Thursday 25 March 2021

Stolen Blessing - Jim Sano - Father Tom Book 3

Stolen Blessing 
Father Tom Book 3
ISBN 9781987970272

This is the third story I have read by Jim Sano. All three are from the Father Tom Series, Father Tom Fitzpatrick, the first titled The Father's Son and the second Gus Busbi. It is another excellent read, with each new book I read from Jim’s pen the more impressed I am. I was very excited to read this new story. Father Tom is an amazing character, and I hope we get books featuring him for years to come. I had heard great things about Jim’s first book and held off reading it. For fear that it would not live up to the hype. But Now I read them as soon as I can get my hands on them. The Father Tom stories are very well written. They have excellent characters; they draw you in and keep you hooked. The writing is wonderful. With each book the series gets better!
The Father Tom stories are contemporary fiction. They are realistic fiction. They are set in our world, in our time, and with our issues and struggles. In this story we have a few main characters. And Father Tom is an influence on most of them. But this one has a mystery, and Father Tom inserts himself in the investigation and in the family involved to get to the truth. In some ways it feels like a Blackie Ryan mystery from Father Andrew M. Greely. And there is a lot of mystery in this story. A robbery, a missing baby, an estranged family, and much more. 
The story revolves around family conflict, and deep wounds. It highlights how we can make terrible decisions out of pain and hurt. It also offers hope,, a hope born of finding the truth, speaking the truth, and learning to trust and be vulnerable again. The story starts with a basketball championship in Woodhaven Queens, NY in 1993. Two brothers on the court. Erick and Jack. And one receives all the praise, and the other is slighted and hurt. Like other books in the series, it is written around decisions we make, and the consequences of those actions. 
After that chapter the story jumps to the Boston South End in 2006 and a baptism at Father Tim Fitzpatrick’s church. The baby being baptised is the child of Erick and Addie and their baby Elizabeth. Erick’s brother Jack, back from 6 years abroad is the Godfather. And the Godmother is Rachel, Addie’s younger sister. Then the day after the baptism Erick is found unconscious and the baby is missing. This one is more along the lines of a whodunit mystery. But with a lot of hurts, misinterpretation of actions and intent, misguided reactions. I do not know how anyone could read this story and not think of their own family, friends, and coworkers. It deals with some very serious matters, and ones that affect a lot of people today. The story is deeply moving. It is a story that will make you think. You will find yourself reflecting on your own life, area’s you need to work on, area’s you need to improve. And maybe even some old things you need to let go.
I admit I figured it out about halfway through. But I had not figured all the pieces out. Another excellent read in a wonderful series. But to figure out how Father Tom and Angelo figure out the complicated relationships and the clues that do not line up, you will need to read this story. This story is not fluff just to pass the time. It is a book that will make you think. It is well worth it! A third read in what I hope will be a long series.  Father Tom is now among my favorite fictional clergy of all time. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan

Books by Jim Sano:

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