Sacred Heartby Marcel Montecino
Among the speakeasies and brothels of New York City's West Side, Tommy Coyne's appetite for sex, power and violence made him a shark among men. So when dirty cops made him head for cover with Frank, his pious Jesuit brother in Mexico, he did it in his own unique style - disguised as a priest. But Frank never mentioned that Mexico was locked in its own bloody struggle,… See more details below
Among the speakeasies and brothels of New York City's West Side, Tommy Coyne's appetite for sex, power and violence made him a shark among men. So when dirty cops made him head for cover with Frank, his pious Jesuit brother in Mexico, he did it in his own unique style - disguised as a priest. But Frank never mentioned that Mexico was locked in its own bloody struggle, with government troops ruthlessly attacking the clergy and their faithful. Soon, the black robes that got Tommy across the border have him hanging from a noose in the dusty village square of Santa Maria. But then provinces or plain Irish luck collapses the scaffold, Tommy blasts his way free, and a whisper ripples through the crowd: Un milagro - a miracle! In the eyes of the peasants, he is now the padre with God on his side, a new leader who will deliver them from their misery. Frank sees Padre Tommy from a more mercenary angle - he knows his brother has all the skills to lead a fierce crusade in the name of the church. And heaven-sent Lourdes, the tragically beautiful nun who tends Tommy's wounds, knows only that her attraction to this priest is as powerful as it is forbidden. While Tommy ponders his divine change of fortune, Frank prepares a scheme more suitable for wise guys than men of the cloth. In this harsh, blood-soaked land, these two brothers face choices that will seal their destinies.
Even though he has a feeling something funny is cooking in the meeting between his father, Bulldog Coyne, and rival Prohibition-era mobster Anthony Matranga, Tommy Coyne could never have foreseen the way that night ends: with him cowering for sanctuary in Hell's Kitchen's Church of the Sacred Heart, nobody but a disillusioned parish priest standing between him and the law. But Tommy Gun's escape in priestly garb is the least of the miracles that follow. Heading south to take refuge with his nice- guy brother Frank in Guadalajara, Tommy gets off a train to avoid a staring fellow-passenger and walks right into the war between the Catholic Church and the Mexican nation, which has nationalized Church property, outlawed Mass, and started executing noncompliant priests. Caught up in the Federales' latest sweep, Tommy is inches from death when a second miracle saves him and a Yaqui companion, Aureliano Quintana, allowing them to turn the tables on their executioners and ride off in triumph with an entourage already whispering awestruck stories about Padre Pistolero. Still masquerading as a priest, Tommy expects to escape into Going My Way, but militant Father Frank, in a frenzied attempt to compensate for years of pacifism, plans a scenario instead out of The Wild Bunch: His cristeros will dynamite a train bringing 50,000 pesos to tyrannical General Terrazas and use the money to set off widespread guerilla warfare. Despite the lures of the flesh in the form of Sister Lourdes Hidalgo, Tommy finds himself recoiling from his brother's bloodlust.
Montecino works overtime to show the brothers switching places, but for all his flair for action scenes (don't get too attached to any of the supporting characters), he's no Flannery O'Connor, and Father Frank's violent corruption is a lot more convincing than Tommy's miraculous redemption.
- Atria Books
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.44(w) x 9.54(h) x 1.14(d)
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