(Novel - 123k words. Contemporary Fiction/Suspense - Paperback or eBook)) In the latter part of the 19th century the Monastery of St. Gabriel the Archangel was built on a cliff overlooking the ocean on a peninsula in Maine. From its earliest days there were rumors of strange activity there --- tunnels through the cliff were reported to give access for smugglers, a miracle-working nun was said to live there, and a group of drunken lumberjacks who stormed the convent to kidnap wives claimed to have been vanquished by a giant angel with a flaming spear. One hundred years later, when the last of the old cloistered nuns was removed to a retirement home, the decision was made to close and sell the convent. That's when it was discovered that the convent's treasure, a marble statue of the Archangel Gabriel by Italian sculptor Giovanni Dupré, was missing.
In Ripley Mills, Massachusetts the self-titled "wild bunch", who played football together back in high school, gather every Thursday for dinner and beer. More than thirty years have passed and the group isn't what it used to be. Charlie's new female boss is young, pretty, and intimidating. Whitey's wife has cancer, Bull's wife just found out about his affair with an exotic dancer, and Vinnie can't get women to go out with him. Gabe's three daughters have grown up and his wife is making life miserable. Peter doesn't have those problems, he's a Jesuit priest. But they still get together every week to drink, eat, and listen to one anothers' problems. Then Father Peter makes a startling revelation, he had once been in love with a girl he met in Paris. He planned to leave the seminary to marry her but she rejected him to marry an older, wealthy man. Pete is happy as a priest teaching at Boston College but now Maggie has returned. She is leaving her husband and has purchased an old, abandoned convent in Maine that she plans to convert to a sculpture studio.
On Pete's recommendation Gabe takes the job of helping Maggie to restore the convent. But, as winter closes in, the mysteries begin again. Stories are circulating about bodies of young women washing up on the shore. Maggie's husband refuses to answer her calls. Gabe's cantankerous father, Mick, tells him the truth about his mother who had once longed to be a nun in that convent. Ethan Darling, the local sheriff, is snooping around. Zeke, Gabe's dog, discovers a secret passage in the crypt under the chapel.
And Father Peter realizes that Maggie is falling in love with his oldest friend. Each Angel Burns is the story of three people at crossroads in their lives. It is a story of enduring friendship, of faith, of great evil and greater love --- and of how they culminate in a miracle. (Also available in Boxed Set with The Old Mermaid's Tale and Depraved Heart for Kindle only.)
Who, if I cried, would hear me, of the angelic orders? or even supposing that one should suddenly carry me to his heart - I should perish under the pressure of his stronger nature. For beauty is only a step removed from a burning terror we barely sustain, and we worship it for the graceful sublimity with which it disdains to consume us. Each angel burns. - Ranier Maria Rilke, Duino Elegies