Father Tierney Stumbles
Father Joe Tierney, a deeply committed (and closeted) pastor of the parish of Mater Dei, learns he’s HIV positive. Shekleton’s tale is set in a big city in an unspecified time, though 2002–post-Boston’s Cardinal Law’s resignation and the Catholic clergy sex abuse scandal–still resonates. Tierney joins an anonymous group of HIV-positive clergy, regaining a modicum of peace, only to be found by a freelance writer intent upon writing a on local HIV-positive priests. Wracked with fear, guilt, and shame, Tierney must now decide how to confront not only to his own feelings, but the demands of his Bishop, his friends, and the growing media pressure. Father Tierney makes a difficult decision–and Shekleton promises his return.
Minotaur Books $25.99
On July 29, 1969, 9-year-old Charlie Olmstead dashed out on his bike hoping to see Neil Armstrong on the moon. They found his bike at a nearby waterfall–but no Charlie. Everyone–except his mother, Maggie–presumed him dead. Forward 40 years. Charlie’s little brother, Eric, now an acclaimed author, returns to bury Maggie and fulfill her last request: find Charlie. Eric’s former sweetheart, Kat Campbell, is now sheriff of Perry Hollow. Their combined search begins to unravel a tangled skein of events, including a number of missing boys, the mayor’s peccadilloes, and bizarre maps and evidence amassed by Maggie over the years and stashed in the Olmstead basement. Ritter, the author of Death Notice, is in charge all the way.
Harvard Square Editions $15.95
Spanning a decade, Patchwork is an AIDS era saga tracing the effects of the disease on one Midwestern family from the late 1980’s through the emerging 21st century. As the story opens, Randy Manning, dying of AIDS, his partner Sal, and Randy’s parents are visiting the NAMES Project Quilt in Chicago. There is inevitable friction between Randy’s parents–particularly his mother, Barbara–and Sal, whom she accuses of infecting her son. After his lover’s death, Sal, also HIV-positive, visits Randy’s parents briefly, then flees Los Angeles, to face his past, his future, and the potential of new life-prolonging drug cocktails. This short novel is dense with humor, sadness, and the promise of both new relationships and the salvaging of old.