Author: FH Batacan
Published: 2002 University of the Philippines Press
Where else in the world would a detective story with priests as main characters work, aside from, perhaps, the Vatican? The Philippines, with its 80% Catholic population, is as good a guess as any. Father Gus Saenz is a Jesuit priest and a highly-regarded forensic anthropologist, two occupations that would seem incongruent but somehow work smoothly. Working with him is his former student, Father Jerome Lucero, who is also a noted clinical psychologist. When a child is found on a dumpsite, eviscerated and decaying, the two are called in to investigate an apparent series of gruesome murders and to catch a rarity in Filipino crime – a serial killer.
( If you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss with gaze back at you. (Nietzsche) )
I enjoyed the book very much, and it begs a sequel. But it was written a decade or so ago, and there doesn’t seem to be any plan for one. FH Batacan is one of the contributors in the crime anthology Manila Noir, and I’m guessing (and hoping) she’ll bring back the two priests for another crime-solving mystery.
( Some other notes on the book )