Review: Cleansed by Fire (Father Frank Mysteries #1) by James R. Callan
Published: Feb. 29, 2012
Publisher: Pennant Publishing
Genre: Christian Fiction, Mystery
Review: ebook provided by author
Buy Links: Amazon, Amazon.uk
Churches are burning and a man is murdered, plunging a small Texas town into a state of fear. Father Frank DeLuca, pastor of Prince of Peace Church, is thrust into an impossible dilemma when he hears that another church will be burned. But the disturbing information comes to him via the confessional, and church law forbids him from telling anyone—even the police.
He doesn’t know which church, when, or by whom. Still, he can’t sit idly by, and no law prevents him from looking into the matter himself. The crimes have set the town’s residents on edge, fraying the bonds of trust. Is the mysterious newcomer with ties to the drug scene involved? What about the man who says maybe the churches deserved to burn? Or the school drop-out into alcohol and drugs who attacks the priest with a knife?
Countering this are a young widow whose mission is to make others shine, and a youth choir determined to help those whose churches have been destroyed by the arsonist.
Father Frank’s investigation leads him dangerously close to the local drug scene and he soon discovers the danger has come to him. Can he save his own church? Can he save his own life?
I received this book to give an honest review.
We are introduced to Father Frank DeLuca who is a Godly man and is really involved with his Church as the pastor. During confessional Father Frank hears something disturbing about Churches burning he knows that by the Church law he can not say anything. Though that doesn't stop him from investigating who could be behind it. Father Frank makes it a mission to try and find out who is starting these fires before they continue. Though will he be too late? I really liked how even though this is a Christian book it wasn't anyway pushing beliefs down your throat. It was nice to see Father Frank as a man who just wanted to follow God but also see justice served to the person or persons behind the fires. He was also very good with the kids and wanted to see them stay away from the drug scene. Even if that meant putting himself in a sticky situation to get answers.
This was a good mystery and there wasn't a dull moment within it for me. I found Father Frank's humor to be awesome especially toward Georgia and her love life. Each of the characters in the book were well written and stood out in their own way. Even Earl in the black trans am. I was glad to get his full story towards the end.
If you are looking for a good mystery, great characters, and a steady plot then pick this book up. I know I can't wait to read the next one to see what else Father Frank has in store for us.
JAMES R. CALLAN took a degree in English, intent on writing. When writing didn’t support a family, he went to graduate school in mathematics, then pursued a career in mathematics and computer science. He has received grants from the National Science Foundation, NASA, and the Data Processing Management Association. He has been listed in Who’s Who in Computer Science, and Two Thousand Notable Americans.
But writing was his first love. He has published a number of books and picked up some awards along the way. Cleansed by Fire, the first of the Father Frank mystery series, and Murder a Cappella, another mystery which Callan wrote with one of his daughters, Diane Bailey, were both published in 2012.
Callan lives with his wife in east Texas and Puerto Vallarta. They have four grown children and six grandchildren.