Book review: What if an Avenger priest came after predator-priests?

Tom Hogan, Author of The Empty Confessional

Sexual abuse and pedophilia in the Catholic church have been in headlines for decades, but a book by Tom Hogan explores the issue in a unique way, by going inside the head of a young priest who has decided to become an avenger, even as he experiences his own sexual urges.

What is the book’s synopsis?

Gabe Russell is the protagonist in this work of fiction that incorporates many truths about the issues that have left scars on the Catholic church. The conflicting emotions that this priest experiences gnaw at him; He wants to punish those who have abused innocent victims, yet he also wants to satisfy his own desires with a woman who teaches at his seminary.

In this story titled The Empty Confessional, Hogan shows us a minted priest who finds release for his religious and sexual frustrations through violent penance, retribution against abusers he discovers through the confessional and the pedophilic priests within his ranks.

The Empty Confessional plunges readers into the dark workings of the Catholic church and its real-life tacit policy of protecting pedophilic priests, as told through the eyes of Gabe, who, at just 27 years old, already has his own parish in working-class Pittsburgh. But he is in crisis.

He is sexually attracted to Michelle, a teacher at the seminary where he also teaches, and he is frustrated by the church’s lack of ownership of pedophilic priests. Skilled in Krav Maga, a violent Israeli form of self-defense, Gabe can easily disable and kill with his bare hands.

And as he hears confessions from battered and raped women, he decides he can no longer just sit and listen. He targets the attackers one by one, his taste for retribution escalates, and he eventually turns his attention to the pedophilic priests in surrounding parishes.

Enter Carla Jessup, a jaded detective assigned to investigate the attacks. Carla turns to Gabe for insight on the church and the pedophilia within its ranks, unaware that he is an assailant. Will Gabe answer to his crimes? Or will the seal of the confessional protect his secrets?

What other material has Tom Hogan authored?

Tom Hogan is the authored: Left for Alive (2019) and The Devil’s Breath (2021), and co-authored of The Ultimate Startup Guide in 2017. His screenplays have won awards. He has also written for Newsweek and travel publications, like The Jerusalem Post and The Bulwark.

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The Empty Confessional

Publisher: Laughing Dog Publishing LLC

Release Date: May 31, 2022

ISBN-10: ‏1-7369436-3-4 (paperback)

ISBN-13: ‎978-1-7369436-3-2 (paperback)

ISBN-10: 1-7369436-4-2 (e-book)

ISBN-13: ‎978-1-7369436-4-9 (e-book)

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