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The Body and the Blood by Michael Lister
A John Jordan Mystery
This is the fourth mystery in this series featuring Florida prison chaplain John Jordan.
About The Body and the Blood (from the publisher): It’s known as the Protective Management Unit. It’s a closed society within a closed society, housing Florida state inmates who wouldn’t survive in open population at Potter Correctional Institution. In it, John Jordan witnesses the most baffling crime of his career—a seemingly impossible murder he would swear could not have happened had he not seen it with his own eyes.
John has come to the PM unit because of a note he received announcing a murder would take place during the Catholic Mass. As he observes the priest offering up the body and the blood, an inmate enters the unit, walks over to his cell, and is locked inside alone. A little while later, John notices a pool of blood spreading out from beneath the cell door. The inmate is dead, his body and his blood separated from one another.
The inmate, a talented artist and quite possibly an innocent man, was sensitive and kind, just a few short days from parole. Who would want to kill him and why? Before John can answer these questions, he’s got to figure out how he was killed.
Suspects abound, including the Catholic Priest conducting the mass, the two PM officers, the victim’s sister, who visited him just prior to his death—something she hadn’t done in four years—and a handful of inmates, one of whom was the victim’s lover.
As the investigation proceeds, John uncovers crime after crime, and an openly racists family with plenty they aren’t open about. After taking a closer look at them, John’s best friend, Merrill Monroe, disappears.
Attempting to balance his fragile reconciliation with his ex-wife and the high-stakes investigation, John is soon overwhelmed and wonders if the life he’s hoped for is even possible. Just when he thinks he can’t take anymore, a second disappearance brings with it the demand for a dangerous prison break and a daring exchange. When John finally figures out how the crime was committed and who’s behind it, an exciting climax follows that reveals the shocking solution, sees someone close to John shot, and carries for John the ultimate personal price—one he’s not sure he can pay.
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