Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Book Review for To Be Perfectly Honest by Phil Callaway

To Be Perfectly Honest: One Man's Year of Almost Living Truthfully Could Change Your Life. No Lie.

Phil Callaway is a really funny man and his book, To Be Perfectly Honest, is a really funny book. The premise of his book came from his editor who wanted him to write a book about telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, for an entire year. Callaway writes in diary form about each day of the year (he did miss day 210. I don't know if it was on purpose or not. Maybe he was unconscious for that day).

At first Phil is unsure how to proceed with his vow of honesty.

Day 10. If I am to tell the unpolished truth and live with complete integrity all year, must I pay back those I have wronged or cheated in the past? Does this mean apologizing to fellow golfers who thought I beat them fair and square, when in truth I cheated? How many years back does one go? Isn't there a statute of limitations on this sort of thing? My entire year could be spent confessing past sins. (pg.9)

I have to admit that I admire his willingness to let the rest of us see just how human he is. Makes me feel less uniquely sinful.

Day 23. Was going to read a C.S. Lewis book to expand my mind and strengthen my faith. But decided to play Pac-Man instead. I was doing quite well at it, navigating the maze, gulping dots, tossing back little blue creatures....(pg. 13)

He also admits to daydreaming through sermons and hypocritically singing praise and worship songs when he feels like neither praising nor worshiping. His friends decide to take advantage of his honesty and he starts getting pummeled with e mails:

Day 31. Neil wanted to hear about my most embarrassing moment, and Nick wondered about my biggest fear....

(to Neil): I once deliberately frightened a man whom I thought was someone else. I awoke with a snort during a sermon...(pg. 19)

There's plenty to throw your head back and laugh about but Calloway balances it out with many a story that is sobering. I was glad to know I'm not the only one in the world that can make up scenarios about people who wronged me and brood over it for hours. He also admitted how he, a happily married man,  naively befriended a woman who had something more than friendship on her mind. I'll let you find out how that ends when you read his book. (The guy is trying to make a buck).

I was also glad to know that I'm not the only egotist who considered rating her own book reviews just to give them a boost.

He makes poor choices with his money, admits that he prays differently out loud in front of others than when he's alone and questions God for allowing his loved ones to suffer.

Not to give anything away, but he does make it to the 365th day. I don't think I need to say anymore about this book except that it was a quick read because I didn't want to put it down, not for the suspense but for the sheer hilarity of his writing.

I've never read anything written by Phil Calloway before but I personally plan on purchasing more. We all need humor and this writer provides a good dose of laughter for the soul. The Bible says that our Lord is singing over us with delight. I believe as  G.K Chesterton does, that He is also laughing.

Please take the time to rank my review:

I recieved a complimentary copy of this book from Multnomah Books in exchange for my honest review.
If you buy this book please do so by clicking on the link below so I can received a percentage of the cost.  Thanks!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Bonhoeffer: pastor, martyrt, prophet, spy by Eric Metaxas

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy

If Metaxas accomplished nothing else by writing a biography of one of the most notable if not controversial pastors and theologians of the twentieth century, he showed what a fascinating individual Bonhoeffer is.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was born to a father who was a brilliant and famous agnostic psychiatrist and a mother who showed him Christ's love. His mother was ahead of her time in that she home schooled her children up to a certain age before sending them to German schools. Between both parents Dietrich received a thorough and critical education that held him in good stead throughout college. Even though his mother was a Christian, most of Bonhoeffer's family derided him for his choice of careers. His persistence in standing for and being able to intelligently defend his beliefs is what enabled him to persevere when these beliefs came under attack, not only by the Nazi regime but by the German church.

There is so much rich information in this wonderful biography that I could not do it justice by attempting to review it. Instead I am going to limit my post to a couple of observations I was able to make after reading the personal experiences of someone who truly lived what he believed even though it meant swimming upstream and ultimately cost him his life. These observations pertain to the Christian church both then and now.

At one point in his early pastorate Bonhoeffer visited the United States. The churches he visited were huge, sophisticated structures that had completely rejected the Gospel. They had become social clubs and venues for liberal thought.

Riverside was the church Rockefeller had built for Harry Emerson Fosdick.....Bonhoeffer was in the mood to hear God in the preaching of his Word...but he was in no mood for what he heard that morning at Riverside. The text for the sermon was from James, but not from the James of the New Testament. It was from the American philosopher William James...(pg333)

Bonhoeffer wrote:

There is no theology here.. They talk a blue streak without the slightest substantive foundation and with no evidence of any criteria. The (theology) students..are completely clueless with respect to what dogmatics is really about. They are unfamiliar with even the most basic questions. They become intoxicated with liberal and humanistic phrases, laugh at the fundamentalists, and yet basically are not even up to their level...

Fosdick had been the pastor at New York's First Presbyterian Church when in 1922 he preached an infamous sermon titled “Shall the Fundamentalists Win?” in it he laid out a kind of Apostate's Creed in which he expressed his serious doubts about most of the historic assertions of the Christian faith, including the virgin birth, the resurrection, the divinity of Christ, the atonement, miracles, and the Bible as the Word of God. (pgs 101,102)

Bonhoeffer began attending a church in Harlem because it was the only place he found in the city where he heard the Gospel preached.

It is interesting to note that, according to Metaxas, it was these liberal churches that were in favor of appeasing Hitler.

Hmm.. how does this description of churches compare with certain churches today?

The church in Germany was no better. The German church had for years been so wrapped up in its German identity that Hitler simply needed to push the right buttons in order to make it the German Reich Church. This church became bent on eradicating any “Jewishness” from the scriptures.

For one, the Old Testament must go. It was obviously too Jewish...As for the New Testament, the German Christians quoted scriptures out of context and twisted the meaning to suit their anti-Semitic agenda....

...the 'German Christians preached' Christianity as the polar opposite of Judaism, Jesus as the arch anti-Semite, and the cross as the symbol of war against Jews. Fusing the German Volk (people) with the German Kirche (church) meant stretching and twisting the definitions of both. Step one was to define Germanness as inherently in opposition to Jewishness. To make Christianity one with Germanness meant purging it of everything Jewish. It was an absurd project. (pg.172)

Eventually the German church acquiesced into obligating Hitler by including an “Aryan paragraph” into their creed. Basically this paragraph excluded anyone even remotely of Jewish descent from being a member of the German church. This actually excluded a large number of Christians in Germany whether they had gone to church all their life or had converted to Christianity.

I have heard a number of Jewish people today assert that Hitler was a Christian. It is important to point out that Hitler was not a Christian. He used whatever means necessary to get himself in power.

One sometimes hears that Hitler was a Christian. He was certainly not, but neither was he openly anti-Christian, as most of his top lieutenants were. What helped him aggrandize power, he approved of, and what prevented it, he did not. He was utterly pragmatic. In public he often made comments that made him sound pro-church or pro-Christian, but there can be no question that he said these things cynically, for political gain. In private, he possessed an unblemished record of statements against Christianity and Christians. (Pg 166)

It's been our misfortune to have the wrong religion. Why didn't we have the religion of the Japanese, who regard sacrifice for the Fatherland as the highest good? The Mohammedan religion too would have been much more compatible to us than Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness? -Adolph Hitler (pg 165)

So Bonhoeffer started the confessing church in Germany. It was definitely a minority who joined it but it was a group that refused to compromise on any part of the Gospel of the Bible. By starting this church Bonhoeffer got to experience unpopularity, isolation, being ostracized and all the loneliness, discouragement and frustration that went with it. But he didn't give in an inch.

Most Christians who belonged to the German church were not in favor of the more radical creeds of the Reich church but neither did they fight it. They just decided to lay low and quietly wait it out, hoping that Hitler would eventually just fade away.

Hmm...how many church members today fit in this category? How many Americans period fit this category?

Bonhoeffer was not willing to wait for Der Fuhrer to go away on his own. He joined a group of conspirators who decided to assassinate Hitler.

This part of the Bonhoeffer's life I must frankly admit to neither understanding nor agreeing with. As sound as his theology is in every other respect, he simply cannot Biblically support trying to assassinate someone, even a person as evil as Hitler. Metaxas records how Hitler miraculously escapes their plots over and over again. And I do mean miraculous. Bombs that simply did not detonate for no reason whatsoever. Even when a bomb did finally go off, right next to Hitler, a freak design of a table leg blocked him and he survived. I don't see how God could have spoken any clearer than that. He is the determiner of people's lifespans, not us. Hitler did die, by his own hands, two weeks after Bonhoeffer was executed for his part in the assassination attempts.

Even though, modern liberal religious leaders have tried to hold Bonhoeffer up as their model of “revolutionary theologian”, he actually stood against everything they stand for. I don't understand how Bonhoeffer came to justify an assassination attempt but it only proves that he was human and not omniscient or perfect. What he was, was a man who stood up for the truth even when he was standing alone for much of his life. This poses questions for myself.

Am I willing to stand alone for truth? Am I willing to die for it? How many church members are going to stand on the side of truth when push comes to shove? How many will know what side truth is on?

In addition to these thought provoking questions, Metaxas offers an impeccable record of how some one like Hitler came to power, the abominable atrocities the Nazi's committed and most importantly of all, how a devout Christian responded to it all.

In my review of “They Are Still Alive” a memoir by a Jewish survivor of Hitler's regime I quoted the author, Philip Pressler explaining why the Holocaust made him an atheist. He couldn't understand why God would allow such suffering.

This is what the camp doctor at Flossenburg had to say when witnessing Bonhoeffer's execution:

..I saw Pastor Bonhoeffer...kneeling on the floor praying fervently to his God. I was most deeply moved by the way this lovable man prayed, so devout and so certain that God heard his prayer. At the place of execution, he again said a short prayer and then climbed the steps to the gallows, brave and composed. His death ensued after a few seconds. ….I have hardly ever seen a man die so entirely submissive to the will of God. (pg532)

Metaxas writes:

Bonhoeffer thought it the plain duty of the Christian-and the privilege and honor-to suffer with those who suffered. He knew that it was a privilege to be allowed by God to partake of the sufferings of the Jews who had died in this place before him.....the crematorium at Flossenburg was not working, so the bodies of the men hanged that morning were burned in piles, and in this, too, he had the honor to be joined to the millions of other victims of the Third Reich. (pg 532)

I'll end with an excerpt of one of Bonhoeffer's sermons:

No one has yet believed in God and the kingdom of God, no one has yet heard about he realm of the resurrected, and not been homesick from that hour..to being released from bodily existence.

Death is grace, the greatest gift of grace that God gives to people who believe in him...it is the gateway to our homeland, the tabernacle of joy, the everlasting kingdom of peace.

Death is hell and night and cold, if it is not transformed by our faith. But that is just what is so marvelous, that we can transform death. (pg 531)

Amen and praise God!

My post doesn't even skim the surface of this brilliant biography which not only records the life of a great Christian but is a remarkable historical record of one of the darkest eras of human history. I hope you, the reader will take the time to read Eric Metaxas' book.

For more reviews on WWII:
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
The Navajo Code Talkers
The Whisperers
The Secret Holocaust Diaries
On Hilter's Mountain and In My Hands

If you buy this book, please do so through my link so I can receive a small percentage.


While reading his biography I concurrently read Bonhoeffer's book, The Cost of Discipleship. I highly recommend this. It greatly enhanced my appreciation and enjoyment of Metaxas' book.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Book Review for They Are Still Alive: A Family's Survival in France during World War II

They Are Still Alive is a memoir by Philip Pressel. It is a recounting of his years as a young boy in Europe during WWII and his subsequent years growing up in America.

Really, anybody's life story is interesting if told well but Pressel's story is especially interesting because he came from a Jewish family from Belgium that had the misfortune of living during Hitler's reign of terror. Pressel's parents fled Belgium to live in France where they made a meager living while trying to escape capture from not only the Nazi's but the French police who acquiesced  to the Germans in trying to round up Jews.

In order to protect their son, Pressel's parents entrusted him to a local French Catholic family who cared for Philip while his parents went underground. Pressel does an excellent job of describing the hardship he and his family went through as well as the generosity of his French foster parents as they all tried to survive those nightmarish times.

After the war, Pressel's family immigrated to the United States where his dad got a job as a translator for the United Nations. This portion of the book serves as a good example of how children thrived and succeeded in getting an education through the public schools despite being foreign, poor, a minority and not being able to speak the language.

I first attended the Arrandale Elementary School and, by necessity, learned English very quickly....In Europe, I had practiced speaking and reading English with my parents. Now I was forced to use my English and really learn it so I could keep up with my studies and socialize. ...I must have had a strong French accent, but it eventually disappeared as I became more “American.” It is amazing how being forced to speak and read English helps people learn the language quickly! Now, in my older years, I disapprove of teaching children in their native language instead of in English. (pg.88, 89)

The rest of the book is a chronology of Pressel's life in America. He got an engineering degree, got married, had kids, worked and pretty much lived a normal life. In his seventies he finally returned to France and was reunited with the family who took care of him there.

Pressel includes letters of his parents that were written during the war years. They can be quite heart rending as they describe their predicament and plea with family members and government officials in America to allow them to immigrate, something that the Allied countries seemed to be stubborn in preventing many desperate Jewish families from doing.

The most interesting aspect of the book for me, beside Pressel's personal account of surviving Hitler's regime (which most of his extended family did not) is the great detail he goes into in describing all the Jewish customs, traditions and holidays.

For my educational benefit, my parents joined Temple Israel, the Conservative synagogue in Great Neck. …

….We (celebrated) Hanukah at home. I lit the candles and she (his mother) made the traditional latkes, potato pancakes. For the New Year holiday Rosh Hashana, we would normally have dinner at her sister Sonia's house and Maman would make her carp dish. On Yom Kipper, the Day of Atonement, she fasted....

On passover, a holiday celebrating Moses leading the Jews from Egypt, we attended the Seder at Aunt Ruth's house..Ruth's husband was Orthodox and ran the service very strictly. He would sit at the head of the table in a white robe, leaning on some pillows. He made sure to recite each word on the Haggadah..... (pg 92,93)

Pressel describes breaking the Matzo and hiding one piece and how he and his cousins would contrive to steal it for presents, since the Seder couldn't be complete without both halves of the Matzo.

Both his parents came from Orthodox Jewish families in Europe, were great Zionists and zealous in preserving their Jewish culture and identity. Nevertheless, Pressel and his family didn't believe in God.

They were not at all religious and the war certainly had a tremendous negative effect on their faith, especially on my father. The loss of his family hit him hard and he lost any belief in God he may have ever had.

…..Maman told me of her own disbelief, but she always felt it was important to realize and be proud we were Jewish. She stressed being supportive of Jewish causes and Israel, even if we were not observant or true believers. (pg. 92)

As far as his own belief is concerned, Pressel has this to say:

..starting at age 8 I learned about being Jewish. Later I observed others...go through the rituals in the synagogue and prayers for various occasions... As I matured I could not understand why so many prayers were read or recited in a language (Hebrew) I could not understand...My parents did not actively practice religion but still wanted me to learn and be proud of my heritage. My father rarely went to synagogue, but he was a secular Zionist of the highest order.....

.....as I matured, I kept saying to myself 'If there really was a God, why did he let the Holocaust happen? …..'Why did God let my son die?... why did God let my father die so young? The more of life that went on, the less I believed in a God...

...What I enjoy the most is the traditional music during the Jewish service. My basic belief is that man created God, not the other way around, in order for people 'in power' to help control populations...(pg177,178)

Pressel's beliefs struck me as especially poignant since I have been studying the book of Isaiah and particularly Chapters 58 and 59:

Declare to my people their rebellion and to the house of Jacob their sins. For day after day they seek me out. They seem eager to know my ways, as if they were a nation that does what is right and has not forsaken the commands of its God..Why have we fasted, they say, and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves and you have not noticed?

Yet on your day of fasting you do as you please...Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife.....you cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high..(Is. 58:1-4)

Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from you God. (Is 59:1,2)

In other words, empty ritual, ritual practiced for the sake of tradition and preserving one's cultural identity is not God's original intention in proscribing these feast days and festivals to the Jewish people. It was to show them the way to unite with their God. One can't misuse religious practises by ignoring the One who handed them down to you. It renders them obsolete. It also renders the practitioner helpless and lost. Traditions never saved anyone from disaster only God's Redeemer can do that.

The Lord looked and was displeased that there was no justice. He saw that there was no one, He was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so His own arm worked salvation for Him and His own righteousness sustained Him...

The Redeemer will come to Zion to those In Jacob who repent of their sins. (Is 59:15-20)

I think many Jewish people, like Pressel, believe that Messiah is going to come and save them from their oppressors. He is. But first He is going to save them from their own sinful selves. Not only Jewish people but all of us.

I wish Pressel and others like him knew of God's plan of redemption for the world so they could see WWII and all human suffering as something that is coming to an end because one day God is coming to claim His own.
And it won't be practitioners of traditions that have lost sight of the One who has preserved the Jewish race since His covenant with Abraham.

In my next post, I am going to review a biography of someone who didn't survive the Holocaust, yet his conclusions about God were very different from Pressel's.

I received a complimentary copy of They Are Still Alive as a member of the
Dorrance Publishing Book Review Team. Visit dorrancebookstore.com
to learn how you can become a member of the Book Review Team.

You can purchase this book at http://store.yahoo.com/cgi-bin/clink?dorrance+7XZRvv+index.html

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Book Review for Unsinkable: A Young Woman's courageous Battle On the High Seas


Unsinkable: A Young Woman's Courageous Battle on the High Seas

Abby Sunderland comes from a unique family. But, as I've come to notice, most homeschooling families don't walk down the well-trod path. They tend to choose the road not taken. In Abby's case, her father didn't want his kids growing up glued to the TV set or addicted to video games. He wanted them to live life, not watch it.

He endeavored to accomplish this by moving his family to a boat and living on it for a number of years. Both Abby and her older brother Zac became competent sailors working with their dad. By the age of thirteen, Abby was single handedly sailing boats to and from  ports. This was also the age when she began to dream of sailing around the world, unassisted and alone.

Abby makes an interesting comment about her age group:

...there are all these minivans driving down the road with bumper stickers that say, “My child was Student of the Week at Smith Elementary”..But guess what? Every child gets to be student of the week. It's like we, as kids, aren't expected or required to reach higher, to be different, to do anything special in order to get some kind of warm, fuzzy award... (pg.93)

By the time she was sixteen, her dream became an ambition.  Her older brother Zac had already  broken the record of youngest person to sail solo without assistance around the world. His record was broken shortly thereafter by another, even younger, sailor but if Abby sailed and succeeded she would hold the record of youngest sailor.

Unsinkable is an account of Abby's endeavors to attain this record: how she raised support, selected and bought a suitable boat and all the people and technology that went into making her dream a reality. Most of the book is a description of the nuts and bolts that go into putting such an ambitious project together. It nevertheless also includes personal accounts of the different people that gave of their time, energy and technical know-how to get a boat designed and geared up to deal with high winds, waves, and keep Abby connected to the rest of the world through satellite communications via her blog and phones.

It's pretty amazing to read Abby's first hand narrative of trouble shooting all the different problems that seemed to consistently arise during her journey. Amazing and suspenseful:

The wintry wind screamed across the deck, and I could tell it was now holding up near fifty knots. Imagine standing on the roof of a car that's driving down the freeway. ...As the mainsail flogged crazily in the racing wind, I had to climb all over the boom and do the monkey thing to try and get it down. But the way I was clipped in to the jack-lines my harness line didn't reach far enough for me to get the job done. So I unclipped it, wrapped it around the boom to shorten the line and clipped it back onto itself. Then I started working to get the sail down.

At that moment, a huge gust slammed into the mainsail like a train. The autopilot snapped into standby.. The boat heeled over to port as if a giant hand had smacked her down and I tumbled over the top of the mainsail toward the water. Terror ripped through me as I was falling, falling, falling toward the sea. Wild Eyes (the name of her boat) was nearly mast down in the water when my harness line jerked me to a stop.....(pg. 125)

That is only one of many instances where Abby found herself in a tight fix but managed to work her way out of it.  Abby conquered wiring problems, autopilot shut downs and taking sails down during storms-problems that would have caused many a grown man to give up.

Still, Abby does not take entire credit for her success. Brought up in a Christian home that knew the power of prayer, Abby did a lot of that during times of crises. She knows that ultimately God protected her on more than one occasion.

At one point in the journey the line that lowered the sail got entangled around around the mast. With a huge storm coming in, it was imperative that she lower the sail. Going up the mast in thirty-five-knot winds was practically suicide. After several sleepless nights and days and troubleshooting with her team back home via phone calls, everyone conceded that she was going to have to pull in somewhere, thus terminating her chances of making her dream happen as youngest solo sailor around the world.

While still on the phone chewing on this decision Abby decided to go topside and see what the weather was doing.

Suddenly, up in the air, a dark shape caught my eye. It was some kind of seabird and as I watched it fly right over my mast, a burst of joy filled my chest.....I could see the little line that had been knotted around the spreader. It wasn't tangled anymore. (pg. 153)

Of course that sounds like God was going to help Abby with accomplishing her dream. No one can second guess God, however.  Abby's next crisis came in the middle of the Indian ocean. A rogue wave capsized her boat. Luckily her boat was designed to bounce back up when capsized, which it did, but it broke her mast off. It was over.

Looking at the stump where her mast was Abby said out loud,  Lord, how long have you been planning this? (pg. 161)

I didn't realize how sucked into the story I was until I felt my eyes welling up with tears when I realized that Abby had come so far only to be stranded on a truncated boat in the middle of the most isolated part of the world.

The next part of the book is a suspenseful recounting of how rescue teams and a fishing boat that happened to be passing by found Abby which was nothing short of miraculous in itself.

The Sunderlands have been viciously attacked by the news media for allowing their underage daughter to embark on such an undertaking, not to mention the tax dollars involved in the rescue operation. I myself feel ambiguous about it, especially when after reading this book I see how dangerous and risky such an adventure is. It really is  miraculous that Abby survived. I don't, however, like to see myself siding with a  hypocritical pack of media wolves.  I don't believe they give a rip about Abby or any child (where's their hue and outcry for all the youth exploited in Hollywood movies by aggressive stage parents?). Their only concern is keeping their network ratings up.

Still, I wouldn't be willing to give up a year with my son. Or risk his life.

I'll give Abby the last word on the subject:

As I passed weeks alone at sea, especially when watching amazing sunsets or night skies filled with shooting stars, I was so thankful that my parents trusted me enough, and had enough faith in my abilities, to let me follow my passion and try to do something great, even if I might fail. And it was little successes along the way that changed me, built my confidence,and helped me grow.(pg.93)

Unsinkable is a gripping read. Abby's adventure captures the imagination and I think sea dogs and land lubbers alike would enjoy reading her story.
I received this book Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for my honest review.
If you buy this book please do so through my link so I can receive a small commission, thanks!

Book Blogger Hop
Outside of books what's my guilty pleasure?  Chocolate-lots of it!1

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Book review for "The Corruptible: a Ray Quinn Mystery" by Mark Mynheir

The Corruptible: A Ray Quinn Mystery

When reviewing books for publishing companies, I primarily select nonfiction. This time, for a change, I chose a book I normally would not have considered: a murder mystery. I must confess that it was a pleasant novelty to simply sit back and read purely for entertainment without necessarily “improving myself.” The book I chose, “The Corruptible” by Mark Mynheir, was pure dessert. Not something you want to make a complete diet out of but just that piece of chocolate after a healthy dinner. Something one can curl up with, relax and decompress at the end of a long, tiring day.

I enjoyed “The Corruptible” because it had all the right ingredients to make an interesting mystery. Each chapter was relatively short but provoking enough to propel you into the next chapter. It kept me going to the very end because I really wanted to know how everything was going to fall into place.

“The Corruptible” is one of a series of mystery stories by Mark Mynheir about Ray Quinn. I haven't read any of the other books in the series but in this book Quinn has retired from the police force and is currently working as a private investigator. Quinn is a hardened former narcotics undercover cop who has a jaded view on life. The fact that his retirement from the police was enforced by a shoot out that left him crippled and in constant pain hasn't lightened his outlook any.

So Quinn is now trying to make it as a private investigator. He has a sidekick, Crevis, who is training to get accepted into the police academy. Crevis is physically and mentally qualified for the Academy but has failed the written test a couple of times due to a deprived family background and a learning disability (he's dyslexic).

To further complicate his life (Quinn's), Crevis is being tutored by Pam, a woman who is forever grateful to Quinn for clearing her murdered brother's name in a previous case. The gratitude doesn't bother him so much as the fact that Pam keeps insisting on praying for him. She even asks to pray with him- something that, as an agnostic, Quinn is not inclined to do. He has more faith in his close companion, Jim Beam. (That's a whiskey for all of you that aren't from the South). Old Jim helps Quinn forget the chronic pain from a leg that's held together by nuts and bolts. Still, even though Quinn doesn't want to admit it, he likes that fact that a smart, attractive woman cares about him even if he hides those feelings under a gruff and sarcastic exterior.

Quinn is hired by a big wig CEO to track a worker who took off with some highly classified files. These files hold personal information about clients that could compromise their security if made public.

Typical formula. Someone steals something, someone ends up dead-read to the last chapter to see who did it.

What makes this story interesting is watching Quinn in action as he methodically works with forensics teams, the police department, SWAT team and one by one ticks off every possible suspect until he gradually puts each piece of the puzzle together and the whole picture materializes.

Mynheir worked as an undercover narcotics agent, SWAT team member and recently retired as a detective from the Criminal Investigations Unit in Central Florida (where his stories take place) which explains his thorough attention to the details involved in a murder investigation. His personal experience is not only his source of inspiration but allows him to be his own technical adviser. (For more information on Mynheir go to http://www.copwriter.com/)

One negative: On a couple of occasions (and they were rare) Mynheir uses what I would call “soft” swear words. Not everyone would agree with me about that but the words are unarguably vulgar and he could have left them out and nobody would have missed them. My objection to these words is that I do not like hearing them and I certainly choose not to use them but when I read them in a book, I have been forced to mentally speak them. Since the author is a Christian writing from a Christian perspective I think that he would do well to discard any profane speech. (Ephesians 5:4 )

One last negative: Mynheir uses the word, “smirk” too much. Everybody smirks. Mr. Mynheir, sir, please get a thesaurus and exchange some of those “smirks” for an equally effective but different descriptive word. (Mr. Mynheir, if you're actually reading this I hope you're not offended. Remember Proverbs 9:7-12)

On a positive note: Mynheir does not paint a pretty picture of life as a cop and the world they are exposed to. His protagonist Quinn is every bit as cynical about life as your average cop would be without any faith in God. The only Christian in the book is Pam and she hardly comes into play at all. When she does enter into a scene, however, her faith throws into sharp relief the darkness that it penetrates. Mynheir presents an honest Christian witness without being preachy or manipulating the story so that everything “comes out all right in the end.” Every character is believable.

Another positive note: Unlike most murder mysteries that use the corpse as a stage prop by which to build a story, Mynheir's murder victim was somebody with a multifaceted personality. Someone to have compassion on, whose death is mourned by the characters in the book and also by the reader.

So with the positives outweighing the negatives my verdict is if you need a good, entertaining read before turning out the light, “The Corruptible” will fit the bill.

This book was given to me by Blogging for Books. in exchange for my honest review.
If you buy the book please do so through my link below so I can receive a small percentage of the cost.  Thanks!

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