John Desjarlais

A former producer with Wisconsin Public Radio, John Desjarlais teaches journalism and English at Kishwaukee College in northern Illinois. His first novel, The Throne of Tara (Crossway 1990, 2000), was a Christianity Today Readers Choice Award nominee, and his medieval thriller, Relics (Thomas Nelson 1993, 2009) was a Doubleday Book Club Selection. Bleeder and Viper (Chesterton Press, 2009 and 2011 respectively) are the first two entries in a contemporary mystery series. The third title, Specter, is forthcoming. Blood of the Martyrs (2012), a short story collection, is available at Amazon Kindle Select. A member of Mystery Writers of America, he is listed in Who's Who in Entertainment and Who's Who Among America's Teachers.

 

Book Reviews by John Desjarlais

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Diablo Nights: An Emilia Cruz Novel

Emilia Cruz, Acapulco’s first and only female police detective, has struggled her way up the ranks for respect in a rough-and-tumble man’s world and a city known for glamor but full of grit. Smart, tough and sensitive to suffering, Emilia knows the dark side of this exotic tourist town well. In search of a wedding gift, she finds a preserved finger in a prestigious Catholic gift shop presumed to be a relic of a Mexican martyr. Then she is pulled into a cruise ship murder where the victim, hidden in a meat locker, is found to possess Ora Ciega, a rare type of Columbian heroin. Later, the mother of a ...

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The Bench

Trauma surgeon Dr. Amy Daniels has left her Boston practice to seek refuge in remote Rocky Meadow, Vermont, following the murder of her sister and rape of her niece. The guilt and anger she feels over saving the life of the assailant in the emergency room has overwhelmed her. But she cannot fully escape it; trauma is everywhere, and there’s no shortage of it in rural New England. Her new hospital, like any medical facility, is full of trauma, both physical and emotional. And some injuries seem rather suspicious.

Amy seeks solace in the frequent solitude of a riverside bench where she eventually meet...

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Death in the Choir

Death in the Choir might be called a "Catholic cozy," given its charming Decatur, Georgia setting and recently widowed heroine, Francesca Bibbo, who joins the choir at St. Rita's in order to resume her social life and find romance.  Lovelorn and self-conscious about her weight (even her cat is named Tubs), Francesca quickly discovers the disharmony in the group.  The catty sopranos compete for solos, and the director and senior pastor are at odds over purchasing a new organ to replace the old wheezing one. When the director, Randall, appoints Francesca to be his administrative assistant ...

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Belisarius

Historical fiction set in the distant past has often been used as a platform to comment on contemporary events. Yes, the reader says, that situation was like the one we face today, and the way their heroes dealt with it is the way we must deal with ours.

That's what begins to happen while reading Belisarius, a sweeping re-creation of the tumultuous world of the early 500s, where the once-mighty Roman Empire has crumbled into a patchwork of barbarian kingdoms in the West and Constantinople is fractured by zealous factions, religious heresies, and the labyrinthine conspiracies of corrupt leader...

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Catholic, Ink.

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Sign-up for this free weekly e-newsletter and receive the free article - "What is Catholic Fiction?" Read the weekly column The Catholic Imagination and You and more.