Wednesday 13 March 2019

With Two Eyes Into Gehenna - Jane Lebak

With Two Eyes Into Gehenna
Jane Lebak
Philangelus Press

eISBN 9781942133308

In the last few months I have read 12 books or published short stories by Jane Lebak. I loved the Father Jay series, and have enjoyed the many stories and novels in the arch angel’s series. The Adventures of Bucky and Lee are really fun reads. But this, this is my favourite book by Lebak to date and it is completely different than anything else I have read by her. 

The Catherinite nuns are a small religious order. All of the members were formerly with a different order. They work running a hospital for the incurables, and a hostel at the Council of Trent. They have taken a vow of obedience to the pope. They are the pope’s secret service. They work as body guards, informers, and handmaids of the lord. They train their body and also their mind. At 17, Magdalena, kills a priest who tried to assault her. She is given a chance to live by swathing orders. The priest she killed came from a powerful Roman family, and she was born out of wedlock three generations back on the outside of another powerful family, and the two families have an ongoing feud. She wants to serve God, protect her family, and help to see the Council of Trent be successful and come to a close.

The pope’s health is failing. A cardinal is manipulating the pope and the Catherinite’s in order to keep and even expand his power. Magdalena has honed her skills and she can now slip through cathedrals, palaces, and the night. She is an elite operative at the service of the pope and the church. She is a body guard, a servant, and has befriended some of the Cardinals she has served. The penalty for heresy is death. But The way to Hell is paved with good intentions, and when one of the pope’s own is named a heretic she must decide not only how far she will go, but if breaking orders and her vows for the greater good might be the only way out.

This book was riveting! It was very hard to put down. Once you get into the story you will find yourself racing through until the end. With the twists and turns in the plot you will occasionally be surprised. But you will find yourself cheering on Magdalena as she struggles to find what the right thing to do is. The depiction of this religious order, their works and their role is fascinating. It is a real page turner. And I cannot help but wonder how busy such an order would have been at Vatican II, or even in Rome today.

Jane has written many great reads, and I believe that this is the best! If you have not read any books by her I greatly encourage you to do so. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Jane Lebak:
Pickup Notes
Love's Highway
Forever And For Keeps
Half Missing

Relic of His Heart
With Two Eyes Into Gehenna
Rain in Hell
The Space Between

Father Jay Series:
Bulletproof Vestments
The Boys Upstairs
A Different Heroism


Seven Archangels:
1.0 An Arrow In Flight
2.0 Sacred Cups
3.0 Shattered Walls
4.0 The Wrong Enemy
5.0 Annihilation

Seven Archangels Short Stories:
2.1 Damage
2.2 Even A Stone
2.3 Hired Man
2.4 Winter Branches
5.5 Once Only

Seven Angels Short Story Bundle 2.1-2.4

The Adventures of Lee and Bucky:

0.5 Upsie-Daisy
1.0 Honest And For True
2.0 Forever And For Keeps

Rails of Sweet Grove:
2.0 Love's Rules of the Road

Carrying to Term: A Guide for Parents after a Devastating Prenatal Diagnosis


Contributed to:

Author profile and interview with Jane Lebak.

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