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Monday, 20 May 2019

Forty Martyrs of England and Wales - James Walsh - CTS Saints of the Isles Series

Forty Martyrs of England and Wales
CTS Saints of the Isles Series
James Walsh
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781860820212
ISBN 1860820212
ISBN 9780851830537
CTS Booklet B446


I have become addicted to books and booklets from the Catholic Truth Society. I first really encountered them just over a year ago while doing research on a specific author. Since that time I have read and reviewed over 70 offerings from this publisher. There are many great books and many great series from CTS. This ‘Saints of the Isles’ series is one of my favourite series to date. This is the sixth book in this series from the Catholic Truth Society that I have read. I just love this series that focuses on the Saints of the Isles. It truly is inspiring, challenging, and encouraging to read about the Saints and Martyrs of the British Isles. I hold a religious studies degree, with a focus on Roman Catholic Thought, I had encountered saints from all over the world, and the great and lesser known saints of Europe. But this series is opening my eyes to Saints that are part of my heritage, saints from Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales. These are incredible books about amazing saints. It is a part of our history we need to be reminded of, and to be inspired by. But this book is different than any of the others in this series.

This book was compiled by Compiled by Father James Walsh, SJ, the Vice-Postulator for the Cause of the English Martyrs. It is a series of very brief introductions to the forty martyrs that were canonised by Pope Paul VI on the 25th of October 1970. Most of them are about one page in length. They are short, concise and to the point. They outline the individual’s background, conversion or ordination story, details of their arrest and trials, and their executions. They are:

Almond, John 
Arrowsmith, Edmund 
Barlow, Ambrose 
Boste, John 
Briant, Alexander 
Campion, Edmund 
Clitherow, Margaret 
Evans, Philip 
Garnet, Thomas 
Gennings, Edmund 
Gwyn, Richard 
Houghton, John 
Howard, Philip 
Jones, John 
Kemble, John 
Kirby, Luke 
Lawrence, Robert 
Lewis, David 
Line, Anne 
Lloyd, John
Mayne, Cuthbert 
Morse, Henry 
Owen, Nicholas 
Paine, John 
Plasden, Polydore 
Plessington, John 
Reynolds, Richard 
Rigby, John 
Roberts, John 
Roe, Alban 
Sherwin, Ralph 
Southwell, Robert 
Southworth, John 
Stone, John 
Wall, John 
Walpole, Henry 
Ward, Margaret 
Webster, Augustine 
Wells, Swithun 
White, Eustace 

A few of these forty have books dedicated to them in this Saints of the Isles Series. These martyrs died because of a series of laws that banned and persecuted Catholics in England and Wales. There are others who suffered the same fate in Scotland. Those in this book were tried under several different laws and acts; from the act of treason, to acts specifically against the Jesuits. Most chapters focus on a single martyr. Except for the first chapter which profiles Saints John Houghton, Robert Lawrence, and Augustine Webster, as they were together martyred on May 4th 1535. They were the first to dies in this English Reformation. Much of this book is unpleasant to read, the tortures some of the people endured. Their brutal deaths. At times it is overwhelming. I am now almost done this book for a second time. And I have picked several of the Saints to research and find out more about.

I believe there are three printings of this booklet, 1970, 1972, and 1997, which ever version you can get your hands on it is worth the read! Reading the news about events in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia Pacific, there are more martyrs today for being Christian or specifically being Catholic. In those cases it is not always the government or government sanctioned but it soon could be. This book will serve to remind us of those who have gone before us, and possibly strengthen us for what is yet to come. It is a book that will inspire, and hopefully also encourage and challenge.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books in the Saints of the Isles Series:

Edmund Arrowsmith - John S. Hogan 
Margaret Clitherow - Jean Olwen Maynard
Edmund Campion - Alexander Haydon
John Southworth Priest and Martyr - Michael Archer
Saint Thomas More - Alvaro de Silva
John Ogilvie - Eleanor McDowell
Frances Taylor - Eithne Leonard
Mary Potter - Elizabeth Gilroy
John Fisher - Richard L. Smith 
Robert Southwell - Fiorella Sultana De Maria
Ignatius Spencer - Fr. Ben Lodge
Sr Elizabeth Prout - Dominic Savio Hamer 
Forty Martyrs of England and Wales - James Walsh
...











Friday, 17 May 2019

The Midnight Line - Lee Child - Jack Reacher Book 22

The Midnight Line
Jack Reacher Book 22
Lee Child
Penguin Random House Canada
ISBN 9780399593482
eISBN 9780399593499
ASIN B06WP486XH


To date this is my favorite Reacher story. I have read a Jack Reacher book each week for the past dozen weeks. This is the 22nd book in publication order and it is 34th in chronological order if you include the published short stories and cross over short stories. It currently comes directly after Faking a Murderer with Kathy Reichs. It is an older Reacher we encounter in this story. 

This story begins with Reacher taking a stroll through a small Wisconsin town, while the bus is at a rest stop. He sees a class ring in a pawn shop window, a West Point Class Ring. A ring that is small, and years after Reacher graduated. The ring must belong to a woman. And Reacher has an urge to find the owner, and their story, that would cause it to end up in a pawn shop. And thus begins a pursuit. Reacher is in pursuit of the story of the ring and its owner, and he will not take no for an answer. From a Pawn Shop to a biker gang, to a low-level thug, to a drug ring. Along the way Reacher is compared to Big foot and sasquatch. There is more than contract taken out on Reacher. Reacher is chasing a supply chain in reverse. He ends up calling in some favors at West Point. He meets a PI who seems to be searching for the same person. They agree to work together as long as it is mutually beneficial. 

This was an interesting story. We find out what rules Reacher is willing to bend, and even break for a vet in need. That his believe if they served, they are due some slack, especially if their service has cost them so much. The story also gives us a look into addiction, and its impact on the person and their family. 

Having jumped around a lot in the reading of Reacher novels, it is very interesting to see this older Reacher. Parts of it made me think of the Toby Keith Song As Good As I Once Was. But have no fear Reacher can still take it all and give as good as he ever could. This story has a little more depth and more layers than much of the Reacher novels I have read to date. 

A very interesting read. A story that makes you think a little more, but that is a good thing. And still a lot of Reacher left to read.

Books by Lee Child:
Jack Reacher Books Publishing Order:

Killing Floor
Die Trying
Tripwire
The Visitor /Running Blind
Echo Burning
Without Fail
Persuader
The Enemy
One Shot
The Hard Way
Bad Luck and Trouble
Nothing to Lose
Gone Tomorrow
61 Hours
Worth Dying For
The Affair
A Wanted Man
Never go Back
Personal
Make Me
Night School
The Midnight Line
Past Tense
Blue Moon

...
Jack Reacher's Rules
...

Reacher Short Stories and Novella’s:
No Middle Name – Complete Collected Short Stories
Stories in No Middle Name Collection:
Too Much Time
Second Son
Deep Down
Guy Walks into A Bar
James Penney’s New Identity
High Heat
Everyone Talks
Not A Drill
Small Wars
Maybe They Have A Tradition

No Room At The Motel
The Picture of the Lonely Diner

Other Short Stories:
The Fourth Man
The Christmas Scorpion
...
Faking a Murderer with Kathy Reichs
Cleaning the Gold with Karin Slaughter
Good and Valuable Consideration with Joseph Finder
...



Thursday, 16 May 2019

Poland: A Pilgrim's Companion - David Baldwin - CTS Christian Shrines Series

Poland: A Pilgrim's Companion
CTS Christian Shrines Series
David Baldwin
Catholic Truth Society

ISBN 9781784691004
CTS Booklet D805


This book was a complete surprise to me. I read it because of the authors and the series. I have read over 75 books from the Catholic Truth Society in just over the last year. I can honestly say I had never thought of pilgrimage to Poland. Even with all the great saints that have come from there, it literally never crossed my mind. But after reading this volume, if money was not an issue, I could see myself going there for an extended trip or for several trips. David Baldwin immerses the reader in so many places, and many saints. This book is an incredible read. 

This is the eleventh volume in the CTS Christian Shrines series that I have read. I approached this volume with completely new eyes. I have personally had an interest in Pilgrimage, for as long as I can remember. I have written about personal pilgrimage, and previously written about my desire for pilgrimage. I have a university degree in Religious Studies with a specialization in Roman Catholic Thought I would have loved to have had books from this series, and many from the CTS catalog to use as resources during my schooling. But back to this specific volume on Pilgrimage to Poland. 

The sections in this book are: 
Why Poland
     A Catholic Country
     Variety of pilgrim destinations
     People
     Geography
     A turbulent history
     Christianity
     World Wars
     Practical Thoughts
     Mercy and Reconciliation
Krakow and the Royal Cathedral
     Krakow
     Wawel Hill
     The Royal Cathedral
     First Impressions
     Once Inside
     Zygmunt Bell Tower
     Altar of Jesus Crucified
     Meditation before a Crucifix
     Side chapels and monuments
     Zygmunt Chapel
     Crypts
The Old Town of Krakow
     Our lady of the Assumption
     Meditation
     Visitors’ section
     The Church of St Barbara
     The Church of St Adalbert
     Contrasting churches
     The Dominican church of the Holy Trinity
     The Franciscan church of St Francis of Assisi
     The Church of St Andrew’s
Sanctuary of the Divine Mercy and the John Paul II Centre
     Foundation
     The Basilica
     Meditation
     Chaplet to the Divine Mercy
     Adoration Chapel
     Adoration Meditation
     Convent chapel
     Meditation
     Prayer
     John Paul II Centre
Around and About Krakow
     Nowa Huta
     Arka Pana
     Inside
     Church dedicated to St Maximillian Kolbe
     Contrasting churches
     Cistercian Abby at Mogila
     The Church of St Bartholomew
     Benedictine Monastery at Tyniec
     The Salt Mines
     St Kinga’s Chapel
Kalwaria Sanctuary and Wadowice
     Kalwaria
     Our Lady of the Angels
     Calvary Way
     Wadowice
     Basilica of the Presentation
     Side chapels
     Museum
     The Church of St Peter the Apostle
     Three places worth a visit
     Warsaw
     Lichen
     Zakopane
Our Lady of Czestochowa
     The Black Madonna
     Monastery
     Chapel of Our Lady of Czestochowa
     Act of Consecration
     The Basilica
     Unusual Stations of the Cross
Auschwitz
     Meditation
     Oswiecim
     Auschwitz II and III
     Unknown Numbers
     Auschwitz I
     Grim Displays
     The Children
     Prayer
     Black II
     Meditation
     Crematorium
     Prayer
     Meditation
     Birkenau
     Victims’ Monument
     Meditation – Kaddish – Jewish prayer for the Dead
     Centre for Information, Meetings, Dialogue, 
          Education and Prayer:
     The Carmelite convent
     The Parish of the Franciscan Friars
Mercy and Reconciliation

As can bee seen there is a lot of content in just over 100 pages of this book. This book refers to several other Books from CTS, specifically books about some of the Saints of Poland or the concentration camps. It was a book that inspired me to prayer. It was a book that has sparked an interest in this country, and the faith of the people there. I want to see pictures of many of the places highlighted in this pilgrimage book. I know I will reread this book and pray my way through it again soon. And it has sparked a quest for knowledge about this country, the churches, the shrines, and the Saints. In my opinion the only drawback is this book only comes in a physical format, many of the books in the series are available as eBooks and I really wish this was one of them. 

This is another great book in an excellent series. Maybe the best of the series.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Other Books in the CTS Christian Shrines Series:
Message of Assisa
Message of Fatima
Message of Guadalupe
Message of Walsingham
Santiago: Santiago de Compostela - The Pilgrim Way of St James
The Message of Carmel at Aylesford

Pilgrim’s Companions:
Why Pilgrimage?
Fatima - A Pilgrim's Companion
Glastonbury - A Pilgrim's Companion
Holy Land - A Pilgrim's Companion
Lisieux - A Pilgrim's Companion
Poland: A Pilgrim's Companion
Rome - A Pilgrim's Companion









Wednesday, 15 May 2019

The Last Victim in Hichester - Sarah Flanagan - The Brothers Mecarnin Book 1

The Last Victim in Hichester
The Brothers Mecarnin Book 1
Sarah Flanagan
Rivershore Books
ISBN 9781635220193
ASIN B07RL3RHNL

 


I read a lot of books, for the last few years nearly a book a day and if you average it out over 100 books a year since I first started keeping track. And this book took me by surprise in several ways. First for how young the author is (still in her teens) the world build is excellent. Second the complexity of the story. And finally, I was surprised by the cover, the cover t=shows three very young children, but most of the book takes place when they are much older.

Now I will admit there are a lot of characters in this novel. So many in fact I started keeping track on a cue card. But the characters are wonderfully written. Especially the three Mecarnin brothers. From their early departure from their parents’ home, to their time in the community home, to heading to the Hichester District. These boys have been through a lot. The first words in chapter 1 are:

“There are all types of legends and myths that I heard in my life, but none of them could match the one that would change my life and the lives of my brothers. There was a legend that we had heard but always thought was make-believe. Needless to say, we found out what fools we were and how wrong that assumption had been.”

This is a tale of epic proportions. It spans generations, and generational curses. It blends myths and legends with the world of today. The three boys are offered the opportunity of a good life, Father Fischer, has worked long and hard to find a home that will keep them together. Of father the three boys believe:

“Father Fischer, one of the greatest men they knew. He wrote them constantly, giving them support and encouragement”

The brothers Gene, Deke, and Neil are at the center of our story. But the events that lead up to this story began many years ago and based on the story itself will take many years to resolve. For it seams that the boys are at the center, or at least close to the center of a battel between good and evil. After they are on their way to the Hichester District, they realize everything is about to change. For the world they thought they knew was but the surface veneer of a much larger world, with much larger events, and much larger stories. And soon they find themselves aught up in those stores. They attend school, they attend the society (well worth reading about) and become part of a group of friends called the gang. When yet another child goes missing from the district, they decide to lead an investigation. And soon the majority of the children, tweens, and teens that are part of the Society are off on an adventure to rescue one of their own.

This is a wonderful story in the classic fantast genre. It is very well written, and I look forward to seeing where the story will go as the series proceeds. The story is well worth giving a try.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan!


Books by Sarah Flanagan:
The Brothers Mecarnin Series:

The Last Victim in Hichester



Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Letter to a Saint Letters from Guadalupe Ortiz to St Josemaria Escriva - Maria Del Rincón and Maria Teresa Escobar

LETTERS TO A SAINT Letters from Guadalupe Ortiz to St Josemaria Escriva
Maria Del Rincón
Maria Teresa Escobar
Opus Dei Information Office
ISBN 9781094672694
eISBn 9788409092932


I recently read Guadalupe: The Freedom of Loving by Cristina Abad Cadenas and became fascinated by the live of Guadalupe Ortiz. I have watched several YouTube videos about her and her life. While researching to review that volume I came across this book which is being offered for free from the Opus Dei Information Office. And it is a wonderful little read. The chapters in this volume are:

To the Reader.
Preface.
Guadalupe Ortiz: a profile.
Timeline of Guadalupe’s life.
1. With her feet on the ground: holiness in ordinary life.
2. Always close: in love with God.
3. A huge heart: apostolic joy.
4. Desire to serve: working for God.
5. Here I am: path and mission.
Afterword.
Share…

His is a densely packed volume. The eBook comes in at just under 80 pages. And it has 170 end notes, most are references to which letter in the archive the letter or extract was drawn from. Some are external links, and some are references or explanations. We are told in the note to the reader:

“These extracts from letters written by Guadalupe Ortiz to St Josemaria Escriva reflect the soul of a woman who learned to find God in the middle of the world. Guadalupe opened her heart and soul to St Josemaria, whom she always called “Father”. The letters were written by someone who was convinced that Heaven was her destiny and the world was her path there.

In 1944, when Guadalupe, a chemistry teacher, first met St Josemaria, she discovered that God was offering her a path to holiness in the middle of the world, through her professional work. A few months after that encounter, she wrote him a letter beginning, like all her letters to him from then on, “Father,” in which she asked to join Opus Dei. That was the first of 350 letters that she wrote to him, beginning on 19 March 1944, and ending on 22 June 1975, four days before St Josemaria died in Rome.”

The excerpts in this volume are taken from a collection of 350 letters and the letters were written over a 30 years period. From shortly after Guadalupe med Josemaria Escriva and began spiritual work, until shortly before they both died in 1975. They letters are written with an openness and honesty. She wrote as a way to help grow in her spiritual life. She wrote being completely honest with herself and with her spiritual father. The letters will spur on your faith. They will challenge you. They will encourage and motivate you.

This was a wonderful read, and I honestly hop that someday a more complete collection of her letters will be available in English. I encourage you to give this volume a read and see what impact the life and faith of Guadalupe has on your own. 

You can get this book free here.




Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan!

Other Books by or about Guadaupe Ortiz:

LETTERS TO A SAINT Letters from Guadalupe Ortiz to St Josemaria Escriva - Maria Del Rincón and  Maria Teresa Escobar 
Guadalupe: The Freedom of Loving - Christina Abad Cadenas
...


Monday, 13 May 2019

The Diamond Mistake Mystery - Sylvia McNicoll - The Great Mistake Mysteries Book 4

The Diamond Mistake Mystery 
The Great Mistake Mysteries Book 4
Sylvia McNicoll
Dundurn Press
ISBN 9781459744936
eISBN 9781459744943
ASIN B07HNBM9MC


My children and I were terribly excited when we found out that this series was being extended. We loved the stories in the original trilogy. And My son and I have read them together a couple of times. And even though there was a wait for it, this fourth book was well worth the wait. It is an excellent addition to the stories of Stephen Nobel and Renée Kobai. Reading this book was like visiting with old friends that you had not seen in a while. But things went back to exactly how they were before. 

In a previous review of volume 1: The Best Mistake Mystery I stated that in some ways this book reads like The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon but written for kids. And after reading the whole trilogy, and now this fourth volume I can state that even more emphatically. Stephen counts mistakes each day, and the chapters of the books are days. It is hard to believe that all the action in this book took place over three days.

Day 1 - 11 Mistakes
Day 2 - 10 Mistakes
Day 3 - 10 Mistakes

Which is the same numbers as books, The Snake Mistake Mystery, but less than books one and two. In this story Stephen Nobel and Renée Kobai are both still working for Stephen's fathers pet walking business, the Noble Dog Walking Agency. But in this story they face their biggest challenge yet, they have committed to walking their new neighbour, Pearl Lebel, to school she is in kindergarten and is Stephen’s reading buddy at school. Renée is very excited about this new role, but Stephen is very leery. And right from the get go things go sideways. 

Pearl’s parents are jewellers and are planning on exhibiting a rare and famous pink diamond. But Pearl has informed Stephen and Renée that she has lost it. She does not want to get into trouble, and against his better judgement Stephen agrees not to tell her parents right away. And this Stephen and Renée are on the case again. Trying to track back the events and travels of the last few days. But they are unaware that pearl’s recollection of events might not be entirely accurate. 

In this story we have a precocious little girl. An interrupted sleep over. A missing diamond, dogs to walk and a whole lot more. It is a great read and wonderful addition to the Best Mistake Mysteries, of which our family hopes there will be many many more! A great read to read to young readers, or have middle grade readers read with or to you. It receives a top endorsement from our family.  We recommend this book, and this whole series. We sincerely hope there will be more to read soon. This book is entertaining for readers of all ages. (And I am not even a pet guy.)

Books by Sylvia McNicoll:
Blueberries and Whipped Cream - 1988
Jump Start - 1989
The Tiger Catcher's Kid - 1989
Project Disaster - 1990
More than Money - 1990
Facing the Enemy - 1992
Bringing Up Beauty - 1994
The Big Race - 1996
Walking a Thin Line - 1997
Double Dribble - 1999
Smoky and the Gorilla - 1999
Grave Secrets - 1999
Caught in a Lie - 2000
A Different Kind of Beauty - 2004
Beauty Returns - 2006
Last Chance For Paris - 2008
Slam Dunk Robot  2007
crush. candy. corpse. - 2012
Dying to Go Viral - 2013

Body Swap - 2018
...

The Great Mistake Mysteries:
The Best Mistake Mystery - 2017
The Artsy Mistake Mystery - 2017
The Snake Mistake Mystery - 2018
The Diamond Mistake Mystery - 2019
...

Books Written as Geena Dare:
Stage School Series:
Dan Clowning Around #5 - 1998
Matt Heartbreak Hero #6 - 1998
Lauren Dating Dreams #7 - 1999
Abbi Secret Stranger #9 - 1999
Jenna Standing Tall #10 - 1999
Dan Double Drama #11 -1999

Book Ghostwritten as Sharon Siamon:
The Spellbound Sleepover 1999

Nonfiction:
Mom and Dad's Guide to Martial Arts 1999

Foreign Editions unavailable in English to date:
Zannas vanskelige valg  2007 (Alpha Wolf)
Zanna - mellom barken og veden 2007 (River of Ice)
Snøras   2008 (Avalanche)
Zanna i fare 2008 (Victim's Impact)
Redningsaksjonen  2009 (The Nine Minute Disaster Zone) 


Author Profile and Interview with Sylvia McNicoll






Sunday, 12 May 2019

Tortured Soul - Theresa Linden

Tortured Soul
Theresa Linden
Silver Fire Publishing

ISBN 9780997674774
ASIN B07QNYXWG6


This book is a hard book to review. My first reaction was: Wow! What a moving read. This is a fiction story but based on a real story. It is very well written. It has changed my prayer life. It is an excellent read. I spent over a week thinking on this book, and then reread it a second time, and it was even more impactful the second time through. The author states that this supernatural thriller is loosely based on the apparitions to Eugenie von der Leyen (1867-1929). But has been moved to a modern North American setting.

As a fan of Linden’s other works, I must state this is drastically different than anything else she has written. I have enjoyed her other works, both speculative fiction, young adult fiction and even her other adult fiction offering. But this is the first of her books to really get me praying and reading on a topic, and that topic is purgatory. After finding out about this novel I checked my list of books I have read and did not find any specific to the topic of purgatory. So I picked up and read Purgatory: A Mystery of Love by Donncha Ó hAodha from CTS Deeper Christianity, which I already had on hand. I recall reading several excepts, selections and even chapters in course notes during my religious study degree but had not really delved into the subject.  I never really doubted or questions it, but also had no specific interest in it either. That has all changed with this novel.

This story is at times dark, and a little frightening. Especially if you believe in the possibility of purgatory and possible visitors from there. Throughout church history there have been numerous mystics and saints who have had visitors. There are stories of burned pages in books, and specific encounters. This story combines elements from many of the most common themes across those appearances. 

Jeannie Lyons has an emptiness she cannot fill. She still lives in her family home, with her brother and his family. Both her parents are deceased. He father was murdered by a stray bullet before her eye’s years earlier. And she has a strong attachment to the home and the memories of her parents. But her brother has given her a timeline and forces her to move out. She ends up in a house he picks on the outskirts of town. Once there she does not feel like she is alone. She has conflict with both her brother and her sister about what is going on. He brothers’ friend a photographer named Oliver is the only one who believes her. Not even the parish priest wants to consider a supernatural explanation without eliminating all other possibilities. So Jeanie is left to face her past, her inner demons, and possibly visitors from beyond the grave, because she has no where to turn.

While reading this book it reminded me of reading books by Frank E. Peretti many years ago. It stirred me to prayer in a new way. It has caused me to purgatory, and to want to learn more about the official teaching on this topic. The book inspired me to start praying for a deceased love one who I was estranged from, and even have a mass offered for them. This is a fictional story of real events, and it is a powerful tale, expertly written.

A great book that I could hardly put down, but even more importantly a fictional story that drove me to greater prayer.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan!



Books by Theresa Linden:
Anyone But Him
Tortured Soul
...

Chasing Liberty Series:
01 Chasing Liberty
02 Testing Liberty
03 Fight For Liberty
Bound to find Freedom - Short Story

...

West brothers Series:
Roland West Loner
Life-Changing Love
Battle for His Soul

Standing Strong
Roland West Outcast
...

Armour of God Series:
Belt of Truth
Breastplate of Righteousness
Boot of Peace
Shield of Faith
Helmet of Salvation
Sword of the Spirit
...

Other Books:
A Symbol of Hope - Short Story
A Battle for the Faith (with John Paul Wohlscheid)

...

Books contributed to:
Image and Likeness: Literary Reflections on the Theology of the Body
Secrets: Visible & Invisible 7 Amazing Stories - Catholic Teen Books
...

Saturday, 11 May 2019

The Affair - Lee Child - Jack Reacher Book 16

The Affair
Jack Reacher Book 16
Lee Child
Penguin Random House Canada
ISBN 9780385344326
eISBN 9780440339359
ASIN B004P8JPS6



I have read a Jack Reacher book each week for the past dozen weeks. This was the first one I did not thoroughly enjoy. It is the 16th novel in a series that is expecting the 24th installment this year. So that makes it exactly two thirds of the way through the series at the time of writing this review. Typically, when I finish a Reacher novel, I cannot wait to read another and the only issue is what one to read next. Fortunately, it was a toss up when I started this one, because I had picked up both this and Tripwire book 3, to read. Or it might have been a while before I circled back.

This is the story of what happened to prompt Reacher to leave the military. It is a convoluted mystery with a Senator, a Senator’s Son in the Military, a former Marine investigator, who was roughly equivalent to Reacher in Rank and she is now the local sheriff. And a string of dead bodies, all women, and all beautiful. Reacher takes on the military complex, a milita and some serious muscle that was sent after him. 

Sounds like a great story eh? My problem with it, is that there was way too much sex, if I wanted to read romance novels, I would read a romance novel. I know that Jack Reacher is Reacher and like Captain Kirk of old, he has a different woman in every story. But this time it was just so much. I can definitively state this is my least favorite Reacher novel. It is the only one I have given les than 4 stars. And it was a close toss up between 2 and the 3 it got. This book just feels different than the other Reacher novels I have read. I did love his tenacity, his pursuit of justice, and his willingness to lay it on the line for what is right. But is the sex scenes made more sense the book as a whole would have worked better for me.

All that being said I have already picked up another Reacher novel to read and with 24 novels, several short stories, Jack Reacher's Rules, and offerings in anthologies and mash up short stories there is a lot in the Reacher canon to read, and I still plan to read them all! In any series there is likely to be a least favorite, I am just surprised by the gap after all the other Reacher stories I had read, I just expected more, expected better.

Books by Lee Child:
Jack Reacher Books Publishing Order:

Killing Floor
Die Trying
Tripwire
The Visitor /Running Blind
Echo Burning
Without Fail
Persuader
The Enemy
One Shot
The Hard Way
Bad Luck and Trouble
Nothing to Lose
Gone Tomorrow
61 Hours
Worth Dying For
The Affair
A Wanted Man
Never go Back
Personal
Make Me
Night School
The Midnight Line
Past Tense
Blue Moon

...
Jack Reacher's Rules
...

Reacher Short Stories and Novella’s:
No Middle Name – Complete Collected Short Stories
Stories in No Middle Name Collection:
Too Much Time
Second Son
Deep Down
Guy Walks into A Bar
James Penney’s New Identity
High Heat
Everyone Talks
Not A Drill
Small Wars
Maybe They Have A Tradition

No Room At The Motel
The Picture of the Lonely Diner

Other Short Stories:
The Fourth Man
The Christmas Scorpion
...
Faking a Murderer with Kathy Reichs
Cleaning the Gold with Karin Slaughter
Good and Valuable Consideration with Joseph Finder
...





Friday, 10 May 2019

Cleaning the Gold - Karin Slaughter and Lee Child - A Will Trent and Jack Reacher Story

Cleaning the Gold 
A Will Trent and Jack Reacher Story
Karin Slaughter
Lee Child 
Harper Collins
ISBN 9780008358938
eISBN 9781460712269
eISBN 9780008358945
ASIN B07R18S4H2


I have become addicted to reading jack Reacher stories. I have read 12 over as many weeks. And I loved the last match up story I read with Reacher, Faking a Murderer with Kathy Reichs. So even though I had not read anything by Karin Slaughter prior to picking up this story on the day of it’s release, I was eagerly anticipating the story. With having jumped around in reading the Reacher novels. I have a good idea where this one falls both chronologically, but have no idea if or where it fits in the Will Trent story arc. 

This eBook has a letter to the readers from the authors. Five tight chapters. And then a sneak peak of Slaughter’s next novel. Slaughter and Child state:

“We’ve been friends for nearly two decades now – and also fans of each other’s writing. Over the years, our conversations have often turned to the topic of what our series characters, Jack Reacher and Will Trent, would do if they met in real life. Would Will arrest Reacher for taking out some vigilante justice on a bad guy? Would Reacher break Will’s face or throw him down a well? The challenge was finding a way for them to work together. Both men have strong moral compasses, but they each reach true north in very different ways. Finding a case that would bring them into each other’s orbit was a very long conversation that finally resulted in a plot that we were both excited to work out on the page.”

The story is very interesting, and for a Reacher story there is no fighting and no body count. Both Reacher and Trent are working at Fort Knox counting the gold bars. Trent is undercover with a fake name and background and is working on a cold case with Jack Reacher as his suspect. Reacher on the other hand was contacted by Frances L. Neagley by a unique method and comes in from his wandering to catch a particularly nasty character. But there is a lot more to the story than either man at first suspects, and soon the original cases they were working on looks like small potatoes, but in order to fund out why you will need to give the story a read. 

This was an excellently written collaboration between Slaughter and Child. The writing is tight. And we see a little more about Reacher moral compass and sense of right. And for me it was also an excellent introduction to Will Trent. If you are a fan of either Trent or Reacher, you owe it to yourself to read this story. And if you just love great short stories, I am sure it will entertain. So give it a try. The only downside is now I am trying to figure out how to fit Karin Slaughter’s books into my already Reacher sized ‘to be read pile’!

Will Trent Books by Karen Slaughter:
1.0 Triptych
2.0 Fractured
3.0 Undone (Genesis)
4.0 Broken
5.0 Fallen
5.5 Snatched
6.0 Criminal
6.5 Busted
7.0 Unseen
8.0 The Kept Woman
9.0 The Last Widow

Books by Lee Child:
Jack Reacher Books Publishing Order:

Killing Floor
Die Trying
Tripwire
The Visitor /Running Blind
Echo Burning
Without Fail
Persuader
The Enemy
One Shot
The Hard Way
Bad Luck and Trouble
Nothing to Lose
Gone Tomorrow
61 Hours
Worth Dying For
The Affair
A Wanted Man
Never go Back
Personal
Make Me
Night School
The Midnight Line
Past Tense
Blue Moon

...
Jack Reacher's Rules
...

Reacher Short Stories and Novella’s:
No Middle Name – Complete Collected Short Stories
Stories in No Middle Name Collection:
Too Much Time
Second Son
Deep Down
Guy Walks into A Bar
James Penney’s New Identity
High Heat
Everyone Talks
Not A Drill
Small Wars
Maybe They Have A Tradition

No Room At The Motel
The Picture of the Lonely Diner

Other Short Stories:
The Fourth Man
The Christmas Scorpion
...
Faking a Murderer with Kathy Reichs
Cleaning the Gold with Karin Slaughter
Good and Valuable Consideration with Joseph Finder
...