How can a woman have faith when faith, itself, is corrupt? I am pleased to announce that I have completed and published by first novel, Betrayal of Faith.
This is the story of Jennifer Tracey, a woman who discovers that her church’s new parish priest has harmed her two boys. After seeking assistance and answers from the church, resulting in little cooperation, she decides to file a lawsuit. She remembers Zachary Blake, the attorney who handled her late husband’s industrial death case; however, through an unfortunate series of events, is now working out of a one room, dingy, office. Zachary has gone from the penthouse to the poorhouse, from handling serious cases to hustling criminal and juvenile assignments. Reluctantly, she retains Zack and the two announce the filing of a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the priest and the church. Zack begs his former investigator, Micah Love, to investigate the incident. Micah travels to Ohio, the priest’s previous placement, where he discovers that two families have disappeared after their own encounter with the same priest. The one person who might have provided answers has died under mysterious circumstances.
Religion, law, betrayal, mystery, intrigue, faith, and love converge in Michigan for the trial of the century. Will Zachary resurrect his troubled career and obtain the justice Jennifer seeks for her kids? Or will the church and the Coalition and its mysterious leader prevail in covering up the decadent acts of the priest and succeed, as it has in the past, in its quest to circumvent justice?
The book is loosely based upon a collection of very serious cases that I handled in the late 20th century. These types of incidents are still happening in the 21st Century and were the subject of last year’s Oscar winning movie “Spotlight”. The defense strategy employed was the cruelest example of “delay, deny, confuse and refuse” that I have encountered in my 40 years as an attorney. My partner and I traveled to numerous states, tracked down former employees, former victims and their families, former priests that knew of the incidents and the cover-ups but maintained silence. One of those who may have been involved in the cover-up was under consideration by the Vatican counsel to be Pope.
While I encountered nothing like “The Coalition” in the “real” cases, it certainly felt like I was trying to penetrate a concerted, vast, conspiracy of cover-up, silence and victim shaming. And, all of this occurred in the one place where parishioners go to connect with God. It was an unbelievable, David v. Goliath experience that has stuck with me all of these years and has culminated in the publication of this novel.
Please consider giving “Betrayal of Faith” a read. You can order it here. Let me know what you think. Feel free to visit our “Betrayal of Faith” Facebook page. You can “like” us on Facebook and order the book there, as well. Thank You!
Attorney, certified civil mediator, and award-winning author of the Zachary Blake Betrayal Series. Mark Bello is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan, a sustaining member of the Michigan Association for Justice, and a member of the American Association for Justice.