He would rather risk losing his vocation than lose his soul.
Mark Boulder is riding high until his wife discovers his extra-marital affair. Then her brother, the bishop confronts him with rumors of a far worse scandal which could ruin his flourishing investment business.
Father James is happy in his tiny coastal parish – until he's handed evidence of serious wrongdoing by ex-university friend, Mark Boulder, which he is obliged to take to his bishop. When the priest refuses to drop the case, the bishop swiftly retaliates.
An alarmed Mark also tries to dissuade Father James from pursuing justice against him, but the pastor's concern is the man's eternal salvation not his secular ambition. He stands firm, and suffers yet more retribution from Mark's brother-in-law, the bishop.
Details of Mark's malfeasance have reached the media and he is now wanted by the police. His reputation is in ruins and he is shunned by his wife and children and the bishop. The only person who can turn his life around is the priest whose vocation he has destroyed.
Can Mark humble himself to ask Father James for his forgiveness?
Even if he does, why should the betrayed priest help him?
The clash between traditional Catholic teaching and its compromised modern equivalent reaches a climax in this novel by a multiple bestselling author.