Priest on Trial for Murder of Nun After Day on Golf Course Goes Awry in Legal Thriller

“An Act of God” by Robert Y. Ellis explores how science and faith interact, the workings of the legal system, and the unpredictability of love

Rockport, MA, Sept. 28, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A crack of lightning violently fell from the sky striking and killing a nun, but the evidence points to murder. “An Act of God” by Robert Y. Ellis is a suspense-filled legal thriller that thrusts readers into the eternal debate of faith versus science. The novel follows Father Ignatius Costello, a Roman Catholic priest dubbed Iggy by his friends, who lets a curse word slip after a bad swing on the golf course and wakes up unsure whether he caused a divine act that killed Sister Mary. As his trial draws near and evidence of Iggy's murderous act becomes more believable, his story is cast into the limelight and his reputation walks a fine line in the eyes of the church.  A story at the intersection of faith and science, “An Act of God” twines elements of drama, action, romance, and legal suspense to create the perfect storm for every reader.  

The concept for “An Act of God” started as a joke, literally. Ellis wanted to explore the back end of a joke a friend had told him about a priest and a nun who have a cursing mishap on a golf course. So, Ellis put the joke aside and began writing. As the characters started to take shape, he left his biggest critic, his wife, wanting more.  

“My wife was invested in the story first, so I wrote through to the end of the trial and showed it to her.  But she wanted more. So, I created this picture of Iggy, who I grew really fond of, and then these plotlines started to emerge and that’s when the book really took shape,” Ellis said.

Readers will enjoy “An Act of God” not only because of the sheer excitement and suspense of the plot, but also because the novel tackles very prominent dilemmas faced by the religious community including how science affects faith, what happens when one is confronted with an event that contradicts one’s beliefs, and what can happen when a celibate priest falls in love.

“An Act of God”

By Robert Y. Ellis

ISBN: 9781532092725 (softcover); 9781532092732 (electronic)

Available at the iUniverse Online Bookstore, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble


About the author

Robert Y. Ellis, who also authored “A Collision of Truths: A Life in Conflict with A Cherished Faith”, was formerly a journalist with the Christian Science Monitor and editor of Skating Magazine. Ellis has a degree in economics from Swarthmore College and a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Other careers have included a stint in the U.S. Army, Executive Secretary of the United States Figure Skating Association, owner of a floor covering company, and owner of a country inn with his wife. He currently resides along the coast of Cape Ann, Massachusetts, where he is a member of three choral organizations and serves on the board of directors of the Cape Ann Symphony.


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