The Body Under the Bridge

The Body Under the Bridge

by Paul McCusker

Paperback(New edition)

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A former Scotland Yard detective, Father Gilbert knows about death. But, as priest of a modest Anglican church in the small town of Hailsham, he didn't expect it to show up like this - in the suicide of a man who threw himself off the church tower, and in the discovery of a two-hundred-year-old body beneath an ancient bridge. The deaths are linked. The mummified corpse under the bridge, a murder victim, reignites a centuries-old battle between two local families - the Todds and the aristocratic Hayshams. Then both David Todd and Lord Haysham begin to act strangely. They are fearful for reasons they won't explain. When Lord Haysham is murdered, David Todd is the prime suspect. But Todd is acting maniacal, claiming great forces of evil are at work. An entire history of violence and depravity begins to emerge - interweaving the history of several local families with a secret occult society that engages in Black Masses. Has the Society emerged again?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781782641070
Publisher: Lion Hudson
Publication date: 01/27/2016
Series: A Father Gilbert Mystery Series
Edition description: New edition
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 948,567
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Paul McCusker has sold more than a million books and twenty million audio dramas. His name is also heard daily on radio stations all over the world, and by at least two million listeners every weekend through the Adventures in Odyssey series. He was previously the Creative Director of Focus on the Family.

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The Body Under the Bridge 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Bookworm_Debbie More than 1 year ago
An incredibly well written mystery! I want to start by letting you know that this mystery does discuss areas of the supernatural. Both good and evil forces are included. If this is something that will bother you I recommend that you skip reading this book. I thoroughly enjoyed Father Gilbert. He has many layers to who he is and how he handles things. As the story progresses the reader learns more and more about his past and the events that helped to shape him into the man that he is at the beginning. There are many facets to the mystery that are slowly developed and presented. This kept me guessing and turning the pages right up to the end of the story. I was drawn into it from the very beginning and knew that I wouldn’t be able to give up on the book until I knew how it turned out. I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next for Father Gilbert and those who work with him at St. Mark’s. I received a free copy of this book through The Suspense Zone in exchange for my honest opinion.
WhisperingStories More than 1 year ago
A strange, yet not unfamiliar sensation had just come over Father Gilbert when he is notified that there is someone stood at the top of his church tower. The ageing Father rushed as fast as he could up the stairs, where he discovered a young man in terrible distress, talking about killing himself. The man tells Father Gilbert that he has no choice, “It’s the only way to stop them”, before thrusting an old, large medallion at him, telling him that it is cursed and should never have been found. He then proceeded to slice his own throat open, before diving backwards off the top of the tower. As the strange feeling subsides, Father Gilbert realises that there had been no man stood on top of his church tower, nor kill himself, however, the medallion is certainly real. On the same day, a two hundred year old body that had been preserved in peat, is discovered under an ancient bridge. Could the two incidents be related? ‘The Body Under the Bridge’ is a suspenseful novel that has been expertly written to keep the reader hooked throughout its entirety. From the very first sentences, ‘The feeling had come upon Father Louis Gilbert Suddenly. Cold slimy fingers caressed the back of his neck. His eyes burned and a taste like old nicotine filled his mouth and the back of his throat. An acrid smell of ammonia assailed his nostrils.‘, Paul had grabbed my attention. I needed to know more. Father Gilbert is a well-respected and caring man who has put his life and his soul into his religion, since his wife died. A former Scotland Yard Detective, he uses his old profession’s knowledge to help him discover the truth about a so called ‘Curse’ The book is filled with excitement and I often lost track of time whilst engrossed in the life of the residents of Stonebridge. I was overwhelmed by the remarkable plot and the realism that Paul McCusker has added to his work, and you get the sense of being a part of the scenery. The plot leaves you with a feeling of urgency, and a need to find out just what really is going on. Surely the curse can’t be real, right? This is one of the finest mystery novels that I have ever read and I truly hope that this isn’t the last that we hear from Father Gilbert. On a side note, Paul tells us about the ‘Lindow Man’ (look him up if you have never heard of him), and I was catapulted back to primary school where I did a project on him and visited him at The Manchester Museum. Reviewed by Stacey at Whispering Stories Book Blog
VicG More than 1 year ago
Paul McCusker in his new book, “The Body Under the Bridge” Book One in the Father Gilbert Mystery series published by Kregel Publications introduces us to Father Gilbert. From the back cover: A former Scotland Yard detective, Father Gilbert knows about death. But, now a priest of a modest Anglican church in the small town of Stonebridge, he didn’t expect it to show up like this–in the suicide of a man who threw himself off the church tower, and in the discovery of a two-hundred-year-old body beneath an ancient bridge. The deaths are linked. The mummified corpse under the bridge, a murder victim, reignites a centuries-old battle between two local families–the Todds and the aristocratic Hayshams. Then both David Todd and Lord Haysham begin to act strangely. They are fearful for reasons they won’t explain. When Lord Haysham is murdered, David Todd is the prime suspect. But Todd is maniacal, claiming great forces of evil are at work. An entire history of violence and depravity begins to emerge, interweaving the history of several local families with a secret occult society that engages in Black Masses. Has the Society emerged again? Paul McCusker introduced us to Father Gilbert through a series of radio dramas That were produced on CD for Focus On The Family. Now Mr. McCusker brings the famous sleuth to print and this is an excellent way to start him off. This is more than just murder they are up against the forces of evil and spiritual warfare. Plenty of suspects, plenty of motive, now Father Gilbert has to narrow down the field to just the one who did it. Not an easy task. This is a hard-boiled investigation filled with all kinds of twists and turns that will really keep you engrossed. Take the phone off the hook, go to the bathroom and make yourself a bowl of popcorn as reading this book is going to command all your attention. Paul McCusker is an extremely talented writer who really knows how to tell a story that will grab you and keep you flipping pages until you reach the end. “The Body Under the Bridge” is a very exciting book. I am so looking forward to the next book from this very talented author. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Kregel Publications. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Moonpie72 More than 1 year ago
This past year I was introduced to Father Gilbert audio CD’s I purchased at our library sale with 3 of the mysteries. I knew I was hooked! I was very happy to see a new mystery in paperback! After reading it though, I have somewhat mixed feelings. Father Gilbert is not your average priest. He once worked for Scotland Yard as a detective and turned to the serve in the church after the death of his wife. I think his present vocation really adds to the stories. I mean who wouldn’t believe a man of the cloth? Especially one held in such high regard in the town where he lives. The murder being investigated involves the present and the past, 200 years past that is. The deeper the case is probed, the more complicated it becomes. A young man jumps from the church tower after giving Father Gilbert a very old medallion. Not long after a bog body is found on nearby land with witnesses making it clear that the jumper could not have been at the church when he was. Was what the priest saw real? Yet the relic he held in his hands was very real. As the story unfolds, the baffled cleric has more visions and paranormal experiences. There is a great deal of occult activity and even description of satanic rituals. It was definitely a battle between good and evil, but I did not feel as a Christian mystery that it should have been so graphic in areas of evil and violence. I do not deny that they author is a talented writer, but I was disappointed. The audio books I listened to had mildly paranormal suggestions but were wholesome and in good taste. His past with Focus on the Family gave this book instant credibility for me, as I know their Christian standards are high. I have not given up on Mr. McCusker, because I did so enjoy his previous Radio Theater series, but I cannot recommend this one as Christian reading material. I received this book free from Kregel Publications in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have written are my own.
RavenaierKP More than 1 year ago
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This was one of the best murder mystery books that I have read in a long time. The fact that an Anglican priest was the one solving the mystery was the best part. From the very beginning of the book, the author had me hooked. It was such a classic, reminding me of those old "Murder She Wrote" mystery episodes on television that was on when I was a child. Add in a centuries-long feud, two dead bodies, some crazy visions, and a dash of the occult, and I was completely hooked. The author has done such a fantastic job of bringing to life characters that I had never met (being American, I had never heard the radio series). I loved Father Gilbert and the meshing of his past and present. The end fight scene with the big baddie was a little confusing for me as I had no previous encounter with his character before (no spoilers!), however, I can't wait for future books in this series. Father Benson, poor guy, he was totally just dragged into it kicking and screaming, definitely not a good Watson to Gilbert's Sherlock. I felt bad for him the entire time. The ending left me a little hungry for justice, but it is what it is. Overall, I think the author did a fantastic job and I can't wait for the next in the series
PianoLady831 More than 1 year ago
I found The Body under the Bridge to be an intriguing read – pretty much out of my comfort zone, but really good. Paul McCusker’s writing is excellent, characters are very well developed, and the plot not only entertains, but gives readers much upon which to reflect from a spiritual standpoint. I doubt anyone loves small-village English settings for cozy murder mysteries and police procedurals as much as I do – and with the “amateur” detective of Father Gilbert, that’s just what I was expecting. Indeed, Paul McCusker does the small-village setting extremely well. But while this story has the picturesque setting of Stonebridge in Sussex, England, there were a few surprises along the way. Foremost of these was the paranormal element – a secret Society, pentagram symbol, the unmistakable presence of evil, an ancient curse, and demon possession. Amidst all this, Paul injects a subtle humor that I thoroughly enjoyed. I found Father Gilbert to be a very appealing character. At some point in the past, he resigned his position with Scotland Yard to become an Anglican priest, and as such, brings a unique combination of investigative skills and spiritual intuition. This book is preceded by nine Father Gilbert Mysteries produced as audio dramas by Focus on the Family, and I imagine more of his back story can be found in these programs. Father Gilbert has fascinating visions that are unexplainable, vivid scenes that he perceives to be real, and are relevant to events that are about to unfold. I don’t presume to understand anything about spiritual warfare, yet I know that Satan is constantly at work and that spiritual warfare is very real. Father Gilbert sees evil as a personal and supernatural force – and that the powerful motivators of greed, power, lust, and glory have always been and always will be in play. I appreciated how strong the spiritual themes were throughout, one particular example being the struggle with temptation that we all face, reflected in Father Gilbert’s words: “The line between temptation and action was razor thin and easily passed over without resistance, control, or reasoning. Deliver us from evil… that I so readily embrace.” Paranormal is a genre I almost always avoid, yet I enjoyed this mystery and hope to read more of Father Gilbert’s stories. Recommended to all who enjoy a good mystery with supernatural elements. Thank you to Kregel/Lion Hudson for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received a copy of THE BODY UNDER THE BRIDGE by Paul McCusker from Lion Fiction via Kregel in exchange for an honest review. It is the second installment of the Father Gilbert Mystery series. Father Gilbert is a former Scotland Yard detective who is now an Anglican priest. A man throws himself off the church tower and they discover an old body under a bridge. You’ll have to read the book to find out what happens! I have gotten into mysteries lately. I am obsessed with the television shows Miss Fischer’s Murder Mysteries and Murdoch Mysteries, so I dove right into this novel. It reminded me a lot of Murdoch, because Father Gilbert uses his past police skills and spirituality to solve his case. It made it quite a different read. Other than mysteries, I also love a good paranormal story, and this one was that too. I enjoy clean reads, and this is definitely one of them. I could see a family reading this together – my family used to read together every night. We would have enjoyed a story like this. Some of the content - mainly the violence - might need to be explained to younger readers to keep them from becoming scared.
SeasonsofGrace More than 1 year ago
Wow, this book was unlike anything I had expected! It was suspenseful, mysterious, intriguing and captivating, and at times plain ol' scary! In spite of the fact, that at times I wasn't sure I wanted to read any more, at the same time, I could not quit reading. And would pick up another one of this series in a heart beat. I had no knowledge of Father Gilbert previous to this series, that said, I have already listened to several of his radio theatre dramas with Father Gilbert since finishing this book. Father Gilbert is a Scotland Yard detective turned priest of an Anglican church in England. After an encounter with more than just the day to day evil, a supernatural evil force, Gilbert left Scotland yard and pursued a closer relationship with God. He takes a church in a small town, controlled by certain families who also have an ongoing long term family feud. Over petty matters? Or maybe something much more sinister is involved. Father Gilbert is about to be faced with evil centuries old. A body is discovered under the bridge on Lord Haysham's property. Along with the body a medallion bringing with it an age old curse, which makes things worse and worse as they get closer to the truth. Although he is a priest, Father Gilbert wastes no time using his detective skills to help solve the mystery of the death as well as the other deaths that seem to be imminent. Will they be able to discover the secrets from the past and put them to rest before the whole town is wiped out? My son has read many of Paul's books. I was thinking he would be able to read this one once I finished, but I have decided it is a little bit mature for his age, so I wouldn't recommend it to younger children. There is alot of demonic, Satanic evil discussed in this book. There is violence and death, witchcraft and the occult practices. Of course it is written in a captivating and intriguing way that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat, yet unwilling to quit reading. But at the same time, to me it was a bit creepy. Maybe because I know these things are not far fetched, but a reality of the spiritual world. Father Gilbert has visions and possibly even out of body experiences. Sometimes he has a hard time deciphering reality. Yet he is always right on, and many times knows in advance what is going to happen. A gift from God? This is a story of the forces of good verses evil. How greed, selfishness, and getting involved with the wrong "stuff" can get you in big trouble. But it is also a book about the power of God over the devil. Fear that is overcome with help from the Lord. I simply recommend that it be read with caution by an age appropriate audience. It can get a bit gory at times. I was provided this book by the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not required to give a positive review.
grapes63 More than 1 year ago
The Body Under The Bridge by Paul McCusker is a church mystery far different from other church mysteries I've read in the past. In this one, Father Gilbert of Saint Mark's has a disturbing dream. In the dream, a man hangs himself. Then, in real life the same situation occurs involving Colin Doyle. His wife comes home to find her husband hanging. It is impossible to drag him down from the rope. In the dream, there is also the foot of a body found. Someone must have drowned the body or brought the body to its present place dead already. The body is two hundred years old. These mysterious incidents will connect. There is a feud of two families from the past. Anyway, the novel took me back and forth in history to the present while following a "bog body." The mention of an old relic held by Mary Aston is interesting. It is a cross and a sword engraved with flowers. It belonged to the Woodrich family. Paul McCusker gives the history of the Woodrich family and the relic. Still, I couldn't follow the family history well. Perhaps, it bored me with so much detail. I did want to see what the relic looked like. A black and white photo would have been enough. I looked on the internet. I could not find a picture of it. There is also the mention of Astral Projection. If I'm understanding it correctly, this is the spirit projecting itself to another place and changing to a fleshly form? Never having heard of this term I could not decide whether I believed it could happen. I do like the fact that a new theory or idea is presented in Christian fiction causing the reader to question their personal feelings. With dreams, I had the chance to question my feelings again. I am aware of Bible figures like Joseph and Daniel who had dreams sent to them by God. I've always taken my dreams for granted. Never thinking about whether I should journal them or try hard to remember them. I've always thought of dreams as just play things that bothered me or made me happy. Suicide, to me, is the most important issue in the book. I had a glimpse again of how painful suicide is to a family or community. In this case, the man did not seem depressed. Nothing seemed wrong. I suppose this fact might release friends and family from feeling guilty. Now they need not belabor themselves with the fact of 'I should have known.' Whatever way its looked at suicide is traumatic for all involved including the person who leaves us. This book keeps suicide at the forefront of my mind. It is a subject that should not end up pushed under the rug. Overall I liked the mystery. I hope the author will continue the series. I am a pushover for church fiction especially where there are monks and fathers and/or nuns and also where there are scriptural references to prayer, etc.
CathyGeha More than 1 year ago
A mystery surrounded by evil draws Father Gilbert into working to help solve the murder that occured many years before. One thing leads to another and before the book ends dreams, portents, visions, pentacles, a kidnapping, murder an evil ancient cult and more are exposed. The story was well paced and well written, the characters were interesting, and the story well plotted. The language and story are clean and acceptable for a family to read together or teens to read on their own but it is not one I would recommend for younger children. When I looked online to find out more about The Father Gilbert Mysteries I found that he starred in a radio program through “Focus on the Family” and the radio series is available for purchase. I would have liked to have known more about Father Gilbert, his background, why he left his job with Scotland Yard to became an Anglican priest and backstory that perhaps people who have listened to the series would know that someone new to this series would be clueless about. I recommend this to anyone who likes a good mystery. There is some violence but nothing over the top. If reading this with family I would recommend the parents to read it before reading it aloud. Thank you to NetGalley and Lion Hudson Plc for the copy of this book to read and review. 3.5 Stars
WildflowerMom More than 1 year ago
A well played out murder mystery with a classic feel to it! Fans of Agatha Christie and BBC mysteries will like this book, full of interesting characters, supernatural elements and twists. A serious case of spiritual warfare, not for the faint of heart or too squeamish. Similar to Ted Dekker and Frank Peretti's books, but set in modern day Britain. Recommend! (Book provided by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review.)