Wednesday, October 17, 2012

"Sons of Jude" Blog Tour

A new series of gritty, fast-paced thrillers

The body of a young woman is found in a dumpster in Chicago and detectives Andy Polanski and Frank Campello are charged with finding the killer. The two are polar opposites. Polanski is the son of a disgraced Chicago police officer and is fastidious about his reputation. He has also recently been transferred from another district having blown the whistle on some corrupt cops. Campello, however, takes a live-and-let-live approach to his life and job.

It soon becomes clear, as another young woman--a potential witness--is murdered, that a sex-trafficking operation in Chicago is preying on illegal aliens. As the ill-matched pair dig deeper, an influential alderman and his son are implicated. Then Polanski is framed for a narcotics offense, devastating the cases against the corrupt officers and the alderman. Only when Campello is challenged by a local minister, whom he meets when visiting Polanski, does he find the motivation to seek justice.

Read an excerpt here.

About the Author:

Brandt Dodson comes from a long line of police officers dating back more than seventy years on both sides of his family. In addition, he was employed with the Indianapolis office of the FBI. He has lived in Chicago and travels to the city annually.

My Take:

For a cop drama, this book was pretty good. The two main characters were Andy Polanski, a straight laced by-the-book kind of cop, and Frank Campello, who recently lost his partner and is not happy about Andy turning on his “brothers in blue”.  Andy is the Christian in this book and does what he does to honor Christ, but Frank is angry at Andy for being a traitor.  The two characters were well written and interesting to get to know.

I enjoyed watching the relationship between Andy and Frank grow.  As a reader, you know that Andy is doing what he is doing for Christ.  You know he is doing the right thing and you end up pulling for him.  At the same time, the author gives a very compelling view of the other officers involved in the story.  They just see someone who betrayed their own; something which is just not done, no matter if you thought your were doing the right thing or not.  You know that Andy is a good detective and want him to succeed, but you also feel for the other detectives who just can’t trust him.  An author being able to pull off both sides of a very polarizing subject and make the reader feel sympathy for both sides is something you don’t see often, and I was very impressed.

However, the book was mainly told from Frank’s perspective, which sometimes made Andy come across as a na├»ve sap who is hiding behind his Bible and doesn’t care what that means to his family, friends, and coworkers.  Now, I do agree that Christians should live their lives based on what Christ did for us and should not compromise.  But Andy sometimes came across as just barreling through life not caring about the consequences of his actions and not explaining to people why he was doing what he was doing.  Of course you should stand up for what you believe in, but sometimes there is a compassionate balance at play as well.

The only other problem I had with this story was that the murder mystery ended up being a bit too convoluted.  The characters (good and bad) each had back story which somehow ended up being tied into the main story.  This probably wouldn’t have been a problem if we could have learned about their back stories in a previous book instead of snippets throughout this one.  By the end of the book, I was just glad that the murder part was over.  I wanted to focus on the characters again.

 I really enjoyed the way the author showed the growth of the relationship between the two main characters.  I finished the book wanting to know more about the two and where their friendship and partnership is going to go.  And, as far as murder mysteries go, though this one was complicated, it was still good.  I enjoyed this book despite a few issues.
I will give Sons of Jude ... 3 ½ BookWorms.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Kregel Publications and Monarch Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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