Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Mystery Book Review: Eye of God by Jon L. Breen

Mysterious ReviewsMysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, has written our review of Eye of God by Jon L. Breen. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.Eye of God by Jon L. Breen

Eye of God by Jon L. Breen
Non-series
Perseverance Press (Trade Paperback)
ISBN-10: 1-880284-89-8 (1880284898)
ISBN-13: 978-1-880284-89-6 (9781880284896)
Publication Date: September 2006
List Price: $13.95

Synopsis (from the publisher): Al Hasp and Norm Carpenter are partners in a successful Orange County, California, private investigation firm. When Norm, the brains of the outfit, announces he has become a born-again Christian and will be quitting the business, Al gets him to stay aboard for one final case: going undercover for a televangelist Vincent Majors (who Al believes is a phony) to find out who’s been leaking secrets to a hostile journalist and an atheist organization. The case gets more complicated when Majors’s son-in-law, a pro-basketball coach, is murdered. Norm, Al, and their female operative Chris Borden are all on the scene when the case reaches a climax at a Christian college on the Southern California coast.

Review: Jon L. Breen adopts a no-holds-barred approach to characterization in Eye of God, a remarkably absorbing mystery of private investigators, tele-evangelists, atheists, and lawyers, set in southern California's Orange County.

Evangelist Vincent Majors, head of a powerful television network, believes someone from his inner circle is leaking secrets to his enemies, information that may be damaging to the integrity and financial well being of his ministry. The private investigation firm of Hasp and Carpenter (Breen has cleverly named the partners and is clearly having a bit of fun here), who Majors has hired to uncover the traitor, has also been hired by Majors' daughter to look into an unrelated personal matter that presents no apparent conflict of interest for the firm. When one of the people under investigation is murdered, it's clear these cases have more serious consequences than they may have initially appeared.

Despite the potential for controversy, Eye of God is not pro- or anti-religion. Rather, murder and mayhem can take place in any profession and in this case, the venue is a television ministry. Breen is careful to imbue his characters with features that are entertaining, but not overly stereotypical. The narrative moves along at a brisk pace with a credible whodunit emerging about half-way through. The ending is a bit weak, but overall, combining solid character development with effective dialog and a competent plot, Breen has written a most enjoyable mystery.

Special thanks to Perseverance Press for providing a copy of Eye of God for this review.

Review Copyright © 2006 Hidden Staircase Mystery Books

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