The Return

Title: The Return
Buy the Book: Amazon
Published by: Pineapple Press
Release Date: February 1, 2000
Pages: 312
ISBN13: 978-1561641901


For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. Matthew 24:5
From deep within the slums of Brazil, an impoverished woman has emerged, delivering a stunning message. Thousands gather to see her, to touch her, and to be healed by her. "I am Christ reborn," she claims.

Reporter Michael Mason has spent years investigating religious phenomena. Torn between the razor-sharp edges of hard fact and the comforting nature of his own deepening belief, he has traveled worldwide to witness--and until now, discredit--those who profess to walk side by side with God. Haunted by the guilt of past indiscretions, he is driven to find a bastion of truth amidst the darkness of the most devious of deceptions.

Now he is faced with the one who calls herself Zhzush, an unassuming black woman from deep within a troubled nation. Crowds mob her every move. Her power, if nothing more than sleight of hand, is more compelling than anything Mason has seen. Is she actually the daughter of God, or is her existence conceived by evil? Before he finds an answer, his already troubled faith will be put to its ultimate test through an intensifying vortex of lies, political corruption, and murder. Only a horrifying showdown with his own inner demons will allow Mason to escape alive and ultimately lead him to the truth about Zhzush.


"The question "How will we know Jesus when he returns?" is the basis for Mustian's creative debut novel. Reporter Michael Mason has made a career out of debunking fraudulent messiahs and faith healers, but he's not sure what to make of Zhezush da Bahia, the "Jesus of Bahia." She certainly has stirred up a worldwide audience with her trip to the United States from Brazil. Yes, "she." Zhezush is female, fat, and black, a combination that threatens conservative religious groups with heart failure. Even skeptical Mason is starting to believe; after all, Jesus never said exactly when or in what form he would return, and Zhezush has a certain presence that inspires "Love, Peace, Justice." Mason's investigation places him in grave danger when Elizabeth Obrando, Zhezush's right-hand woman, decides he's getting too close to the truth. Fans of the Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins's "Left Behind" series, with its apocalyptic view, will devour this. Hopefully, with its abrupt cliffhanger, Book 2 is close behind."
-Library Journal

"…Mustian uses fast-paced dialogue and plentiful biblical citations to paint his energetic hero; the mysterious, messianic woman called Zhézush; and the environs through which they rush, from São Paulo to South Florida.”
-Publishers Weekly