A medieval schoolmaster whose students stabbed him to death with their pens—his name lives on in the College of Saint Cassian of Imola, a school with spectacular troubles. World War II has ended, and overnight Saint Cash’s has recklessly expanded from a dozen students to 4,500. Unknown to the honest clerics who think they run the place, the Newark Mafia find the college a handy front for dealing in war surplus materials. It’s a tough scene for a green kid like apprentice mortician Moon Gogarty, even tougher for basketball coach Douglas Knox, a priest with a drinking problem who receives mysterious threats on his life. And both Knox and Moon face a powerful temptation: mobster mistress Aisling Vastasi.
In this sinister comedy, the mob blackmails a pedophile priest in order to take over his lucrative charity, The Children’s Crusade. Events follow fast: a car-bombing, a fiery holocaust, an exorcism that ends in terror, a raid on a brothel, a college commencement that turns into a shoot-out, a play-off basketball game in which rival gamblers have bribed both teams. Alternately blood-curdling and hilarious, this is a gripping story full of sudden twists. Devotees of the thrillers of Elmore Leonard, Carl Hiassen, and Janet Evanovich will find A Hoarse Half-human Cheer in the same league.