“No writing today can equal [Susan] Howatch's ability to write compelling novels that combine theology and psychology in a complex, fast-moving plot offering beautifully delineated characters and the suspense of a mystery/thriller. . . . The denouement will leave readers breathless.”—Publishers Weekly
Nicholas Darrow is a strong-willed and independent-minded man, full of the energy and assurance of his age and his moment in time—he is twenty-five in 1968. A magnet for attention and attraction, Nicholas is already beset by a troubled past, and expert at ignoring the grip it has on his life. But as he follows his father into the Anglican priesthood, his fascination with his own psychic powers results near-tragedy. It will only be by facing the truth about his relationship with his father that Nicholas can find his way out of the seemingly impenetrable darkness that engulfs him. . . .
Told with all the drama, intelligence, and emotional depth we have come to expect from Susan Howatch, Mystical Paths is a breathtaking novel about the powerful, often painful, but finally indestructible ties between parent and child. And like its four highly praised predecessors in the Church of England series, it is a novel that celebrates the redeeming power of self-knowledge and faith.
“Intelligent, compelling, and fascinating.”—The Cleveland Plain Dealer
Arguably no one writing today can equal Howatch's ability to write compelling novels that combine theology and psychology in a complex, fast-moving plot offering beautifully delineated characters and the suspense of a mystery/thriller. This fifth volume in her sequence dealing with the Church of England is also very much a story of fathers and sons. At 25, Nicholas Darrow, scion of eminent churchman Jonathan Darrow (seen in Glamorous Powers ) has inherited his father's psychic gifts, but overconfidence in his abilities and a dangerously frayed relationship with his father lead him close to the edge of an emotional abyss. Asked by the widow of his friend Christian Aysgarth to investigate her husband's death--Christian was drowned when swept overboard while sailing, but she fears that he committed suicide--Nick embarks on a quest that uncovers dark secrets in the linked lives of his friends and family. Howatch gradually reveals that brilliant, much-admired Christian had love affairs with both men and women, took drugs and was probably nearing a psychotic breakdown when he died. She makes a credible case for his demonic possession, which Nick attempts to prove via several ill-considered acts that bring peril to him and others. The novel's considerable suspense increases as Nick uncovers one astonishing revelation after another, and the denouement will leave readers breathless. 55,000 first printing; BOMC alternate.
Even better on second read.