It begins with a heist at a monastery. The monastery’s tabernacle is taken along with three hostage monks. With some clever paint jobs they make their escape. Local police get involved and eventually the FBI. The criminals make their demands via local television news. They want millions from the Catholic Church in order to free the hostages and return the tabernacle. The money will set the criminals up for life and will help one of their family members out of a major business debt.
One of the bad guys takes a liking to the monks and objects — internally, at least --to the abuse handed out to them. His sympathy engenders something of a friendship with the oldest of the monks. Thus is the stage set for soul searching and redemption - and miracles.
But the miraculous does not take place. The Island Off Stony Point instead falters. The subject matter could have been controversial and insightful. The nature of good and evil was certainly a thematic element - in fact, a revealing consideration of the rationale of a “villain” was promised. Additionally, we could have had a peek into the “family” side of criminals. A romance between two law enforcement professionals was instigated. However, the novel did not live up to its potential. The story lines were never fully followed.
The novel also suffered from a lack of rhythm and some terribly juvenile dialogue. At times, it seemed that the characters were channeling the old Hardy Boys. Profanity was inserted to apparently make the story and characters more adult but the effect was, well, without effect. Most of the time it seemed out of place. The various characters didn’t really have voices of their own, either.
Furthermore, there was far too much exposition in the wrong places. Great detail was employed in describing driving directions and then there were vague scenes that served no purpose. Author Regis Schilken could have introduced some crucial plot elements early in the book. This would have lent ambience to the story and provided more satisfying resolution to the story.