A young woman is talking to her married lover about the impending birth of their unplanned child. Neither one of them is happy, to say the least. The ripples from the single instance of indiscretion that led to her situation threaten to deluge the entire country with problems that could erode the very foundation of our Constitution. When the young woman, attorney Jessica Caldwell, is found murdered, it appears that her killer is Dr. Todd Grissom, and he is quickly arrested. However, his wife Anne cannot accept the notion that her husband is a murderer and hires Elijah Faulkner to defend him against the charges he faces.
As the investigation to prove Grissom’s innocence proceeds, details of the deals and deceits that are going on behind the scenes prior to the selection of a new Justice for the Supreme Court begin to be revealed. Opposing President Wallace’s nominee is Senator Lance Proctor. As Senate majority leader, he wants to retain his powerful position at any cost. Proctor enjoys his position of leadership, in which he is a master of maneuvers, negotiations and outright blackmail. Yet, just has he has “the goods” on many of his colleagues, there are those unelected power brokers who have the goods on him.
Written in the same pithy style as Robert B. Parker’s successful Spencer series, with short chapters and economical phrasing, Jerome Teel has created a novel as timely as Fox News with themes that raise moral and ethical questions as old as time. And all but the most severely addicted mystery fans will be kept guessing until the author reveals the outcomes.
Teel’s well-defined characters include Simon, the mysterious mercenary who keeps his shadow troops at the ready to help the cause of freedom when reason and justice are rendered ineffectual by the deceit and manipulation of those entrusted with great power, and Holland Fletcher, an investigative reporter for the Washington Post who has yet to uncover a story big enough to propel him into the elite circle of journalists and media imagemakers. There are also those like Anne Grissom, who are willing to put everything on the line for their beliefs. THE DIVINE APPOINTMENT is a story with many heroes, each with his or her own particular role to play in the sundry mysteries of this multifaceted thriller.
It’s always a pleasure to discover a new author who jumps right into the ranks of favorites like Craig Parshall and James Scott Bell --- men of faith who are not afraid to share their faith in a unique and effective manner, creating stories that are both engrossing and inspiring.
Reviewed by Maggie Harding on June 5, 2007