Monday, February 28, 2011

Book Review: "The Brotherhood" by Jerry B. Jenkins

Summary from 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, terribly 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.

The book is pretty much split in two sections. The first half deals with Boone dealing with the tragic accident that took his young family. This half most resonated with me because of the raw emotions that are presented here. I wanted to weep with Boone with the agony that he had to deal with the minute he hears what happened to his wife and son. I hope that I never have to go through what he went through. It was painful to read about the hurt that was there and then the agonizing questions of asking God why he let it happen. I really appreciated that Jenkins realistically portrayed Boone's anger and emotions. I also really liked Pastor Sosa's character. While I'm not calling him the perfect character, he was what Boone needed during this time. I appreciated seeing a pastoral character not being pushy about their beliefs nor trying to convert everyone around them. He is open to questions even those that might not lead towards a Christian faith.

The second half of the book deals with Boone returning to the force. There he becomes involved in several cases, including one that potentially puts his career in danger. I was really fascinated with the idea of police brutality that really isn't, and because of what people think they see could possibly change the whole outlook on a situation. Another case that Boone works on deals with gangs and that entire subculture. Things get a bit preachy here but it's still a fascinating look into an area that most Christian fiction books only show stereotypes on.

I only had two minor qualms about the book. One was the fact that Boone seemed to get immediately drunk after only drinking a little bit of wine. I understand the situation because he was quite depressed at the time already. I didn't feel as if there was an underlying message saying that all drinking is wrong but it just seemed a little unrealistic to have him get drunk that fast with such a little amount. Also, the end of the book dragged a little for me. There was a lot of action and suspense. However, I didn't feel like it touched me as much as the first half of the story had.

Overall, this was a good police thriller as it's packed with both action, adventure, emotion and heart. Surprisingly, this is the first Jenkins book that I have read that he has not co-written with Tim LaHaye. I was very pleased with his style of writing. I feel like this is the type of book that can be passed along to a guy who is into this genre. I look forward to reading more books in the Precinct 11 series.

The Brotherhood by Jerry B. Jenkins is published by Tyndale (2011)

This ARC was provided by the author

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