Death in Black and White

Article number: DBWP
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Father Christopher Hart, a young New York priest and classic film buff, is unwittingly drafted by the mob to hear the confession of a man slated for execution. This was not one of the duties he expected when he became a first-time pastor. Learning how to balance the books and safely navigate parish politics, yes; but playing a key role in the White Death—a mafia ritual in which a person condemned to death is allowed to confess his sins before he's killed—was not included on the Parish Leadership 101 curriculum. Should he just do his job and collaborate with the mob for the sake of souls or find a way to stop the violence?

Unrelentingly comparing his life to his favorite classic movies, Father Hart wishes he could just play the role of Father O'Malley from Going My Way, but he ends up playing a character more akin to Philip Marlowe from The Big Sleep. This riveting page-turner will entertain, but it will also drive the reader to grapple with important themes such as identity, purpose, justice, sin, and, ultimately, redemption.

Father Michael Brisson, L.C., serves as councilor to the superior general of the Legionaries of Christ in Rome. He heads up their Department for Priestly Life. He spent several years working in the New York City metro area as a retreat master, spiritual director, and local director for Regnum Christi, as well as supporting parish pastors in Westchester County.


"Father Michael Brisson has the touch. Death in Black and White is deft, humorous, and smart with a constant, pressing tempo. Father Hart leaps from the pages, as real and wonderful as any character I've ever read."
— Amy HarmonNew York Times best-selling author, Where the Lost Wander: A Novel

"I seriously could not put this book down. The characters are intensely believable, the dialogue sizzles, and the plot has brilliant twists and suspense. Best of all is the voice, which guides us through the whole thing—that of Father Christopher Hart. Funny, intelligent, and very human."
— Sally Read, Poet and Author, Night's Bright Darkness: A Modern Conversion Story

"A riveting caper full of the twists, turns, and feints for which film noir is famous. It captures you from the first confession to the last. However, it's Father Brisson's profound insights into the human heart and experience that linger long after the last page."
— Katherine Reay, Author, The London House: A Novel and A Shadow in Moscow: A Cold War Novel

"An unqualified page-turner; it depicts the priesthood and the Church accurately, deftly dodging any ideological caricatures and allowing the reader to experience the richness, beauty, and inspiration of the Catholic worldview on every page."
— Father John Bartunek, L.C., S.Th.D., Author, The Better Part: A Christ-Centered Resource for Personal Prayer 

"Full of ever darker and more startling twists and turns, the story draws you into a terrifying underworld of Mafia violence and corruption, where danger—physical and moral—is found in the most unexpected places. An impressive debut that will leave the reader guessing until the very last page."
— Fiorella De Maria, Author, Father Gabriel Mystery series

"A triumph of a story, with vivid characters, surprising plot twists, and a gripping message that will keep you reflecting long after you've finished the book. Death in Black and White offers keen insight into the interplay between human failings and divine grace."
— Katie Warner, Author, First Faith Treasury children's book series

"What a literary debut! Father Brisson takes us on an absolutely nerve-tingling, emotional roller coaster with enough twists and turns to leave you more twisted up than a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs. Pass me another glass of Chianti! A superbly crafted, gripping noir thriller that only a talented crime writer who happens to be a priest could have spun!"
— Stephen Auth, Author, The Missionary of Wall Street: From Managing Money to Saving Souls on the Streets of New York

"A delightful, witty novel that somehow manages to pose important questions about living in a fallen world. Young Father Hart discovers he must choose between violating his oath as a priest or becoming an accessory to murder."
— Michael Norton, Author, A Hiker's Guide to Purgatory: A Novel

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