The same cannot be said for his assailant, who lays mortally wounded on a gurney, begging for absolution for some past sin. Offering last rites to the dying man, Michael hears his final confession and is shaken by the admission of a crime committed five years earlier.
A murder that shattered his family.
Struggling with the constraints of his faith, Michael moves cautiously as he tries to identify others involved in the vicious killing. But every secret he uncovers leads him further down a path where it becomes clear that someone is desperate for the past to stay buried.
Have you ever seen the movie Mercury Rising? I have. A zillion times. It’s one of my favorite movies. I’ve always meant to read the book “Simple Simon”. It was the inspiration for the movie. It says so in the credits or something…all I know is, I’ve seen the name for the book and kept meaning to look it up. So imagine my delight when I found the author in my Twitter feed! I don’t even remember how he ended up in there. But somehow Ryne Douglas Pearson popped up mentioning his books available for e-readers.
I should point out here that thanks to Twitter I have discovered that not only are authors generally awesome people, but they are totally down to earth too. I mean, they’re goofy and out there sometimes, but they are REAL. So far not a single author I’ve talked to has been the untouchable I thought they’d be. It’s fantastic!
So I asked Ryne which book he recommended for me to start with. I knew I’d eventually read “Simple Simon”, but I wanted to read something newer. I wanted to read something the author himself recommended. His response was to ask what kind of books I enjoy reading and is there a particular subject I prefer. Again, awesomeness! Thank you, Ryne, for taking the time to ask. Ryne suggested “Confessions”, since it was suspenseful and kind of dark. Totally my bag.
I finished it in two days and I loved it!
How could I not love it? The main character is a conflicted priest who is trying to track down his sister’s murderer. How could that not capture your attention right away?
The pacing of the book is just perfect, in my opinion. There was never a time where I felt it dragged or there was a lull. I always wanted to get to the next page, read the next chapter, find out what was going to happen. The characters were ones you wanted to learn more about. They drew you into the story and made you want to know where they were going. Especially the main character, the priest I mentioned, Michael Jerome (Father Jerome to most people.)
Michael was so sympathetic because he behaved like a real human being. One of the things I loved the most about this book was Pearson’s ability to capture the absolute humanness of a priest. Any priest will tell you they are not infallible. They are human. They are very human, having the same desires, doubts, and concerns that everyone else has. They just have a calling that changes the way they can react to many of those desires or doubts. Father Jerome struggles with his ability to remain faithful. Starting with a chance meeting with a man who took part in his sister’s murder, and moving through the carefully woven tapestry of lies that led up to the cover-up, Michael is intensely human and real.
Throughout the book, Michael tries to solve his sister’s murder. Meanwhile he tries to remain strong for his father who must take care of an ailing wife. Alzheimer’s has destroyed all but the strongest of her memories. Once a loving, adoring mother, she is now paranoid, frightened, and can’t even recognize her only remaining child. When Michael does try to talk to her, she fearfully asks her husband who the stranger is. Then she proceeds to tell Michael about her wonderful, beautiful daughter.
This novel is well-paced, intriguing, and heart-wrenching. The characters will suck you in and make you want to know more. The turns this story takes makes it a page-turner from start to finish.
I can’t wait to read Ryne Douglas Pearson’s other novels. What makes them even more attractive to me is that they are easily, and affordably, available in for Kindle, Nook, and other e-pub formats.
Next up on the Ryne Douglas Pearson list is “Simple Simon”!
~4 out of 5 stars~
I won’t spoil the ending for you. For me, it was a nice surprise.