by Sandra Murphy
Details on how to win a copy of Sentinel’s Choice at the end of this review, along with a link to purchase the book where a portion goes to help support KRL.
If you like action, suspense and intrigue, you’ll love this book. It starts with a letter from Ren LaFleet to his granddad, detailing the injuries he’s suffered lately and tells that the good guys survived and the bad guy killed. He says, “Just when you think you know a person, they turn out to be a prolific serial killer.” That line sets the tone for the book–humor mixed with a lot of dead bodies, stretched from Iraq’s war to current day, in and out of the Church with personal lives mixed in.
There are several layers of killings going on, mostly priests and nuns who have fallen away from the teachings they were supposed to live and breathe. Most of them are vile people and fall into the “he needed killing” category. Even the priests who are transferred to some middle of the jungle parish are tracked down and executed. There are also local murders–a priest called out in the middle of the night to what turns out to be an empty apartment. Who has the talent to track and kill and the ability to travel worldwide to do it? Is there only one killer or a conspiracy?
Ren starts at the beginning, in Iraq with a gun battle that can’t really be called a win, but survival, so his granddad will understand just what happened and why.
This book is different from most. Starting at page one, you know Ren survived but suffered terrible injuries. You know who is doing a lot of killing and why, but the suspense comes from not knowing if he’ll be caught. If not, will he continue to kill?
Because of this, it’s hard to tell much about the book without giving spoilers. The action scene at the end of the book takes place at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. It’s an icy night so running from one end to the other is dangerous in more ways than one. It’s also darn hard to clear the site with only a few officers on hand. If you’re like me, you’ll find yourself holding your breath for the last chapter or so.
There’s a bit of romance (mixed with a lot of humor) between Ren and Lt. Saxen that spices up the story too. There’s mutual attraction but neither one seems to know what to do about it personally or professionally. Tex is Ren’s partner and a great sidekick, full of one-liners, Wong is the Chief, very stiff and formal with a talent for knowing when to look away. Rick is Ren’s brother of choice, stemming from the original battle in Iraq. He became a priest after the war and is in town on Church business. He’s able to help with the investigation as well.
This is an astonishingly good first novel and one I’ll read again and again–while waiting for the next in the series, Sentinel’s Dilemma, coming this year. There’s an excerpt of it at the back of this book, only two pages long, not enough to be sure Ren is back, but I’m hopeful.
To enter to win a copy of Sentinel’s Choice, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Sentinel,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen May 24, 2014. U.S. residents only.
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