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Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
310 pages
May 2006
B&H Publishing Group

Walk Back the Cat

by Pamela Binnings Ewen

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What do you get when you cross an arrogant archbishop, a guilt-laden boy from the 1950's, and a little girl who witnessed the death of Christ? If you're Pamela Binnings Ewen in Walk Back the Cat, you get the Shroud of Turin.

Ewen uses the three plot strands to braid together a story of guilt, bitterness, innocent love, and revenge. Father Leo Ransom witnesses two boys dropping a small child from the top of a roof. The toddler dies instantly and moments later his older brother, Little Guy, runs onto the street, hoping to catch him. Father Leo comforts, befriends, and guides the boy and his mother through the grieving process and the court case against the older boys, and falls in love with Little Guy's mother. But Little Guy doesn't understand why God, if He's real, didn't help little Sam on the day of his death. When the older boys testify that Little Guy told them to let Sam go, he wonders if he was to blame for Sam's death.

Hanna accompanies her uncle into downtown Jerusalem where something strange and terrifying is going on. She doesn't know what to think when a bloody man bearing a cross falls before her. She hears him tell her inside her head that she has a mission to complete. She's not sure what he means. Uncle gets so engrossed in the bloody man that he walks off and leaves her in the crowd. Part of her mission involves traveling through time to deliver a bouquet of Jerusalem's flowers—the same types of flowers that she puts on Jesus’ shroud—into the hands of Wesley Bright, Archbishop of the Apostolic Church of God.

Bright takes great pride in personally delivering the Apostolic Church of God from the foolish idea that Jesus was divine. He believes in a message of spiritual self-help. However, with the display of the Shroud of Turin in New York City, everyone asks Bright his opinion. At first he considers it trivial, but as he confronts one of the nation's top talk show hosts, he finds that the Shroud undermines his authority, his message, and his life's goal. As his assistant Emily digs up more research on the Shroud, Bright must choose between truth and power.

Ewen cleverly draws these three strands together to frame the Shroud of Turin with its unusual properties, and in the process provides fascinating evidence about the Shroud.

She also does a great job of delving into the mind of Little Guy, showing his progressive despair, guilt, and hatred. She really brings Hebrews 12:15's admonition against "any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled" to life. Her use of the present tense for Hanna's story sets off her viewpoint from the others'.

Though Walk Back the Cat is listed as a suspense book, it could as easily be labeled a visionary book. It's not your average suspense story. I found the ending unsatisfactory, but the building evidence on the Shroud of Turin and Ewen's characterization make the story worth reading. Her ending does leave open the possibility of a sequel. – Debbie W. Wilson, Christian Book

Book Jacket:

From AD 33, to the 1950s, to 2005, Walk Back the Cat tells the intricate, page-turning story of Wesley Bright. A corrupt, media-savvy clergyman, he's out to destroy the Christian church of the God who was never there during his childhood.

Like a cat retracing its steps to return home, the reader must go back to discover the root causes of Wesley's actions.

Connecting the vast time shifts are mysterious characters and elements surrounding the Shroud of Turin, the burial cloth of Jesus. And although Wesley thrives on proving that truth is relative, what will soon transpire is brilliantly absolute.