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Average Rating 3.5
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  • Posted June 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A smart and heart-wrenching page-turner!

    The pacing of the book is perfect. 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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommended

    "Confessions" by Ryne Douglas Pearson is a powerfully written work that brilliantly weaves a gripping plot-driven work of commercial fiction into a richly textured literary study about the inner emotional life of a young priest. Father Michael Jerome is a Catholic priest and chaplain to the Chicago Police Department. As the son of a retired Chicago cop, as well as Holy Mother Church, Fr. Jerome surely understands the many nuances of both sin and grace. Certainly, he is able to help people rise from the wreckage of their failed lives and find the moral high ground. It is not something he can do for himself, however. Pearson opens the story with the persistent ring of a phone that jars Fr. Mike awake from a haunting dream about his murdered sister. The call that wakes the chaplain will actually propel him into a real nightmare worse than any his own troubled mind could possibly conjure. The contrast between Fr. Mike's dreams and the intrusive reality of the telephone is a great opening; it thrusts the reader immediately into both the gut wrenching pain that stalks the interior life of the young priest, as well as his gritty exterior world of police, emergency rooms, grieving families, and desperate, dying men. Called to the ER to minister to a cop shot on duty, Chaplain Mike ends up at the bedside of the criminal responsible for the police shooting. The shooter is a desperate sinner begging for absolution before death; in particular, he seeks forgiveness not for shooting the cop but rather for another crime, a sin he knows was the most monstrous of his whole sordid life. It is, however, the one sin Mike Jerome cannot forgive, not even when called to act solely in the name of God. The perp's deathbed confession will rewrite Mike Jerome's entire life. This book grabbed my attention right from the beginning and never let me down. "Confessions" worked for me on numerous levels. First of all, Pearson is a very talented author and I love how he can be both terse and eloquent at the same time. Secondly, he writes with a realism that makes sense; nothing is too fantastical and I like that, especially because it's appropriate to his genre. He also avoids clichés, something that too often clutters cop stories - especially when you throw in priests, available women, and family conflicts; make any of them Irish and it's really problematic. Pearson avoids such pitfalls. I also appreciate that he's not afraid to kick it up a notch by offering up a protagonist who is both a man of action and contemplation. Writing action or narration is relatively easy; writing contemplation so that it also moves the story along as effectively as either requires great talent. I think, however, where "Confessions" most shines is in its unpredictable ending. I almost always know the ending well before I read it; Pearson's ending, however, took me by complete surprise. The element of horror, that moment when the cold reality of the totally unthinkable begins to emerge from the story, reminded me of some of the past greats in American literature and film. At the end of "Confessions" I was seriously thinking about Faulkner ("A Rose for Miss Emily"), Shirley Jackson ("The Lottery") and of course Alfred Hitchcock (too many films to mention). "Confessions" is a different take on the usual cop story but it is one absolutely worth reading. Don't pass it up.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 28, 2011

    To much angst

    Wordy, boring, could have been better. Great idea that was losr in the lead characters angst. This book wasn't heart wrenching it was a snoozer!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2011

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