Blood of the Lamb

Blood of the Lamb

4.0 1
by Michael Lister

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Florida prison chaplain John Jordan's search for the peace that has so long eluded him is interrupted by an unimaginable murder. Attempting to be a good man in a very bad place while also maintaining his shaky sobriety, John investigates the murder of the seven year-old adopted daughter of ex-con turned televangelist, Bobby Earl Caldwell, a murder committed in


Florida prison chaplain John Jordan's search for the peace that has so long eluded him is interrupted by an unimaginable murder. Attempting to be a good man in a very bad place while also maintaining his shaky sobriety, John investigates the murder of the seven year-old adopted daughter of ex-con turned televangelist, Bobby Earl Caldwell, a murder committed in John's own locked office when Bobby Earl conducts a service in the Potter Correctional Institution.

This unspeakable act, and the investigations that follows, will force John to confront his own fears and beliefs, causing this man of mercy to thirst for justice. Torn between the duality of the roles he's asked to assume--cop and cleric--John must try to figure out his identity as well as that of the killer's, but his past continues to haunt him in the form of troubling thoughts of failure and the resurfacing of his ex-wife, Susan.

Putting aside his distrust of the slick televangelist and his seductive wife, John must ignore intimidation and resist manipulation to find a killer among some very unusual suspects--including two murderers, a child molester, a teacher with something to hide, and Bobby Earl Caldwell himself whose very act of exposing his daughter to such risk causes John to suspect him from the very beginning.

Amid private crises and the torturous experiences of a thoughtful, sensitive man working in such a pitiless place, nothing short of death will end John's search for the person who killed little Nicole Caldwell. Uncovering the guilt, restoring the balance, John seeks pardon from the self-inflicted life sentence he's serving and exoneration from the burden of regret he bears.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Starred Review - Krikus Reviews
* Kirkus Starred Review
A star is assigned to books of unusual merit, determined by the editors of Kirkus Reviews.

"A realistic drama and surprising character depth. The spiritual dimension of John’s inner life adds a depth that’s often absent in the mystery genre. A realistically portrayed prison setting and a cast of characters depicted with complexity and nuance together form a quietly effective character-study/whodunit." Kirkus Reviews
South Florida Sun Sentinel - Oline Cogdill
"Blood of the Lamb was worth the wait. Author Michael Lister perfectly blends religion into a gritty, realistic look at prison life without preaching or overpowering his solid plot. Lister invigorates the religion mystery -- a growing sub-category of the genre -- inside a hard-boiled novel. The myriad aspects of prison life and the scenes at the various locations in the prison are realistically explored. At the center is John Jordan, a deeply flawed man who, ironically, has little use for organi
Mystery Scene Magazine - Jon Jordan
"Michael Lister proved his worth as a writer with his first book Power in the Blood. He's done it again with his second John Jordan mystery Blood of the Lamb. There are more sinners than saints in this tautly written mystery. Readers will find themselves sympathetic to Jordan, a man with troubles of his own whose conscience won't allow him to accept a cover-up by prison authorities. Highly recommended." Mystery Scene Magazine

Product Details

Pulpwood Press
Publication date:
Edition description:
New Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.50(d)

What People are saying about this

Jeremiah Healy
Blood of the Lamb is a superb mystery. Michael Lister paints a disquieting portrait of a state prison, its inmates and officials forming a repertory company of evil, as though any given actor could play another's role by simply changing costumes. Hero John Jordan is as troubled as he is fascinating, a recovering alcoholic prison chaplain who is unsure of even his own faith. Highly original and even more highly recommended.
— author of Rescue and Spiral
Donald Maass
In Michael Lister's Blood of the Lamb the writing is lean, the pace sure--always one step ahead of the reader. The tension level throughout the story is strong, the setting utterly real. The murder is puzzling. Best of all, the characters have inner lives. They are real. I care about them and have no idea exactly what's going to happen to them. This is the real thing--great writing by a true storyteller.
—, author of Writing the Break Out Novel
Margaret Coel
Michael Lister is a genius at evoking the dangerous mood of a prison while, at the same time, showing how the light of redemption shines even in the darkest places. Blood of the Lamb is tense and tightly plotted, a true page-turner until the very satisfying ending.
— best-selling author of Killing Raven
Stuart M. Kaminsky
Michael Lister writes with sensitivity and a fine eye for detail. Race, politics, and religion are all subtly addressed in the fast-paced Blood of the Lamb. What I especially like is Lister's ability to make his themes decidedly Biblical without the slightest hint of preaching or moralizing. Lister can write and I hope he keeps doing so for a long time.
— Edgar-winning author of The Big Silence

Meet the Author

A native Floridian, award-winning novelist, Michael Lister, grew up in North Florida near the Gulf of Mexico and the Apalachicola River, beneath slash pines and Spanish moss draped oak limbs, in a small town world famous for tupelo honey.

Truly a regional writer, his canvas is not a central, major city (there are none in North Florida), but a region—small towns (THUNDER BEACH), river swamps (DOUBLE EXPOSURE), massive prisons in rural areas (THE BODY AND THE BLOOD).

Captivated by story since childhood, Michael has a love for language and narrative inspired by the Southern storytelling tradition that captured his imagination and became such a source of meaning and inspiration, he pursued and received undergraduate and graduate degrees in theology with an emphasis on myth and narrative within religion.

In the early 90s, Lister became the youngest chaplain within the Florida Department of Corrections. For nearly a decade, he served as a contract, staff, then senior chaplain at three different facilities in the Panhandle of Florida—a unique experience that led to his first novel, 1997’s critically acclaimed, POWER IN THE BLOOD. It was the first in a series of popular and celebrated novels featuring ex-cop turned prison chaplain, John Jordan. Subsequent books in the series include BLOOD OF THE LAMB, FLESH AND BLOOD, and THE BODY AND THE BLOOD, and each takes readers through the electronically locked gates of the chain-link fences, beneath the looping razor wire glinting in the sun, and into the strange world of Potter Correctional Institution, Florida’s toughest maximum security prison.

Michael Lister won a Florida Book Award for his first literary novel, DOUBLE EXPOSURE, a book, according to the Panama City News Herald, that “is lyrical and literary, written in a sparse but evocative prose reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy.” It is a contemplation of life and death, art and meaning, set deep in the swamps of the Apalachicola River, a thriller about a wildlife photographer whose camera traps capture a crime, that shows the beauty and danger of the Panhandle paradise.

A committed environmentalist, Michael works to protect the area he so loves, setting up the Mother Earth Fund (named after a character from DOUBLE EXPOSURE) for environmental conservation and education and serving on the board of directors of the Apalachicola Riverkeeper.

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Blood of the Lamb 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago