A Burning in the Darkness is riveting because the strength of its characters, primarily Michael Kieh. The shifting narrative is an innovative way for McGrath to further the story, as it shows how deeply the past can impact the present. There is a sympathetic romance at the book’s core as well, making A Burning in the Darkness a well-layered novel that will satisfy thriller readers, religious fiction readers, and readers of literary contemporary fiction.
by Self-Publishing Review
After spending his childhood in Liberia, hiding from his murderous Uncle, Michael Kieh feels he owes his life to the church which protected him. Fast forward and he is a priest stationed at an airport, he is framed for the murder of a woman he loved. The murderer confesses to him and Father Michael is unwilling to break the bonds of confessional to acquit himself. Father Michael's past plays a large role in the story and you are taken to Liberia to see what has shaped this man, who is almost too good to be true.
Twists and turns, love and murder, a fabulous who done it and well worth a read.
by Gemma Gallacher
I read a lot of action and thriller books, so this is a genre I’m familiar with. I’d never read anything from A P McGrath, but the premise seemed intriguing and I’m always on the lookout for new talent, so I was curious to see how he would deliver in this one “A Burning in the Darkness”. Mr. McGrath is unarguably a very talented and creative writer, but more than that he genuinely impressed me with his thorough world-building and interesting characters and inventiveness on many levels. Great detailing gives this story authenticity and we genuinely feel transported into this complex, epic tale from the very beginning, and feel like we are really experiencing it with Father Michael firsthand. All too often I read works that feel clearly derivative of other books (especially in thrillers/suspense), but I honestly thought this was so original on so many levels, from the foreign locales, to the complexities of the ‘crimes’ and the background of the main characters involved. So often in this genre I feel like I’m reading the same predictable formula over and over, so when something this original comes along it is a refreshing change of pace from the norm! Sometimes it was cutthroat and harsh (literally), and other times I was nearly breathless from the intensity and violent passion. And then I was smiling because of the unexpected romance that is there, but doesn’t overshadow the plot (but loved the ending!) For such a long book I finished it in less than a week, and went through so many highs and lows, it felt like a rollercoaster. Has some disturbing scenes, but it’s not graphic or overly gratuitous. Works with the genre well. Recommend to fans of action/thriller/suspense who want something new. (5 Stars)
by Indie Book Reviewers
This book “A Burning in the Darkness” was great… lots of fun to read and very action-packed. Describing it is a hard task! All sorts of interesting characters and a terrific mix of creepy characters, thrilling suspense, romance, corruption, high stakes drama, profound and introspective philosophical conversations, life and death situations… you name it! I was totally hooked from the beginning where McGrath wastes no time in getting right to the action and letting us know what we are in for----which is great because I hate when books have long ‘setups’!----- and keeps our attention the whole way through which is pretty impressive considering the length of this book---I usually get bored so easy. I liked that it was so descriptive that we can really put ourselves inside the story with Michael (and the others). Very strong narrative prose and the dialogue and conversations with the characters were very authentic and made me laugh a few times. Great chemistry and tension throughout, and while there are some upsetting/weird parts that I didn’t expect, overall I liked the fact that this was really unpredictable and kept me wondering what would happen next. I thought the ending was kind of abrupt, but I liked how it played out. I did notice some proofing things, but nothing that really hindered my enjoyment any. Recommend for mature fans who want a complex, yet engaging action packed and thrilling read that also has a profound spiritual quality and looks deep within the characters themselves. Looking forward to reading more from A.P. McGrath! (4-5 stars)
by Indie Book Reviewers
Fast-paced, well written and extremely creative for the genre, “A Burning in the Darkness” by AP McGrath is an absolute must-read for fans of political action, thriller/suspense, and crime drama. This novel holds its own with the top-notch writing and plot structure and an exciting, varied cast of ‘colorful’ characters and plenty of intrigue and thrills to go around. There were some times where I felt it could have benefited from some trimming, as there were frequent places where there was needless information, scene repetition, or chit chat (didn’t love the use of the accents in the conversations as sometimes it was too confusing and slowed me down). Occasionally things happened that I wondered if it was crucial for the plot, and it just felt like filler, but fortunately this was pretty rare. However, I feel AP McGrath did a great job of bringing in a unique voice and making the story wholly his own, and giving it a fresh feel. I certainly didn’t feel like I’ve read this million times before. In fact, I can’t think of anything I’ve ever read like it before. This isn’t what you would call a ‘high octane, action packed thriller’, but more of a complex, riveting drama that has a deeper, more human side that really puts us in the different characters hearts and heads for better or worse – some great characters here, but also some real scumbags. But still has a riveting combination of thrills, suspense, intelligence, flawed but strong men, action and high-stakes… an engrossing story with a strong cast to take you along for this very interesting and exciting and dangerous international ride. Recommend for ages 18+ (4-5 stars)
by Indie Book Reviewers
A murder, an airport and a priest, this is a gripping mystery that I just could not put down.
Father Michael Kieh lost his family in Liberia as a child. Growing up in a Catholic center for children, he went on to become a priest.
I loved Father Kieh, his compassion and love for his Lord and the people was a delight to read.
I loved the way the voice in my head read this book and I thought the plot, the characters and the writing were equally superb.
Lots of twists kept me gripped and this highly enjoyable read is to be recommended
by Tracy Shephard
Wow, what a story! In this novel, McGrath weaves together a complex mystery with so many layers and overlapping layers. At the center of the story is an airport priest in London and the power of confession and forgiveness and redemption.
But, the story goes back to a treacherous escape from atrocities in Liberia and crosses into levels of corruption, cover-ups, and frame-jobs, Law, Justice, and the sanctity of a priest’s vows. Betrayal, infidelity, trust, faith, and love all play a role. The story is told with an expert’s finesse and starts slowly in the airport chapel and the airport bar before charging to its shocking conclusion.
A very satisfying read. Thanks to the publishing house for providing a copy for review.
by Dave Wildman
AP was born and grew up in Ireland. He now lives in London and works in TV. He is a single father with three beautiful children. He studied English and Philosophy and then post-graduate Film Studies.