at the church, however, Consuela sees him arrive. Memories of death, torture and loss consume her as the sanctuary of the church is snatched away from her. When Father Doyle discovers why Consuela fears for her life, the evil truth about Guzman, and the tragic murders of six Jesuit priests at Universidad Centroamericana José Simeón Cañas in San Salvador, on 16th November 1989, a murder that echoed around the world, he is determined to make the right decision. Will he find the courage to stay true to his heart? Will Consuela give way to the desperate feelings of revenge that consume her?

Once I started "Candle For Consuela" I couldn't put it down, initially because the action, plot and pacing are thrilling.  However, the real draw of the book turned out to be the drama about what was at stake for the characters, including each main character fighting powerful political, theological and philosophical influences.  The risks and forces acting on the characters were gripping.

The book provides a fictionalized presentation of events in England in recent times.  Those recent events in England resulted from brutalities that actually occurred in El Salvador in a twelve year civil war in the 1980's.   Among the past atrocities were torture and murder of civilians and the cold-blooded murder of six Jesuit priests.   Thankfully, we are spared witnessing the atrocities.   Instead, we are treated to intricately woven repercussions of those atrocities involving money, power, corruption, justice and The Catholic Church.  Some characters wrestle mightily with their consciences, while others apparently have little, if any, conscience.  All of these events are spiced with romance and sexual scenes that never seemed gratuitous, but instead advanced the plot and themes.  

"Candle For Consuela" reminded me of some great and provocative books, such as those by Dan Brown, Graham Greene, Thornton Wilder (The Bridge Of San Luis Rey) and Morris West (The Shoes Of The Fisherman, etc.), while also being a page-turner like some by James Paterson and Tom Clancy.   

I couldn’t stop reading until the very last page, and look forward to reading it again and its promised sequel.