THE WITCH HUNTERS
ON ADVICE THIS TITLE HAS BEEN FOR THE TIME BEING WITHDRAWN FROM SALE.
296 pages, paperback, A$19.95, isbn 9781876262266
PAUL ZOMERS arranges a welcome for new neighbours Haydies and Persefony Sticks. After more drinks than is wise, Paul blurts out that he knows Catholic priest Fr Robert Pleasance who at that moment is front-page in the media for the abuse of a minor. Partner Brad and the new neighbours will not let the mention pass. As Paul’s story advances so does the number of glasses of champagne until he makes a confession that unleashes an uncontrollable chain of events that draws in a hyperactive media team and a firm of equally hyperactive public liability lawyers.
The media’s and lawyers’ target is Archbishop Richard Ryan for his (allegedly) callous treatment of sexual abuse victims and his cynical efforts to protect his Church. While Paul wrestles with events that bring him to the attention of the national media in their coverage of Archbishop Ryan’s (allegedly) sociopathic behaviour, he gets caught in an unnerving romantic relationship with Persefony and her alternative life-style. Others watch the gradual swapping of roles with dismay. Paul’s crisis of identity comes to a head at the same time as the explosive information about the Archbishop released by top radio host Norman Mudlord. Both Paul and the Archbishop are under siege but for different reasons. THE NOVEL satirises the way the media, big firm lawyers and sundry activists deal with clerical sexual abuse. It is a tale of outrageous hypocrisy that will sometimes make you laugh, sometimes cringe, and sometimes leave you appalled, but will always be ‘glittering’ in its satire, as one reviewer put it.
THE WITCH HUNTERS is a thoroughly revised (in many places rewritten), reorganized, expanded version of Seeking the Divine Spark published in 2010. A chapter and a half has been added and I have changed the title to reflect the story’s developed themes more accurately. Ideologically driven changes in society and my anticipation of events in parts of Seeking the Divine Spark prompted publishing this renewed book with its new title.
Amazon 5 ***** Star REVIEW of first version
‘Could not put it down’. We often hear people say that about a book. Wilson’s book really is a book I could not put down, in fact I stayed up well into the next morning reading it. This is great satire. The names Wilson gives people says a lot about them and their professions and/or way of life. Built around the hysterical need to crush the Catholic Church in a blanket condemnation of everything Catholic, I mean everything Catholic, the big bug-a-boo is a perverted priest who has molested minor boys. Criminal and morally repugnant as such actions are, the author has his characters being seen as hypocrites of the first order in their own morally bankrupt lives. The ending seemed a bit abrupt but the tension the book had generated made it a rather welcome release to have it finally come to an end that was not too unrealistic but which continued the satire to its logical conclusion. A marvelous work of literature of the satire sort.
[The ending in no longer abrupt]