Wednesday, August 17, 2016

“Dark Beginnings, Dark Expressions”: A Review of The Trinity, by K. P. Ambroziak

(Published by the author, 2015). ISBN: 9781519740649
by Joey Madia
Beneath the title of this book appear the words “A suspense novel.”
I had mixed feelings about this. Having read the first two books in Ambroziak’s vampire trilogy, The Journal of Vincent Du Maurier, I was already aware of the author’s facility with suspense but I wondered at the expectations of what such a statement might produce.
No need to wonder… The Trinity lives up to its label. And more.
Some novels are more challenging than others to review, because to say almost anything specific is to give more than a little away, which robs the reader of that which I most savored and for which the writer worked so hard.
So I will have to do a lot of “talking around” plot points here, and give you just the broad strokes of what Ambroziak attempts—and accomplishes—in the book.
At its core, The Trinity is about the Roman Catholic Church… a subject of which I am a student and scholar, both in the sense of having been raised Catholic and, in my early teens, contemplating becoming a priest and as a writer who often uses Catholicism as the basis for my books. It is clear that Ambroziak is well versed in the nuances of both scripture and ritual and in the training and initiation into the priesthood.
On the one hand, the Catholic Church’s secrets and sins have been done to death in books and films—the Exorcism genre remains ever-popular—and as I was finishing my read of this book, I watched Spotlight, a film about the abusive priest scandal in Boston. But before we walk away too quickly as artists and audience, we have to admit that the Catholic Church, having culled its dogma and rituals from such a wide variety of myths and spiritual systems, is ever-fertile ground to explore the thorniest moral matters of humanity.
Ambroziak’s novel is far from the same-old, same-old as far as the darkest aspects of the Church. She conjures new expressions of the myths that have given us the Catholic conceptions of Satan and the Garden of Eden. Through her complicated cast of priests, Church officers, and their targets and agents (all of whom are part of or constellate around the mysterious Order of Eve and, governing it, The Trinity), Ambroziak explores the nature of Love through the cracked, distorted lens of the multi-dimensional world she creates. The Trinity shares this with her vampire novels.
For those who have an interest in how the Catholic Church has (mis)perceived and portrayed women in both its literature and practices, there is much to appeal to you here.
Lest we get too far into the Catholic-ness of the novel, all those who love a good mystery, with plenty of twists, turns, secrets, reveals, and a gruesome, symbol-rich murder or two will find that The Trinity does not disappoint. Out of the tropes of the suspense genre, Ambroziak gleans plenty that is fresh and new.
Like Anne Rice, she weaves impressive amounts of historical–cultural knowledge into her worlds, creating a rich tapestry of image and detail that complements her craftsmanship with structure and facility with language without slowing the narrative down.
Ambroziak must also be congratulated for her skill in marketing her self-published books on both Amazon and social media and her commitment to flawless product. In reading and reviewing three of her books I have yet to find a single typographical error. She is both an example and credit to the small press and self-publishing worlds, whose books are ever increasingly becoming as strong as the books put out by the major publishing houses.



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