Former gang member Tommy Cucinelle thought he had left his old life behind when he became a Christian. That's why he's surprised when his pastor asks him to use his old "skills"???finding people who don't want to be found???to locate the church secretary after she mysteriously disappears and the church is vandalized. The police don't have any leads. Tommy's investigation brings him face-to-face with unpleasant memories from the past that threaten his new identity, but inner turmoil is soon the least of his worries. A local Wiccan church is at the heart of the mystery, and Tommy's search uncovers a startling prophecy about child sacrifice to the pagan god Molech. When the missing woman's sister and Tommy's newfound romantic interest disappears as well, the quest becomes personal.
Phillips’ writing is straightforward and the story fast moving.| Posted January 08, 2009
Tommy Cucinelle still has the ponytail, has the memories of a life gone off track, but has also accepted Jesus in his life and is living as a redeemed man. At least he thinks so, until the day his pastor asks him to turn back time. To apply principles Tommy learned as a gang member, finding people who don’t want to found, and search for a missing person. Nancy Callahan, church secretary disappears and no one close to her knows why. Was her disappearance innocent—merely a move to another location or had she met with foul play? That’s what Tommy is charged with finding out for Pastor Ross and soon for Nancy’s sister Stacey as well.
Tommy surges ahead to locate Nancy, no matter the cost. His longtime friend and former gang member, Tay pledges his support and hangs in there even when the search leads to a local Wiccan church. Even when they learn that the Wiccan group is planning a child sacrifice devoted to Molech, a pagan god. The hunt becomes personal when the group abducts Stacey and when Tommy begins to suspect his pastor’s involvement.
Author Thomas Phillips has created a unique character in Tommy Cucinelle. Tommy is full of flaws and questions. He’s lived a hard life and though he’s become a Christian he is still paying for his past and holding on to the intense pain his memories evoke. He keeps his feelings bottled up and keeps most people at arms length. In The Molech Prophecy, we watch Tommy change, learn to open up and let go of his pain. In all of this we find a believable character faced with a challenge that will test the strength of his faith.
Phillips’ writing is straightforward and the story fast moving. The plot is believable and keeps you reading until it is resolved. The faith elements in the story are natural and totally in keeping with the character’s personalities and past experiences. I read a galley issue so the story may have changed since I read it, but all in all this is a strong first effort for the debut author.