The Day of the Knights is a modern epic psychological crime novel of evil-versus-good that spans multiple decades in Italy and America. It is told in three discrete parts.
PART ONE explores the damaged psyche and actions of abused teenage Italian savant Domenico Patriani, a religious fanatic homophobe who kills his father Goro then evolves into The Black Knight Avenger on a mission to kill gays for the all-powerful entity Godsatan only he sees through the eyes of The Shroud of Turin, yet manages to become an Episcopal deacon!
In tender counter-point to the savagery is the tragic story of grandparents and lovers Father Francis Ambrose and Concetta Fazzini, while the tale of their illegitimate daughter Francisca’s marriage to Goro, a brutal rapist who fathered Marcello then Domenico, provides insight into how the moral-compass of the killer was twisted.
PART TWO is presented in an appropriately alternate style. It unveils the virtues of inner- city American Thomas “Tank” Tooley, a champion athlete who becomes a policeman shot in the line of duty then a volunteer firefighter, investigative reporter on the hunt for the killer alongside father and idol Raymond (Denzel?), editor of The Harlem Journal, and lastly a grievously injured hero at hero at Ground Zero on 9/11!
An in-depth tale of the humble Viet Nam war-hero Raymond Tooley and his exemplar wife Bonita shows how they nurtured and influenced their son Tank at every crossroad. Another tells of the courtship and marriage of Tank to Corsica Woods, a beautiful mixed-race adoptee of Caucasian parents from Brooklyn who bears twin sons.
PART THREE begins with the prolific serial killer Deacon Domenico arriving in New York City to serve hated priest brother Marcello at Christ Episcopal Church in the Chelsea Section of Manhattan, one mile from The World Trade Center. The brilliant Black Knight Avenger continues his murderous ways, eluding numerous manhunts.
Detectives from Italy and New York connect via Interpol to pursue the maniac. Criminal profilers and studies of actual serial killer case histories provide scant leads. Police finally call on trusted newsman Raymond to help track the serial killer terrorizing New York City – and he convinces Tank to join him in the hunt.
The twisting climax begins on 9/10 in Christ Church when Domenico confesses to Marcello that he is the serial killer known as The Avenger, believing this disgrace to church and family will slay his brother’s soul. He plans to kill his body the next day!
On the morning of 9/11 as Domenico meditates in the bell tower he sees two jets crash into The World Trade Center, deduces it is Armageddon, and that Godsatan will soon rule the world.
The deacon re-enters the confessional and tells the frightened priest he murdered their father and many others in Italy years ago then prepares to stab him with Goro’s knife.
But the normally docile Marcello now suffers folie a deux, sudden shared madness especially between brothers, and their confrontation takes a bizarre turn: the priest kills the deacon with Goro’s pistol – to protect the church!
Firefighter and faithful parishioner Tank rushes in seeking refuge for 9/11 victims and stumbles upon the macabre and gory scene.
The priest threatens to kill him too, but an appeal to conscience works and he cannot pull the trigger. As Tank starts to leave, a shot rings out – the priest has committed suicide!
The devout Episcopalian covers up the murder-suicide by posing the bodies on the altar as if a madman angry with God for the terrorist attack killed them – to protect the church!
Tank’s story is brought current through the final chapter when, after lengthy recovery from injuries suffered on 9/ll, he feels guilty about the cover-up and writes a novel telling what really happened in Christ Church on that fateful day. The rub is that only his wife Corsica believes it! But for trying to right his wrong, she dubs Tank “A Knight in Shining Armor” – the metaphorical counterpoint to “The Black Knight.”
NOTES: Clergymen debates about homosexuality are based on scripture, and all religious material is presented with zero disrespect or agenda. Serial killer case histories and criminal profiling techniques are drawn from existing records. Descriptions of major cities, cathedrals, historic sites, libraries and museums are accurately portrayed.