I have to agree with one reviewer who has wondered why this has been written as a novel rather than a true account, given that it is about the actual case of sexual abuse against children by predatory Catholic priests. It took me quite a long time to get through this because at times I became so angry I had to put it down, sometimes for a few hours, until I was able to get back to it. The sexual abuse of children is dreadful enough, but what this book exposes is the manipulation, lies and secrecy of the Catholic Church, right to the top layers of the Vatican. Everything possible was done to protect "the Mother Church" from scandal.....and this in itself is scandalous; the hierarchy within the church believed that the police had no part in their affairs. In fact it was felt within the Church, and probably still is, that they are above the law. It was well known within the Church that hundreds, if not thousands, of priests were abusing children, but nothing was done about it.
The author was the lawyer involved in this case, the first of its kind, in which an abused child sued the Church; during the many years he was involved he lost everything from his marriage to his faith. At times I found the fine detail a little too much; it could have been pared down to give a tighter, sharper read, but having said that this really is a compelling account of one of the most horrible scandals of our time. It is not an easy book to read; it is horrifying but compelling. It is not a book to "enjoy", but is an important book which deserves to be widely read; maybe attitudes to the all powerful control of the church will change.