The Canary List

The Canary List

by Sigmund Brouwer


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The Canary List by Sigmund Brouwer

Protected by the dark of night, Jaimie Piper runs. But is anywhere safe when Evil is hunting you?
She’s just a twelve year-old girl, bumped around between foster homes and relegated to school classes for challenged kids, those lagging in their test scores or with behavioral issues. But her real problem is that she can sense something the other kids can’t—something dark. Something compelling her to run for her life.
All Crockett Grey wants is to mark the anniversary of his daughter’s death alone.
But when his student Jaimie comes to him, terrified, her need for protection collides with his grief, and a tangled web of bizarre events sends them both spiraling toward destruction.
Crockett’s one hope of getting his life back is to uncover the mysterious secrets of Jaimie’s past and her strange gift. It isn’t long before his discoveries lead him to a darker conspiracy, secrets guarded by the highest seat of power in the world—the Vatican.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307446466
Publisher: The Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/21/2011
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Sigmund Brouwer is the bestselling author of Broken Angel and nineteen other novels, with close to three million books in print. His work has appeared in Time, The Tennessean, on Good Morning America and other media. Sigmund is married to recording artist Cindy Morgan and has two young daughters.

Read an Excerpt

The Canary List

A Novel
By Sigmund Brouwer

WaterBrook Press

Copyright © 2011 Sigmund Brouwer
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780307446466

Evil hunted her.

It had driven her toward the beach, where, protected by the dark of night, Jaimie Piper crept toward the front window of a small bungalow a few blocks off the ocean in Santa Monica.

She knew it was wrong, sneaking up on her schoolteacher like this, but she couldn’t help herself. She was afraid—really afraid—and she wanted his help. First she had to make sure he was alone. If he was with someone else, she wouldn’t bother him.
The sound of night bugs was louder than the traffic on the main boulevard that intersected this quiet street. It was June, and the air was warm and had the tangy smell of ocean. The grass was cool and wet. She felt the dew soaking through her canvas high-top Converse sneakers. Jaimie wasn’t one to worry about fashion. She just liked the way the sneakers felt and looked. Okay, maybe she liked them too because none of the other kids her age wore them. Jaimie was twelve. Slender and tall, she had long, fine hair that she tended to wear in a ponytail with a ball cap. If she let it hang loose, it softened her appearance to the point where others viewed her as girlie, something she hated.

The alternative was to cut it herself, because her foster parents didn’t like wasting money by sending her to a beauty salon, but cutting it herself would just remind her that she was nothing but a foster kid, so she just let it grow. And
wore Converse sneakers that looked anything but girlie.

Not only was it wrong to be sneaking up on her teacher’s house, but it was wrong even to know where he lived. Jaimie knew that. But his wallet had been open on his desk once, with his driver’s license showing behind a clear plastic window, and she’d read it upside down while she was talking to him and had memorized his address.

Although this was the first time she’d stopped, she had ridden her bike past his house plenty of times, wondering what it would be like if she lived in the little house near the beach.

It wasn’t the house that drew her. It was dreaming about what it would be like to have a family, and it seemed the perfect house for a family with a mom and a dad and a couple of girls.

A real family. A house that they had lived in for years and years, with a yard and a couple of dogs. Beagles. She loved beagles.

Her mom would be a little pudgy but someone who laughed all the time. Jaimie didn’t like the moms she saw who were cool and hip and trying to outdo their daughters in skinniness and tight-fitting jeans.

Her dad would not have perfect hair and drive a BMW. Jaimie didn’t have friends, because Jaimie wasn’t a friend kind of person, but she knew girls at school with dads like that, and those girls didn’t seem happy. If Jaimie had a dad, he’d be the kind of guy who went to barbers, not stylists, and had hair that was always a couple of weeks past needing a barber, who wore jeans and didn’t tuck in his shirt and always dropped everything to listen to whatever story his girl wanted to tell him.

A dad like Mr. G, her teacher. He drove an old Jeep, the kind with canvas top and roll bars. Sometimes she’d see a surfboard strapped to the top of it, canvas top gone. Mr. G had that kind of surfer-dude look, with the long hair and a long nose bent a little. Not perfect kind of handsome, but a face you still looked at twice. Some of the girls in her class had a crush on him.

Not Jaimie.

She just wished she could have a dad like him and a house like the house he lived in. Sometimes when she was really lonely, she would ride her bike in the neighborhood, pretending it was her home and that when she got there, she’d be able to wheel up the sidewalk and drop her bike on the grass and leave it there, because if it really was her family, no one would get upset about little things like that.

It wasn’t that she just had a good feeling about him. It was that Jaimie knew Mr. G could be trusted. Jaimie had a sense about people, a sense that sometimes haunted her.

Like earlier tonight, when she’d met a guy who had come to her house to talk to her foster parents. She’d watched his eyes as he checked the layout of the house, standing in the kitchen, saying that he was from Social Services. She had taken her bracelet off to hand wash some dishes, and without it on her wrist, she’d felt the Evil that radiated from him. Evil that hunted her.

So while the man with Evil was talking to her foster parents, she’d grabbed her bracelet and snuck out of the house and jumped on her bike. Dusk was just turning black when she began the twenty-minute ride from the large old house
toward the ocean, where she often snuck at night anyway to walk the beach. But the feeling of Evil was still so real she couldn’t shake it. She wanted—no, needed—to talk to someone about it. Wanted—no, needed—to feel safe. Somehow.

The one person who had promised to help wasn’t answering her phone. That only left Mr. G. The only other person in the world she could trust. She made it to the side of the window at his house. She inched her head up to peek through the glass.

She saw a single candle.

And Mr. G on the couch. Holding a big book open in his lap.

She watched, knowing she shouldn’t watch.

It looked like he was talking to the book.

And then he glanced up, and for that split second, it seemed like he was staring right into her eyes.


Excerpted from The Canary List by Sigmund Brouwer Copyright © 2011 by Sigmund Brouwer. Excerpted by permission of WaterBrook Press, a division of Random House, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Canary List 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 59 reviews.
ChelleD More than 1 year ago
As I read the last line of this book, I simultaneously wanted to throw the book across the room and begin reading it again. Brouwer writes an intriguing tale with more twists and turns than most roller coasters. Although I did not like him using the Catholic church as a "fall guy" in many ways, when I set that aspect aside, this is am intriguing book. Aside from being worn out on negative portrayals of the church, I was able to enjoy this book and its world of mysteries. I have realized I enjoy a book whose ending I cannot easily decipher, and this is such a book.
BookloverML More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books I have read in awhile. The material interesting and is good for anyone who loves a good suspense and mystery novel. You were kept on the edge of your seat the whole time not knowing what was going to happen. You never knew who was involved and you were constantly trying to figure it out. I would recommend it for anyone.
Henry_McLaughlin More than 1 year ago
Jaimie Piper is a twelve-year-old girl with a powerful gift that is driving her crazy. She can detect evil in other people. This dark, overwhelming force has tormented her for years. When its latest manifestation threatens, she turns to her favorite teacher, Crocket Grey, for help. His efforts to help Jaimie soon land Grey in the hottest water possible. He is accused of possessing child pornography and of molesting students. He is soon the target of a kidnapping and murder investigation. All this threatens not only his freedom, but his relationship with the son he loves.  Quickly, Crocket and Jaimie are swept into a cauldron of intrigue and death that reaches to the highest levels of the Vatican. I have long been a fan of Sigmund Brouwer. His novels, The Weeping Chamber, and Wings of Dawn, are among my favorites. I looked forward to reconnecting with him in The Canary List. I give this novel 3.5 stars. Brouwer’s style remains strong but the novel has the feel of being agenda-driven. He explores the role of demons in our world and especially within religious institutions and organizations. Through the experiences of his characters, we see how insidious the work of evil can be. The story is well-written, the pace keeps moving, and Brouwer fills it with amazing twists and turns. The final twist is both a surprise yet inevitable in the context of the story. There are many things to like in this book. Jaimie is a very believable twelve-year-old. One of Brouwer’s writing strengths is his ability to realistically portray children and teens. He rivals Orson Scott Card in this area.  Jaimie’s psychiatrist, Dr. MacKenzie, is another well-developed character. The influence of her own history on her actions is well-played with subtle hints so that the ultimate reveal catches the reader off guard yet makes sense. Also well-done are the hints of potential romance between MacKenzie and Crocket. While the story has the feel of being agenda-driven, Brouwer gives an honest portrayal of the Catholic Church. As a former Catholic, I don’t sense any overt church-bashing or condemnation. There are some areas that make it difficult to give the novel more than 3.5 stars. One is the story bogs down on occasion with long expositional dialogue on the theology and history of demons, on the political machinations within the Vatican, and on the sexual abuse scandals within the Church. Even though Crocket Grey is presented as the protagonist, he does not come across very strong in the role of hero. There are occasional flashes where he is determined to fight for his freedom and for his relationship with his son. These help the reader develop empathy for the man. But, except for these flashes, Grey seems to be carried along by the events in the story, rather than assuming a more active hero role. He does take bold action at times, but always gets caught and ends up in lower status positions with the rest of the characters. At the end, he is given a moral choice to make. The decision is clear, but the process he went through to make it is not. To me, the real hero is Jaimie. But she is made almost a side note to Grey’s struggles and is off stage for long periods of time. Overall, this is a good read that could have been better.
Bookshelf_Confessions More than 1 year ago
After reading the description, I thought this book is like Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons, but after reading it, Canary List may have the issues of conspiracies in the Vatican Church, but this is more like pointing out that there may be evil in the Church but not everyone and is less “scandalous”. The Canary List is set in present day Vatican City (for the most part). Brouwer's writing is engaging and nearly three dimensional. The descriptions are vivid that you could actually picture the Vatican Secret Library, the city’s walls and atmosphere. I actually like Crockett, he is so human, both vulnerable and strong. I felt for him so deeply not just with the death of his daughter but also of the false accusations against him in the school where he teaches. Meanwhile, Jaime is the protagonists I highly salute of. Especially in the chapters where she has the POV, you could really feel the fear and doubt raging inside her. The 3 stars is because I don’t really feel like this is a Christian book although it has the message of letting us know that evil exists, it’s more of a thriller to me. Another is because I was not satisfied after the end, I know that this is what the author intends, to make us think for our own, but I just don’t like books who technically does not have an ending. Why would you read something that would just left you hanging at the end >no sequel< Although, some readers may say that this is biased, or some form of Catholic bashing, personally I believed that the author had been fair in giving two versions of the truth. At the end, the reader is left to conclude for himself. The author’s role was just to present the idea, and then for us to think about. All in all, if viewed as whole fiction, this is a very good read from a promising author. I recommend this book to those who believe in such things and even for those who are skeptic. Disclosure: I received this book for an honest review from waterbrook multnomah -blogging for books
MaryBethWrites More than 1 year ago
What if you were a 12-year-old foster kid who had a gift you didn’t understand, something that terrified you? What if you confided your fears to a male teacher who tried to help you and found himself accused of inappropriate conduct? That’s the premise of Sigmund Brouwer’s novel, “The Canary List.” Bestselling author Brouwer takes us on a harrowing journey through the conflict between good and evil in a chilling story of a little girl who can derail conspiracies by the simple ability to sense evil in people. She poses a threat to those in high places and they will stop at nothing to neutralize the threat. For readers who think that Christian novels can’t possibly be as exciting as secular books, “The Canary List” offers an abrupt enlightenment. The battle between the forces of Heaven and Hell provides all the excitement one could possibly need in a thriller. Brouwer does a good job of keeping the tension at a high pitch throughout the pages. The scariest part of this book, for me at least, lies in the plausibility, the threat that evil ignores the rules that good tries to follow. Brouwer translates the contrast vividly as we watch a good but broken man try to help a child and run head-on into horror. The prolific Sigmund Brouwer hits the target of adventure and suspense in “The Canary List.” Don’t read this book for a little light diversion; read it for an adrenalin-pushing, heart-pounding journey into the dark side of life. I reviewed this book from a review copy provided by the publisher.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I felt that this book was a let down. It was a book about a conspiracy. A book that utterly lacked intrigue and suspense that should accompany a conspiracy. I had to force myself to finish it, and I was disappointed in the fact that the ending was abrupt. When I read the last page, I thought: "That was it?" Not much of a climax or a resolution, but not a terrible book. It just does not come recommended from me. I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
Teresa_Konopka More than 1 year ago
Wowza. Brouwer has done it again. This guy is such a good author that I've gone out of my way to request his books on my own. I love his style of very short chapters that change perspective. The genre he shines in is called speculative fiction. You never know what is coming next. I'll dive into the gist of what the book is about and conclude with some criticisms. First of all, I'll try my best to give you an idea of the plot without revealing too much. There are some major plot twists that got even me by surprise. So, there is a troubled girl who is tossed around the foster system. She is plagued by a terribly scary darkness. Thru a truly strange chain of events, her schoolteacher gets involved in a huge conspiracy that involves the Vatican. Older Vatican conspiracies are touched upon, as well as some futuristic yet believable science and hacking. Some parts of the book are slower than others, but, in general, it is a very fast-paced story. The question of the demonic comes up quite a bit. At the end of the book, the reader is left to themself to question whether or not the demonic is real. Is there really evil in the Church, or is the demonic just a cover-up to blame something on a third party and manipulate people thru fear? I personally believe in the Biblical existence of the demonic, but readers can think what they may. What is great is the reading list at the end of the book. It includes memoirs from Vatican exorcists for those that want to dig deeper. As for criticisms, this is hard. For the spiritual sense, the Vatican and demons were discussed, so the spiritual world was encountered. However, the schoolteacher is not a believer. He says by the end of the book that he believes he may one day see his little daughter in heaven. (By the end, he believes in demons and by some logic, he thinks God must exist, too.) However, there is no notion of him beginning a personal relationship with Yeshua Messiah. Perhaps, this is left up to the reader's imagination. What is good about this book is that it goes to remind people that--regardless of whether or not one believes in the existence of demons--there are very real evil people that infiltrate the Church.
Deal_Sharing_Aunt More than 1 year ago
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review! What a good choice I made. At first glance I thought that this was a book about being hunted by past demons. I thought these demons would be something more real or maybe even a person from Jaimie's past. I could not have been more wrong. If you liked the DaVinci code for the pure thrill of reading it, then you will like this book. It delves into the inside workings of becoming Pope and the inner demons of the church. In the middle of all this is a "friend" that Jaimie goes to for help. this friend is no other than her teacher Mr Grey. He has a whole lot of issues of his own. Needless to say he is key to Jaimie's happiness. As you travel through the book you are caught up in a web that you do not want to let go of. Towards the end of the book everything becomes clear. However you still have a need for more. I is not because you are not satisfied with the ending, but because you do not want to leave the characters yet. As you can tell, I was a fan of this book. The "Canary list" did not fully explain itself until the last chapter. Then, just to mess with the reader there is a twist at the end, and the last sentence makes you question the whole book, and yourself!
Kellie4 More than 1 year ago
The Canary List by Sigmund Brouwer, was not my cup of tea. I had a difficult time following the story line. Perhaps the reason for this was because this was a genre of writing unfamiliar to me. There were many characters introduced fairly quickly that I had a hard time remembering who was who. Also, based on the back cover, what was stated in regards to the book had me thinking the book would be about something else entirely. Finally, the title really isn't understood until you reach the last 10 pages, and this was hard for me to accept as a reader. It is my hope that you will come to your own conclusions about this story by reading it for yourself. This is not one that I would not recommend to my closest friends, nor would I read again. However, the writing is well done and the development of characters is good. I simply had a difficult time following it and getting into it, which does not interest me as a reader.
LoriJ65 More than 1 year ago
It's been a long time since I had to fight my way through a book to finish it, unfortunately, this was one of those times. While the characters are somewhat likeable, they are flat and the author fails in making them anything more than descriptive entities. His best success in any of the characters is with Crockett, but even then, the author is more interested in boring us with church rhetoric and biological jibber jabber than developing what could have been phenomenal characters. It took a good 80 or so pages before the story started to grab me. Sadly, I believe most people would give up on the book before then. Then, the book takes another illogical and superficial turn to Italy where it became unbelievable. The concepts and characters could have been developed more. A better grasp on the plot could have helped as well. Unfortunately, this book fell extremely short of expectations and other than trying to cash in on Dan Brown's success, I cannot think of a reason that this was published.
SheilaDeeth More than 1 year ago
Jamie has a secret and it's got something to do with a special bracelet she wears. She's got a friend too, though maybe Madelyne Mackenzie's more psychiatrist than friend, and she gives some strange advice. Jamie's got a foster-home, but a bad guy's just come to visit and she has to run away. And there's no-one to save her. Jamie runs to her school-teacher's home, begging for his help. But soon, despite his best efforts not to look like he's taking advantage of a student, Mr. Grey finds himself jailed while Jamie's whisked away to a place where she can't vouch for him. The sweet old neighbor Nanna could have helped, but she's disappeared. While Jamie holds tight to those few friends she's learned to trust, Crockett Grey begins to learn who his friends and enemies are. A curious power is being brought to bear with even stranger plans, plus access to the highest-level cardinals in the Vatican. When a high-tech ally goes phishing it's time to grab your sandwich and coffee and sit down-the story takes off and the reader won't stop reading for a while. With the historical complexities of a Dan Brown novel, some Machiavellian conspiracies, a touch of witchcraft and one lost soul seeking to redeem the past, Sigmund Brouwer's The Canary List visits the Vatican and finds answers that leave the reader, Christian or atheist, to draw their own conclusions from a fascinating fictional tale. Action, travel, good and evil, guilt and innocence, all nicely drawn, make this a fun story seasoned with gentle scares and thought-provoking dangers. Disclosure: I received a free eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
AnAvidReaderNJ More than 1 year ago
I'll start off by saying I liked this book. I was worried that I wouldn't because I thought it was just another book about corruption in the Catholic church. It was not that at all! It was interesting and had an excellent plot, which I didn't find predictable. While there were a few parts that I think were dragged out, once you got past them the story picked up. There were some occult references that made me uncomfortable but they were necessary for this story to work. While this is comes from a Christian publisher, I didn't find it to be preachy at all, just a good thriller. I would definitely recommend this book if you like mysteries and thrillers!
LindsayAFranklin More than 1 year ago
Sigmund Brouwer has created quite the complex house of cards with The Canary List. He takes his time building the foundation, then slowly sets layer upon layer as his mysteries are revealed. I say "slowly" because there's a certain methodical, patient way in which Brouwer weaves his story, and yet I felt like I was on the edge of my seat, constantly uttering the most wonderful words a person can utter while reading a novel: Just one more chapter. I liked Brouwer's characters--Jaimie is tough and Crockett is sympathetic. The shifts in point-of-view between characters were well-done and timed perfectly, as you'd often view a scene from one person's perspective, then switch to the aftermath of that scene in another person's experience. It gave a beautiful rise and fall to the action of the story. Brouwer is a multi-published, best-selling author, so perhaps this shouldn't come as a surprise, but I was thrilled to read such a clean, polished piece of work. I found his style to be simply lovely and easy to swallow. Nice and smooth. I would certainly like to check out more of Brouwer's catalogue after reading The Canary List. It always feels weird when I make a specific section for comments about a book's Christianity or lack thereof, but it seems to apply for this book. Brouwer is dealing with the Catholic church here, and suggesting demonic involvement at the highest levels. It's difficult to tell if he's merely speculating for the sake of his fiction (this is considered speculative fiction, after all) or if there are some elements of his actual worldview included there. It didn't bother me one way or the other--the Christian church and the Catholic church are two totally different entities. But for those sensitive about this one way or the other, be advised. Additionally, Brouwer has carefully included several passages where characters make a point to say that the Catholic church shouldn't be villainized simply because of all the scandal and abuse over the years. It is an organization which is "largely good" and does great things throughout the world. So as to Brouwer's true worldview, I'm left scratching my head just a bit. Is he trying to placate the Catholic community by including these comments? Check out other reviews if you want to see how successful that wasn't. But at the end of the day, it didn't interrupt my enjoyment of the story. (Incidentally, I also believe that abuses can and do exist in good organizations, including the Church, and it shouldn't disqualify the entity as a whole. My problem with the Catholic church comes down to its theology, plain and simple.) Something I appreciated about Brouwer's work in The Canary List is his subtlety and the fact that Crockett's spiritual issues (he's an atheist) aren't tied up in a neat little package. He wrestles with spiritual matters, rather than receiving easy solutions to solve all his problems--you know, the kind of thing you often find in Christian fiction that resembles nothing about real life. Brouwer avoids this, which is another check in the "plus column" for me. Bottom Line: I zipped through this book, unable to put it down. That says a lot. If you like thrillers with a speculative twist, spiritual element, or both, check out The Canary List. Note: I received a free copy of The Canary List from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review.
SusieBookworm More than 1 year ago
If I could describe this book in one word, it would have to be "thrilling"! The book kept me guessing until the end...and then honestly, it still left me guessing. Jaimie Piper is a 12 year old foster child that has moved around from home to home, never fitting in anywhere. She has a special gift that is also her biggest problem. She can sense evil. Running for her life, she goes to one of the only people that she can trust, Crockett Grey, her teacher. Crockett has his own demons that he is dealing with, and Jaimie just adds to the mix placing him in a terrible situation. This book has layer upon layer of mystery, intrigue, and secrets that even involve the Vatican. I want to write more, but I don't want to ruin any of the surprises for future readers. I loved this book and highly recommended it! I received this book for free from the publisher to write an unbiased, honest review.
centraleast22 More than 1 year ago
The Canary List by Sigmund Brouwer Jaimie is a twelve year old girl who had several issues including being able to sense darkness. Grockett Grey is a teacher who Jaimie comes to for help . As he helps her he uncovers much more and has to go pretty high up to uncover the mysteries of her "gift" "I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review"
ejamsmama More than 1 year ago
"Protected by the dark of night, Jaimie Piper runs. But is anywhere safe when Evil is hunting you? She's just a twelve year-old girl, bumped around between foster homes and relegated to school classes for challenged kids, those lagging in their test scores or with behavioral issues. But her real problem is that she can sense something the other kids can't-something dark. Something compelling her to run for her life. All Crockett Grey wants is to mark the anniversary of his daughter's death alone. But when his student Jaimie comes to him, terrified, her need for protection collides with his grief, and a tangled web of bizarre events sends them both spiraling toward destruction. Crockett's one hope of getting his life back is to uncover the mysterious secrets of Jaimie's past and her strange gift. It isn't long before his discoveries lead him to a darker conspiracy, secrets guarded by the highest seat of power in the world-the Vatican." This book held my attention from beginning to end. It kept me guessing as to how it would end. And even the ending was surprising. I felt drawn to the characters and rooted for them all the way through. It also had me wondering if what happens in the book actually happens in the Catholic church or even in government. I do believe in the existence of demons but question the way that Catholics struggle to expel them. Jesus said be gone and they left and told us we only need to have the same faith and authority to do the same. Jesus gave us the authority in His name and we only need to have the faith. There is not much to say about this book without giving away to much of the storyline. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in good fiction. As a matter of fact my 17 year old has already confiscated this book from me and told me I may not get it back. I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
Arias_Myles More than 1 year ago
I would definitely not recommend this book for younger readers, for some content. Exorcism is presented as a placebo for those who want to blame mental illnesses on something or someone else, but there was still mention of it from time to time. It is mentioned that some in the papacy are pedophiles. Abez tries to convince Nathan to kill Crockett's neighbor, an elderly woman whose testimony would prove his innocence (and it is mentioned that Nathan killed his mother at Abez's bidding). Actually, I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone. I was skeptical in the first place about the book, but I thought I'd try it since I enjoyed another of the author's books. I was severely disappointed. This book was more than a little out there, and I did not like the beliefs it showed.
harmonyturtle More than 1 year ago
I want to say that Advanced Reader Copies that have still have obvious grammar, and spelling issues probably are not the best copies to send out for an honest review. It is very difficult to give a review on something that has many negatives just because the writing hasn't been polished. At least make sure you are mailing something that is hopefully way closer to the final product. As for the review though, I believe this book had good potential, but the story was not carried out well. Crockett Grey (I had to think about how much I didn't like that name several times) has a student, Jamie, show up at his during the middle of the night. She is running from someone, and hope Mr. Grey can provide safety from the "Evil" that is after her. The plot reads well as a synopsis, and the first few pages will catch your attention. About halfway through the book it seems the story becomes very jumbled. As I said there were some very obvious spelling and grammar issues, and I assume those will be edited before the final version. The story felt very weak though, and even though it was intended to be moving and insightful, I felt it was very unrealistic. I actually don't think I've read anything before, and thought it seemed unrealistic. I read many books that are very out there, and with fiction you think you can do anything because it is supposed to be fiction. It turns out that isn't the case, there is a limit in what you can do in some fiction. I think the book has a lot of potential, but the writing seems very empty. I felt the author was writing at times to fill in space. I believe this book will either be liked or disliked. The setup has promise, but it gets too complex for the author to fully carry it out. The main characters name, Crockett, also just wasn't very good to me. At first I thought people were referring to him by last name. I think if he had made his last name, Grey, his first name that would have sounded even better. This book was provided by Waterbook Press in exchange for a review.
freesamplequeen More than 1 year ago
A mystery/thriller that is sure to keep readers on their toes the entire time! The Canary List is an intriguing book full of twists and turns that keep the reader guessing with surprise plot turns that ensure the reader will be fully engaged throughout the entire book. When teacher Crocket Grey is drawn into a web of mystery, false accusations and confusion that lead to a troubling outcome all because of one student, he is forced to face personal demons all while fighting to help the student and keep himself out of trouble. The paths he is led down are a surprising as the ending. Readers will find themselves eager to turn the next page. A book that is difficult to put down and grows increasingly addictive with each chapter. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Unsure of what I was getting, I am so glad I opted to review this copy. I am eager to read more by the same author ans Brouwer spins an engaging tale that soon entangles his readers into a world of mystery and intrigue. Well worth the time to read it!!! I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated for writing this review.
The_Book_Diva More than 1 year ago
Imagine that there is true evil in the world in the guise of demons. These demons have the capability of possessing humans and perverting them to suit their needs. Now imagine that these possessed humans have infiltrated government and world religions including religious hierarchy. This is the world that 12-year-old Jaimie Piper and her teacher Crockett Grey have been pushed into in The Canary List by Sigmund Brouwer. Jaimie knows that there is someone or something after her and seeks protection from the only adult she feels she can trust, a teacher. Unfortunately that teacher is an unmarried male and he lives alone. Someone uses this to exploit the situation and remove Jaimie from Crockett's protection under the guise of him possibly being a pedophile and in possession of child pornography. It doesn't help that the one person that can attest to Jaimie staying outside of the home under the supervision of a woman, Crockett's elderly neighbor Nana, has disappeared. Throw a very restrained child psychologist (Dr. Madelyne Mackenzie) into the mix along with an exorcist (Father O'Hare), the foster care system, Satanism, a crazed stalker, add in the Catholic Church and a comatose Pope and you've got a mess. The underlying premise to this story is that Jaimie is genetically predisposed toward being sensitive to the demon-possessed. She is, in effect, the "canary" in detecting evil. Although there are others like her around the world, they are few and far between. These women have been used by the Catholic Church for centuries to ensure that evil does not gain a hold on the church, especially its cardinals or would-be popes. The intrigue involved in uncovering who is and isn't evil within the church and their individual motives and power struggles made for some interesting reading. I had difficulty accepting the author's premise (yes I know it is fiction) that demons are using priests to exploit children as the excuse for the church-related pedophilia cases. The action was all over the place, much like a rollercoaster ride. At times it was hard to keep track of all of the scheming as well as plot twists and turns. I won't tell you how it ends but the ending left me saying "what?" and wondering what exactly had happened. The only characters that seemed realistic were Jaimie and Crockett. They had their flaws and frailties and weren't afraid to show them. This, in my opinion helped to show their humanity. The others were somewhat flat and seemed to be more caricatures than characters. The Canary List isn't a bad story nor was it badly written but there was just something that kept it from being little more than a decent read.
rtwins More than 1 year ago
The Canary List by Sigmund Brouwer is an edge of your seat thriller that read like Dan Brown and Frank Peritti rolled into one novel. The author states that the book is loosely based on information obtained from the Vatican's chief exorcist and cardinals involved in exorcism. Jaimie Piper is a twelve-year-old girl who has been bumped from foster home to foster home and has witnessed abuse by priests. She has the ability to sense the presence of evil in a person. Crockett, Jaimie's teacher, is trying to drown the memory of the death of his daughter in alcohol , when Jaimie knocks on his window in the middle of the night, seeking help. Immediately, Crockett's kindness is misunderstood by authorities. Jaimie does not know why a group of men are trying to kidnap her. With the help of Jaimie's psychiatrist, who has secrets of her own, and the Vatican's help, a conspiracy is brought to light. But can the papacy be saved from ruin? This novel, through very dark, is a clean read. Personally, I was not happy with the ending, as some loose ends were not resolved. The book, though Christian, had no redemption story lines that I've come to expect in Christian novels. If you are looking for an exciting thriller, you will enjoy this book. Sigmund Brouwer is the author of eighteen novels with nearly three million copies in print. His recent novel The Last Disciple was featured in Time magazine and on ABC's Good Morning America. Sigmund is married to Christian recording artist Cindy Morgan, and they and their two daughters divide their time between homes in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada and Nashville, Tennessee. Thank you to Sigmund Brouwer and WaterBrook Press for the free ARC I received in exchange for my honest review
meemaw1122 More than 1 year ago
welve year old Jaimie only has one person she can go to with her problems, her teacher. She can see things that are dark, and she runs from them. Crockett, Mr G. as Jaimie calls him, only has one thing on his mind, to spend the anniversary of his daughter's death by himself and by doing so getting himself drunk.Every year on the anniversary of his daughter's death, Crockett goes on a three day drinking binge. If not for his son, Mickey, Crockett would very likely fall into a spiral of despair and ruin. He pours his heart into teaching troubled kids including Jaimie Piper, a twelve-year-old girl with her own tragic past. When Jaimie comes to his house one night, running away from her foster home, it turns Crockett's entire world upside down. Child pornography is found in his home, the only person who can support his alibi has disappeared, and once in jail, the guards put the word out that he is a child molester.This book starts off with a sequence of action packed events and just draws you right in with the plot.The story has a fast pace and was very easy to get into. There are a lot of twists and turns and you just want everything to come out ok, especially for the 'good guys'. It was well written with much detail, and is sure to appeal to a varied audience. I recieved a free copy of this book for review from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the ideas expressed are my own.
Army_Wife20 More than 1 year ago
Twelve year old Jaimie only has one person she can go to with her problems, her teacher. She can see things that are dark, and she runs from them. Crockett, Mr G. as Jaimie calls him, only has one thing on his mind, to spend the anniversary of his daughter's death by himself and by doing so getting himself drunk. Events that happen sends Crockett's and Jaimie's life into carnage. To get his life back, Crockett has to find out about Jaimie's life. This book is a suspenseful fast paced fiction. This book is a sequel to "The Vatican". Sigmund Brouwer is an exceptional writer and I would recommend any of his books to anyone that loves Christian fiction.
litendeavors More than 1 year ago
"There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight." --C.S. Lewis Every year on the anniversary of his daughter's death, Crockett goes on a three day drinking binge. If not for his son, Mickey, Crockett would very likely fall into a spiral of despair and ruin. On the first evening of his annual mourning period, he glimpses what he believes to be his daughter's face. From that moment on, he is embroiled in a conspiracy that involves demons, cardinals, and the Catholic Church. Foster child Jamie Piper is plagued by darkness. If not for a bracelet that guards against spiritual attack, and the psychologist who strengthened her confidence, she would be constantly frightened. When Jamie glimpses a strange man visiting her foster parents, she gets that familiar feeling of terror and slips out of the house, unnoticed. When the darkness pursues her, she seeks out her favorite teacher, Crockett, for help. Of all people, he knows the impropriety of being alone with an underage female student. He reaches out to Nana, his elderly neighbor and friend. They both decide it is best to talk to Jamie's foster family to straighten out the situation, but on the way to her house, they find it ablaze. In the next 24 hours, Nana is abducted, Crockett is thrown in jail for possession of child pornography, Jamie is placed in protective services, and Crockett is in danger of losing his parental rights. Is Jamie the reason for all these strange events? Why is she seeing a psychologist and the Vatican's Chief Exorcist? Is someone framing Crockett in order to keep him from finding out? And who is suddenly paying an expensive attorney to represent him? Fans of conspiracy themed novels similar to those penned by Dan Brown or Paul Meier will enjoy the ride The Canary List provides. Though there are demons, possession, and elements of horror interspersed within the pages, it reads more like something in the suspense/thriller genre. Catholics may find it offensive that Brouwer uses the pedophilia scandals to imply The Church is corrupt and/or evil. I chose instead to believe that all is fair game in the writing of a fictional conspiracy theory, though Brouwer suggests that this plot is plausible, indeed, based in fact. Of course, that doesn't surprise me, since each branch of Christian religion tends to see the other as flawed. Brouwer does a fair job of keeping the reader guessing, and maintaining the pace. Crockett's character is reasonably developed, but the others remain two-dimensional. Verdict: Moderately entertaining read that requires no heavy thinking or concentration.
Dana1975 More than 1 year ago
Wow - this book starts off with a sequence of action packed events and just totally sucks the reader right in. I could not put the book down! It was a great, easy read. The story was riveting and kept me on the edge of my seat. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to find out what was happening to Jamie and Crockett. Jamie's story was full of mystery and poor Crockett was a victim of circumstances. His life was caught up in a tornado of events that was leaving his home life and career (teacher) in ruins. He had already suffered the loss of a child and subsequent divorce and now he was facing isolation from his remaining child and total loss of any professional respect. He was being set-up - and worse yet, it seemed like he was being attacked. The only problem I had with this book was that it lacked anything redeeming. It was full of what secular readers love - fire, death, demons, suspense, physical attacks, religious hypocrisy, broken hearts, jumping from 6th story balcony into a pool, left to die in the catacombs, and even an ending that leaves you unsure of the truth (our post-modern world LOVES the absence of truth). But that is not why I read. These "dark" things really made this a difficult read. I felt as if I were grieving the Holy Spirit just by reading the latin verbiage that the Satanists used during their ceremonies. So if you are looking for something entertaining to read and don't mind the darker sort of will love this book. I just think that for me, there are better choices.