David Niall Wilson has been writing and publishing horror, dark fantasy, and science fiction since the mid-eighties. An ordained minister, once President of the Horror Writer's Association and multiple recipient of the Bram Stoker Award, his novels include Maelstrom, The Mote in Andrea's Eye, Deep Blue, the Grails Covenant Trilogy, Star Trek Voyager: Chrysalis, Except You Go Through Shadow, This is My Blood, Ancient Eyes, On the Third Day, The Orffyreus Wheel, and Vintage Soul – Book One of the DeChance Chronicles. The Stargate Atlantis novel “Brimstone,” written with Patricia Lee Macomber is his most recent. He has over 150 short stories published in anthologies, magazines, and five collections, the most recent of which were "Defining Moments" published in 2007 by WFC Award winning Sarob Press, and the currently available “Ennui & Other States of Madness,” from Dark Regions Press. His work has appeared in and is due out in various anthologies and magazines. David lives and loves with Patricia Lee Macomber in the historic William R. White House in Hertford, NC with their children, Billy, Zach, Zane, and Katie, and occasionally their genius college daughter Stephanie.
On the Third Dayby David Niall Wilson
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Father Darren Prescott is a seeker of truth. He works for The Vatican, but his real work is within his own mind and heart; Father Prescott hunts miracles. Father Thomas is a young priest with a quiet congregation that worships at San Marcos by the Sea, a small cathedral outside San Valencez, California. One Easter Father Thomas’ Mass is interrupted by something he cannot explain – something powerful that shakes his world, and that of his congregation.
Father Thomas experiences the Stigmata.
On The Third Day is the story of Father Thomas and his search for answers. He turns to the church, and his immediate superior, Bishop Michaels, for support and assistance and is shocked to find that not all priests seek miracles. Some are comfortable with the status quo and vicious in their defense of it. Bishop Michaels is battling his own demons, not the least of which is a barely controlled love of alcohol.
Despite the distaste it engenders, Bishop Michaels attends Easter Mass the year after the first “incident.” He comes armed with an attitude of furious disbelief, and a video camera. When Father Thomas not only repeats the previous year’s experience, but with much greater intensity, collapsing across the altar and causing a near riot, the Bishop escapes with his camera, and his sanity, and makes calls of his own. He still does not believe, but now he feels he needs a greater power than his own to prove his disbelief, even to himself.
At the request of Bishop Michaels’ superior, and his own mentor, Cardinal O’Brien, Father Prescott arrives and begins his investigation with a third Easter Mass looming. The Bishop is determined that Father Thomas be proven a charlatan and a fraud. Father Thomas is frightened for his life, and for his faith, and only wants answers. Father Prescott? He wants the miracle he’s waited his entire life to overcome, to make up for what he considers past failings of his own.
What all three men find is the powerful, thrilling conclusion to On The Third Day, an experience that draws them together and pushes them apart in ways they never could have imagined. The answers are there, but some answers are too difficult to bear.
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David Niall Wilson’s On The Third Day is a Gordian Knot Mystery published by Crossroad Press. The tagline on the graphically stunning cover grabs our interest with what we might assume is the novel’s only mystery: “A young priest experiences the Stigmata… A miracle or something much darker?” Quentin Thomas meets with his superior, Bishop Michaels, desperately seeking help and guidance from the older man concerning the Stigmata which appeared on his body during his last celebration of the Easter Mass at the Cathedral of San Marcos, “one of the gems of the western seaboard.” Father Thomas does not know what to believe about the event, but Bishop Michaels sure does. To him, Thomas has either concocted an elaborate hoax or is simply not to be believed. Either way, there is no room in Thomas’ safe and conservative brand of Christianity for bloody and scary miracles suggesting the crucifixion. He’s certainly not happy when Father Prescott is ordered by Rome to come and investigate Father Thomas’ second Easter Mass the following year to determine if a miracle has occurred. If this were essentially all the story was about, we might have a good novel with interesting characters. The full mystery of this novel, though, involves far more than whether or not a miracle has occurred, Thomas’ Stigmata are real, and he symbolizes or embodies Christ’s passion. The full mystery of this Gordian Knot Mystery involves the nature and wonder of all miracles and faith itself, and Wilson’s exploration of the subject is both simple and profound. Just when we think we know where he’s going in spiritual or perhaps diabolic terms, we realize he isn’t. And just when we think there’s only one mystery or miracle, we realize the one featured on the cover is but one of many. I absolutely love the ending of this novel, or I should say, the endings. The characters grow and develop, and the author leaves just enough to the imagination without coming out and telling us what to think. The only reason I’m giving this otherwise fine novel a weak Five Stars is because there are too many typos and occasional rough patches in the writing. Otherwise, everything rises for me On The Third Day.