Salvation Boulevard

Salvation Boulevard

3.6 3
by Larry Beinhart
     
 

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Ahmad Nazami is an Iranian-born Muslim, accused of murdering his professor. Left behind at the crime scene are a few pages of a manuscript that claimed to disprove the existence of God. The rest of it-gone missing. Carl Vanderveer is a PI hired by one of the best criminal lawyers in town to investigate Nazami's case. Once he'd been a cop, with a life spiraling out

Overview

Ahmad Nazami is an Iranian-born Muslim, accused of murdering his professor. Left behind at the crime scene are a few pages of a manuscript that claimed to disprove the existence of God. The rest of it-gone missing. Carl Vanderveer is a PI hired by one of the best criminal lawyers in town to investigate Nazami's case. Once he'd been a cop, with a life spiraling out of control. Then Pastor Paul Plowright brought him to Jesus. Now all Carl wants is to live clean and straight, with his daughter and his wife (his third, the good one, that came after Jesus), and do his job. But as he gets deeper into the investigation of the murdered professor, his most basic beliefs and relationships are tried and his world is turned upside down.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A gripping, page-turning tale that takes one through bad lawyers and good ones, treachery and faith, pornography and preaching, torture and Homeland Security. Salvation Boulevard is a great and memorable [listen]." —Vincent Bugliosi
Publishers Weekly

Best known for American Hero(1994), the jaunty political novel that became the film Wag the Dog, Beinhart offers something less jaunty but definitely more ambitious in this splendid religious legal thriller. When Ahmad Nazami, a Muslim scholarship student at the University of the Southwest, confesses under duress to the murder of Nathaniel MacLeod, an atheist philosophy professor, PI Carl Van Wagener, a born-again Christian, agrees to help Manny Goldfarb, a celebrated Jewish defense lawyer, prove Nazami's innocence. Van Wagener, a member of charismatic pastor Paul Plowright's Cathedral of the Third Millennium, is soon on the trail of a missing manuscript MacLeod wrote disproving God's existence. In a beautifully understated author's note, Beinhart lays out the factual basis for his provocative morality tale and invites readers to visit his Web site, which includes "a forum for an ongoing dialogue about religion, irreligion, faith, belief, and their intersections with politics, war, money, life, and death." (Sept.)

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Kirkus Reviews
A born-again Christian private eye's faith is shaken to the core when he takes the case of the Muslim student suspected of killing his atheist professor. "The despair an atheist must feel is unimaginable to a believer," says Pastor Paul Plowright of philosophy professor Nathaniel MacLeod's suicide. Cogent as this pious argument might be-certainly MacLeod's in no position to refute it-it goes out the window with the news that MacLeod's magnum opus, a proof that God does not exist, has gone missing; his despairing suicide was actually murder. Recovering smartly, the authorities arrest Ahmad Nazami, 21, a Persian-born U.S. citizen they label a jihadist, and beat a confession out of him. Ahmad's lawyer, Manny Goldfarb, responds by calling in Carl Van Wagener, an ex-cop investigator who's a stalwart member of Plowright's supersized congregation, the Cathedral of the Third Millennium. Or maybe not so stalwart, since Carl's easily tempted from the side of his helpmeet Gwen by the flirtatious wiles of MacLeod's widow. Should Ahmad be tried in the state system or turned over to the feds? How much does Carl owe his old friend Manny and his scared client? When rumors arise that Plowright's up to his crucifix in the case, whom can Carl believe? Does Gwen owe him the unquestioning loyalty prescribed by St. Paul, or does she need to be subject to him only when he's subject to Pastor Paul? And what sort of loyalty does Carl owe Gwen if he thinks she set up his run-in with hired killers? Satirist/scold Beinhart (Fog Facts: Searching for Truth in the Land of Spin, 2005, etc.) keeps leaping from one moral conundrum to another, each weightier and more abstract than the last. Too top-heavy withunassimilated questions to work as a novel of ideas, with a mystery whose solution is too obvious for a genre piece, Beinhart's overheated curiosity still delivers many pleasures from both genres.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781452632599
Publisher:
Tantor Media, Inc.
Publication date:
07/04/2011
Edition description:
Library - Unabridged CD
Product dimensions:
6.80(w) x 6.50(h) x 1.00(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"A gripping, page-turning tale that takes one through bad lawyers and good ones, treachery and faith, pornography and preaching, torture and Homeland Security. Salvation Boulevard is a great and memorable [listen]." —-Vincent Bugliosi

Meet the Author

Audiobook veteran Michael Kramer has recorded more than two hundred audiobooks for trade publishers and many more for the Library of Congress Talking Books program. An AudioFile Earphones Award winner and an Audie Award nominee, he earned a Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award for his reading of Savages by Don Winslow.

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3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
KenCady More than 1 year ago
Salvation Boulevard is a novel with heart and brain, cleverly constructed to keep our attention, and intelligently plotted so as not to insult our intelligence. It's an interesting approach to the different ways that faith, or the lack of it, moves in our lives.

As for the ending, well, not to give anything away, but I have faith that it is an ending that will please all those who hope for salvation, and disappoint those who didn't get to the ending. If nothing else, it leaves us with hope.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the beginning of this novel, which started out with a bang, and kept my interest until about three quarters of the way through, when it all sort of withered. There were too many over-the-top characters, and a bit too much moralizing about the dangers of blind faith. Additionally, by the time I got through the novel, I didn't really like the main character all that much anymore. His wife appeared to have traded in any common sense she might have had, but then again, he didn't seem to be someone who had much control over his own demons. I was disappointed with the ending as well, as it appeared the author was more into making a point about faith than about bringing the action of the story to a satisfying ending. Did I miss something? If so, I'm hoping subsequent reviewers can fill me in.