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Reviewed by Ayrial King for Readers' Favorite
Can a vampire teach a priest a lesson in faith? Matthew S. Cox poses this question in his novel Chiaroscuro through the eyes of Father Antonio Molinari, a priest serving God as part of a secret order within the Vatican. After he solves a possession case in the French countryside, two local priests tell him they have caught what they believe to be a vampire in their church and invite him to study it. However, when he comes face to face with the vampire, a little girl named Sabine Caioullet, Molinari resolves to save her without killing her. Protecting her from the priests proves fatal. Now he does all he can to protect Sabine and save her soul before those who seek to destroy them win.
The adventures Father Molinari and Sabine have felt so real and surreal at the same time. From his arrival at Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne replying to a summons to his treks across the Atlantic Ocean, Father Antonio Molinari could have coined the phrase “no rest for the weary”. His life changed immensely when he decided to humor two local priests from Briançon - for better or worse, he was unsure. All he knew was that saving Sabine Caillouet’s soul became his purpose, even if he had to die twice trying. Matthew S. Cox filled Chiaroscuro’s world with such realism that I was transported into the middle of it every time I turned the page. Following Father Molinari and Sabine, I was rooting for them to do the seemingly impossible - keep their souls as pure as they can. Reading how their relationship blossomed was heartwarming and natural even when they were in imminent danger from all sides. This is a story I cannot get enough of!