The Island Off Stony Point
By Kathy Carswell
Regis Schilken attempts to weave Catholicism and crime into a mixed
tale of integrity and greed in his novel, The Island Off Stony Point.
A complex plot of extortion is used to reap monetary benefits from the
Catholic Church when priests are kidnapped and held for ransom. Officer
Jessica Harding and FBI detective Robert Dexter unknowingly follow a
path of destruction created by Malena and Kevin Sinteris, a husband
and wife duo, and their sidekick Batolo. Stony, a kidnapper, struggles
to maintain the tasks set before him as the forgetful priest, Father
Martin, uses his time of imprisonment to teach his young captor the
concept of one's soul.
Though The Island Off Stony Point has a decent story line and
creative descriptions, the characters of Schilken's tale leave the reader
flat. I found it difficult to connect with any given character, and
I found them to be more irritating than entertaining. For example, the
character of Stony waffled inconsistently from ignorant to brainy and
right back to ignorant throughout the story. A sexual attraction between
detectives Jessica and Robert comes off as hostile and unsettling, and
word play is lame at best, with unrealistic exclamations like "wow,""gee,"
Words are the building blocks of a good story, but too many can weigh
it down. The Island Off Stony Point dips below the surface with
sentence after sentence of meaningless dialogue until it sinks right
to the bottom.
Rating: ** (Fair)
Bridgeway Books, 2006 (ISBN: 1933538139)