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Regis Schilken Writes
tells the unnerving story of a supernatural occurrence—an ancient crucifix begins to shed tears.
Due to media hype, the church becomes exceptionally wealthy, but intrigue and murder follow.
The reader is left to discover whether the incident is divine, human, or diabolical in nature.
What would you do if a trusted friend confessed not one, but three murders ... and you were a Catholic priest?
In this story: Pastor Logue must find a way to expose the confessed killer of a monk, nun, and priest who are involved with a mysterious weeping crucifix.
At Saint Luke’s Monastery, Brother Anthony excuses himself from a card game. He is never seen again. Earlier, he refinishes the Oculi (eyes) crucifix from nearby Saint Martin’s Church.
After a seven year wait, the Oculi cross weeps during Sunday evening services. Worshipers and media cry, “Miracle!” Pastor Logue’s instinct claims a diabolical human deceit, even though x-rays find no tear-causing devices.
An inquisitive nun and priest are murdered to silence them. During confession, THE VOICE admits the murders and demands enormous sums of money or killing will continue. Silenced forever by the Seal-of-Confession, Logue pays the weekly blackmail.
Clues are uncovered: Logue’s trusted church custodian and a brilliant monk from the monastery have created the entire Oculi incident to bring wealth to the church which they can pilfer. An ingenious device is found that causes the tears.
The story ends when both evil men burn to death in separate violent confrontations attempting to kill their accusers.
Pastor Logue returns to his church to look at the Oculi cross that causes all the excitement. Incredulously, a teardrop forms and falls. A friend of the deceased custodian stands in back of the church, his hand on a transmitter in his pocket …
“You need to stop messing in my affairs. What goes on at Saint Martin’s is a battle between me and God. Stop—messing—NOW! Honk if you understand.” Immediately Newell honked. “Now, get out—walk straight up into the monastery area to the cemetery, but whatever you do, whatever you do, whatever happens, don’t—turn—around.”
Intensely gripping, highly entertaining, intellectually suggestive, and instructionally lucid
The Oculi Incident by Regis Schilken
346 Pages – Price: $16.95
Reviewed by: McDonough, James P CIV
Professor of Philosophy and English Literature formerly at West Point;
currently professor at several Virginia Colleges and Universities
Author: Alcohol and Ethics
Intensely gripping, highly entertaining, intellectually suggestive, and instructionally lucid, The Oculi Incident links the mind, body, and spirit in a compelling mystery novel that goes far beyond mere entertainment and action.
Touching on the philosophical, delving into the psychological and engaging to the senses, I recommend this novel to the widest range of audience.
Almost everyone will identify with one or more aspects of this multi-level work. Miracles, apparent miracles, and newly defined miracles are considered in the story line and in the insinuations contained therein.
Bad people, good people and some in between populate the scenario, with a considerable look into why these characters do what they do.
Interesting, compelling and entertaining to the maximum extent.
An outstanding, exceptional work
Reviewed by Shirley Johnson
MidWest Book Review
Right off I am going to say this is an outstanding, exceptional work; from the first page to the last I was totally consumed by the read. In the beginning we are confronted by the mysterious disappearance of a very lovable Priest, what could have happened to him and why? We are jetted off in the read and meet Police Officer Timothy Comstock and his soon to be wife Martie who will become major players in this story. Again moving forward in time we are taken to St. Luke’s where something unusual is happening.
It seems a beautiful crucifix of Jesus seems to be shedding tears and the adventure begins as Priests, police officers and Scientists scramble to find out if this is a true miracle or an exceptional hoax.
The story darkens however when those who get too close to the investigation either end up dead, are terrified to the point of stopping their involvement, or are seriously injured. Is this a hoax or a real miracle from God? And why are so many people ending up dead? Great mystery element.
The author does an outstanding job of his character and story development, skillfully weaving and twisting events and characters until it is impossible to know if this is a real miracle or a hoax during the read. And so well hidden was a certain character's background, I never would have suspected they were behind the evil and killings at St. Luke’s. The ending was absolutely heart-thrilling and spell bounding; I loved it. Was this a true miracle? You decide! What a read; one you do not want to miss. I highly recommend this book.
(Great book......will be in my October MRB column)
This is not your ordinary page turner.
Reviewed by Constance Donaldson
Title: Writer, Technical Writer
Former Technical Writer for Developmental Dimensions International
Author: “Butterfly Wing Cane," in PolymerCAFE--2004
It begins with the disappearance of a kindly old monk in Pennsylvania. Has he left the monastery to fulfill a covert life’s ambition? Did he have a secret life unknown to his brothers in the monastery, or has foul play been involved in his departure?
Then the reader is taken back in time to the battle grounds of Vietnam where soldiers learn to live by a very different code of ethics than the one they learned in the Catholic school of their youth.
Finally, the action switches to the present and a tiny church in a working-class community some miles from the monastery, struggling to remain open despite growing financial burdens. Here a miracle takes place that may end the pastor’s financial worries—but only if he can be sure that the miracle is genuine, and not the work of the devil.
When the life sized crucifix above the altar begins to shed tears during the weekly Benediction service, the parishioners, the news media and eventually the police become involved in the “miracle.”
While, on one hand the Church officials, under the auspices of the Vatican appointed investigator are examining the Oculi Incident to determine if it is the work of God or of Satan, the pastor and his non-believing friends, police officer Tim Comstock and his wife Martie, are looking into the possibility that the phenomenon may be man-made and extremely dangerous.
This is not your ordinary page turner. Interwoven in the plot line of murders, suspects, twists and turns are some unique characters with surprisingly spiritual souls.
A good part of the enjoyment of this book is in the characters and how their faith interacts with their everyday lives. We’re introduced to a world of normal good people—whether believers of not— who are facing circumstances that are neither good or normal.
With humor and a genuine caring for his characters, Schilken creates a page turner with heart. You find yourself racing to find out what comes next, but also saddened when you come to the end and realize that you must leave these quirky and very human characters behind.
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Regis H. Schilken