Sunday, 8 April 2018

Blood of the Lamb (John Jordan Mystery Series) by Michael Lister

Hardback:  Florida prison chaplain John Jordan's search for the peace that has so long eluded him is interrupted by an unimaginable murder.  Attempting to be a good man in a very bad place while also
maintaining his shaky sobriety, John investigates the murder of the seven-year-old adopted daughter of ex-con turned televangelist, Bobby Earl Caldwell, a murder committed in John's own locked office when Bobby Earl conducts a service in the Potter Correctional Institution.

This unspeakable act, and the investigations that follows, will force John to confront his own fears and beliefs, causing this man of mercy to thirst for justice.  Torn between the duality of the roles he is asked to assume - cop and cleric - John must try to figure out his identity as well as that of the killer's, but his past continues to haunt him in the form of troubling thoughts of failure and the resurfacing of his ex-wife, Susan.

Putting aside his distrust of the slick televangelist and his seductive wife, John must ignore intimidation and resist manipulation to find a killer among some very unusual suspects including two murderers, a child molester, a teacher with something to hide, and Bobby Earl Caldwell himself
whose very act of exposing his daughter to such risk causes John to suspect him from the very beginning.

Amid private crises and the torturous experiences of a thoughtful, sensitive man working in such a pitiless place, nothing short of death will end John's search for the person who killed little Nicole Caldwell.  Uncovering the guilt, restoring the balance, John seeks pardon from the self-inflicted life sentence he is serving and exoneration from the burden of regret he bears.

Blood of the Lamb (2004) is the second instalment in the long-running ex-cop, now prison chaplain John Jordan mystery series set in the Florida Panhandle.

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."

Rating:  4/5

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