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BODY AND BLOOD by Michael Schiefelbein

BODY AND BLOOD

By Michael Schiefelbein

Pub Date: Sept. 6th, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-312-33019-4
Publisher: Minotaur

The course of priestly love never did run smooth.

Kansas City priest Chris Seib is unexpectedly reunited with his teenage crush Jack Canston, also a priest, after 25 years. As seminarians, the pair engaged in a brief, raging affair until guilt and separate lives drove them apart. After Jack shows Chris that he’s kept all of his letters from decades ago, they resume the affair. Edgy narrator Chris can barely contain his happiness. Then another gay seminary friend, awkward Eddie Gerhardt, also now a priest, commits suicide with no warning, sending Chris into a tailspin. Rumors swirl around the event, and Chris does what he can to squelch them (including destroying some porn he finds in Eddie’s room), but he too is curious. Jack’s aloofness and reluctance to be open about his homosexuality undermine the relationship. So does his seeming indifference to Eddie’s death. In short journal entries that counterpoint the main narrative, Jack unfolds a story of deep anxiety and deeper secrets. When Chris learns that Jack is sleeping with hunky young parishioner Danny Flores, he bitterly breaks off their affair but continues his informal investigation.

This clerical break from Schiefelbein’s gay vampires (Vampire Transgression, 2006, etc.) is a sexually charged thriller without much mystery, but with a lot of heat.