Posted in Book Reviews

Playing Saint: Zachary Bartels


It’s good to be king. At least that’s how Parker Saint felt. A third generation pastor, Parker has gone the television route, establishing an enviable empire. Concerned less with the Gospel than how shiny his teeth are Parker preaches prosperity & achieving one’s dreams. Image is everything.

When he has a run-in with an airline employee, resulting in some legal woes, Parker accepts a plea deal of sorts. In order to have the charges expunged, he agrees to consult with the local police department in a murder investigation. Although he has no police training, they’re more interested in his theological background. Murder victims are piling up & they are covered in demonic symbols.

Without a cast iron stomach, Parker begins looking into these symbols & it’s soon evident that all his prosperity preaching isn’t going to help. What he needs now is Jesus. When the murders hit closer to home, Parker is woefully unprepared. He’s equally unprepared for rogue priests who show up at his home, run INS with angry Satanists, & his own conscience. Can he rediscover his roots in time to solve this case or will he too fall victim to the forces around him?

Parker reminds me (too much) of Joel Osteen. It actually made me laugh because I’ve heard him say many of the same rhetoric that Parker does. My favorite characters, by far, have to be the militant priests. One has to read about them to understand. They’re simply fabulous. From start to finish, Bartels had me hooked. I needed to read it through & just had to know how it ended.

I hope we haven’t seen the last of Parker (or the priests). He has all the makings of a ‘serial hero’.  Well done, I give it a full 5stars.

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.

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