Saturday, April 25, 2009


I found In-Sight, the new novel by Gerard Webster about a real estate scam in a small Florida town, to be a highly enjoyable read. I was hooked on the first page by the vivid characters who at first seem to be entirely unconnected with each other. It is gradually revealed how they are linked in several mysterious ways. The title is suitable since the author displays a shrewd insight into the workings of human nature, especially the destruction wrought by addictive behaviors. On the other hand, it is also demonstrated how "tough" love can set the stage for the healing of inner wounds. The mystery of iniquity and the mystery of divine grace strive with each other for mastery of the various characters, with individual free will determining which will triumph.

The plot centers around syndicated columnist Ward McNulty, who has managed to break free of his embarrassing, working class Catholic parents so as to enter into a sophisticated, glamorous world of cocktail parties, career politicians, and celebrities. His own celebrity status has acquired for him the favors of lovely anchorwoman Carrie Hope, who is as seduced as Ward is by the allure of power and wealth. Ward is trying to help a group of businessmen and politicians realize their scheme of buying out all the residents of a small island, which they plan to turn into a multimillion dollar resort. When Ward discovers that he will be working against his own family, his conscience is awakened.

Furthermore, the determination of the magnates turns increasingly sordid, as they try to smear the local parish priest when he gets in their way. The only person who can save the priest and the residents from disaster is the lawyer Bob Rohrbach, a man of unflinching integrity. He is also in love with Ward's sister Beatrice. Bob is a man who will not be stopped, who fears neither small town intrigues nor big time crooks; therefore his adversaries must plan how to remove him.

As the drama unfolds, the reader is shown the sleazy underside of certain corrupt business and political schemes, as well as the far-reaching influence of even one person of integrity, be that person a brilliant lawyer or a simple cleaning lady. Sacrificial love is the only power which will overcome the forces of selfishness and greed, and this is illustrated in a heartrending manner at the end of the novel. Fast paced with never a dull moment, In-Sight is fiction that, while highly entertaining, provokes reflections about life and death, and about those mysteries of heaven and earth which surround us unseen.

(*In-Sight was sent to me as a gift from the author.)

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