Hardback: In a mystery book market saturated with stories of gruesome serial killers devoid of morality and shady investigators whose questionable tactics make them difficult heroes, Power in the Blood (1997) by Michael Lister offers a more spiritual view of social ills and acknowledges that, behind every despicable act, there is always room for forgiveness and redemption.
In this debut novel, Lister, a prison chaplain, introduces John Jordan, chaplain of a prison in the Florida Panhandle, who witnesses the bloody death of Potter Correctional Institution inmate Ike Johnson. Jordan discovers that in the closed society of captives and captors no action goes unseen, and no one takes kindly to a cop in a collar. He soon finds his reputation, his career, and even his life are at stake. There is power in the blood all right, but will it be the wonder working power sung about in the old hymn?
"While writing Power in the Blood , I attempted to present Chaplain Jordan as a person who is in many ways quite ordinary despite being a man of the cloth. Like everyone else, Jordan attempts to find romance, deals with the demands of work on a daily basis, and struggles with his faith," said Michael Lister. "Despite the extraordinary violence that he must face and the misdeeds of fallen souls he endures, Jordan manages to pursue the investigation with honesty and grace. I think that makes him an unusual hero in today's mystery market."
By offering up the sacred as well as the profane, Power in the Blood - the first instalment in the ex-cop turned prison chaplain John Jordan Mystery series - is sure to please both mystery readers and general fiction enthusiasts.
About the author: Michael Lister is an American novelist, essayist, screenwriter, and filmmaker of Florida-based mysteries, suspense, thrillers, and noirs. Before becoming a full-time writer, he was the youngest chaplain with the Florida Department of Corrections from 1993 to 2000 - a unique experience that led to his first novel, 1997’s critically acclaimed debut, Power In The Blood, a New York Times and USA Today bestsellers.
Michael grew up in North Florida near the Gulf of Mexico and the Apalachicola River in a small town world famous for tupelo honey. Captivated by story since childhood, Michael has a love for language and narrative inspired by the Southern storytelling tradition that captured his imagination and became such a source of meaning and inspiration. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in theology with an emphasis on myth and narrative.
Michael lives with his wife Dawn in Wewahitchka, Florida. They have four children, one horse, one dog, one cat, four ducks, and thousands of books.
During his tenure at Gulf Correctional, Lister earned these words of praise from his warden, "Chaplain Lister's unprejudiced concern for the welfare of staff as well as inmates has brought a spiritual soothing to both populations at this institution. He is an exceptionally gifted teacher, truly an angel, a shepherd to all."