Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Thought Provoking Thriller

From the Publisher
Boone Drake has it made. He’s a young cop rising rapidly through the ranks of the Chicago Police Department. He has a beautiful wife and a young son, a nice starter house, a great partner, and a career plan that should land him in the Organized Crime Division within five years. Everything is going right. Until everything goes horribly wrong. His personal life destroyed and his career and future in jeopardy, Boone buries himself in guilt and bitterness as his life spirals out of control. But when he comes face-to-face with the most vicious gang leader Chicago has seen in decades, he begins to realize that God is a God of second chances and can change the hardest heart . . . and forgive the worst of crimes.
My Take
Thought provoking!! Powerful life lessons! Unexpected plot resolution!
Jerry B. Jenkins has started a new police thriller series in the Precinct 11 novels. The first installment, The Brotherhood, introduces us to Boone Drake as a young go-getter cop who wants to impede gang activities on his beat. He and his partner, Jack Keller, work the night shift and put their lives on the line each and every night. When he’s moved to the day shift, he’s not home when a tragic accident hits his family.
Boone has to make the unimaginable decision to keep his wife alive or let her go. His guilt and sorrow so deeply affects him that he questions his life and faith. How can God allow such bad things happen to such good (and devoted) people? While he questions God’s actions, his bitterness grows. Jenkins asks the hard questions and makes the reader really think about their own faith—he doesn’t provide a cliché explanation like so many other Christian novels do. The lesson I took from this is to cherish each and every day with your loved ones because you never know when God will call them home.
Fast forward to a year later……Boone’s partner is up for promotion in the Organized Crime Unit and Boone wants to follow him to bring down the gangs, drug lords, and the “mob”. Why should these lowlifes live to kill while his faithful family is destroyed? Why should these criminals be rewarded for their evil ways? Again, Jenkins allows the reader to dig deep and reflect on their own beliefs without providing a pat answer.
The Brotherhood dives right in to gang and mob activities that are probably more real-life than we care to admit. Boone works with one of the high ranking gangbangers who has turned his life over to God and wants to atone for his sins. Seeing the change in this criminal helps lead Boone back to the Father he once knew. Although Boone is skeptical about God’s plans, he realizes there’s a reason for those plans and a reason that certain people come into your life. A second lesson I learned is that God knows what he’s doing and it’s not our job to question His plans for us.
The book has an interesting plot and Christian theme. I’ve never read any of Jenkins’ other works (Left Behind series in particular) so I didn’t quite know what to expect. I liked the way he integrated Christian beliefs without being cheesy or preachy. It was also kind of an eye-opener to frightening organized crime activities that are out there.
That said, I did have a couple issues with the book. Not that I want to discount the tragedy with Boone’s family, but it took up the first 200 pages of the book. Personally I thought the organized crime case should have been more developed. Also, there was a jump in the time line that I thought should have been included—the year between the tragedy and the beginning of Boone’s move to the organized crime division is pretty well glossed over. However, even with those issues, the book was still interesting and unexpected (no spoiler here!). I couldn’t wait to get through the last few chapters just to see how it all ended!
I give The Brotherhood 4 out of 5 stars!

Would you like a copy of The Brotherhood? Leave me a comment & you can have a chance to win a gift certificate for your own free copy!
I received this book free from Tyndale Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own

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