Poisoned Pen, May 2002, 24.95, 320 pp.
In 1392 in what is now the quaint town of Shere in Surrey, England Christine Carpenter willing locked herself away from the rest of the world in an attempt to reach a state of oneness with God while still living on the mortal plane. Almost six hundred years later, fanatical Catholic Priest Michael Duval became fascinated with what Christine and other Anchoresses like her tried to do and decided to flesh out her story in a novel.
However, Michael's muse has deserted him so he is going to do what he has tried to do five times before. He is going to kidnap a young woman and incarcerate her in a specially created cell in his basement. He is then going to teach her about religion so that she can become “his” modern day Christine and he will able to finish his book. He successfully kidnaps Marda Stewart who, unlike her predecessors, intends to live to tell the tale about the killer priest.
Paul Moorcraft captures the atmosphere of fourteenth century England to perfection while telling Christine's “story”. He also shows the mindset of a serial killer through his actions and thoughts. Though six centuries separate the two stories, they are held together by an intriguing plot that will keep the reader turning the pages until they finish this very unusual but nonetheless fascinating tale.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner