cover image Fall from Grace

Fall from Grace

Andrew M. Greeley. Putnam Publishing Group, $22.95 (367pp) ISBN 978-0-399-13723-5

Greeley ( The Cardinal Sins ) spins another romantic and eminently readable tale of love, politics and scandal among the powerful Irish Catholic families who, in this priest's fiction, run the city and the Archdiocese of Chicago. Dr. Kieran O'Kerrigan, a bachelor psychiatrist who recently returned to the Windy City after 20 years in New York, meets his old flame Kathleen Donahue when she asks him to test her for AIDS, having learned that her husband, a probable candidate for the U.S. Senate, has been sexually involved with men. At the same time Kathleen's brother James, a bishop high in the Church, is fighting a lawsuit in which a parish priest is accused of molesting a young boy. (In his introduction, Greeley tells readers that ``this book was drafted before the explosion of the pedophile crisis in the Archdiocese.'') Kieran and Kathleen find their love rekindling as she begins to sever ties with her ever more unstable and dangerous husband. Though the first-person narratives are occasionally disjointed, the story moves swiftly to its somewhat melodramatic conclusion. Greeley maintains suspense by not revealing all of the connections between characters and events until the denouement, but the clues are there and the ending is satisfying. Audio rights to HarperAudio. (Mar.)