I, just this minute, finished reading Culpa. I eyes haven't cleared yet, so please forgive any typos.
This was s-o good. I wasn't sure at the beginning how I would receive Mr. Jones's offering. It's a hefty 519 pages, but the climax is well worth the journey.
My first concern was that Mr. Jones penned his tome in the third-person omniscent voice. That means he tells the story as a narrator who has all the facts from the beginning to the end, and can share them with the reader at will regardless of how far the tale has progressed and what his characters know--although there is contemporaneous dialog and action, don't worry. That style has the potential pitfall of disassociating, or distancing, the reader with the characters themselves. Not so with Culpa.
Culpa follows the life of one Brock Stowolski, a former seminarian who has abandoned his calling for the trappings of the world. Enticed by the lure of the self-made man, Brock follows his dream; that is, his egocentric dream of self-fulfillment and wordly success apart from the God who called him. And he falls into most of the traps such a deception has to offer--but he thrives in those traps, deceived by the grit, determination and talent instilled in him by God, but used apart from God. You genuinely come to hate Brock. You really do. Until...
I won't reveal the 'until.' There is a family he destroys, a business he nurtures through guile and ruthlessness, and a soul he places in serious peril. But God has another plan, right at the point of the story where you believe there is no hope, no salvation for such a man as Brock. God, as He is wont to do, turns the tables and forces us to examine our own attitude toward the sinner.
Mr. Jones has done a great job in developing plot and character to the point to where you think you have them nailed, then only to discover there is hope and there are foibles in those whom we thought were capable of neither.
Bravo! Good book. Buy it!