I know why Dale Allan's book Prayer for the Devil won an excellence award.
At first the title alone scared me away. Now, after I have read this book, I need to tell you that y'all can go get a copy and read it. Indeed you should read this one.
For anyone with similar fears: this book is not creepy or needlessly scary at all, and that the title, A Prayer for the Devil is very meaningful. You will see how as you read.
So why did it win an excellence award and why should you read it?
You read this book to experience life as part of the Miller family, to sleuth along with Father Miller, to meet people you wouldn't otherwise have met and to think about issues that deserve rational thought.
Luke Miller's father is Jewish, his mother Roman Catholic. They had two sons, identical twins.
Luke's name was chosen by his mother, a New Testament name that turned into a sort of prophecy: Luke answered the call of Christ in high-school. His brother Aaron bore the name their father chose, and the continued in the religion he taught them.
Aaron married a beautiful Jewish wife, had two precious children and worked hard to establish a good career as a lawyer. One of his last accomplishments was becoming the campaign manager for Brad Thompson, favored Presidential Candidate, and Aaron Miller died tragically in a terrorist bombing that claimed the life of the Mr. Thompson along with six others.
This devastating loss pulled Luke Miller from his chosen life as a simple priest, and drew him back into his brother's family. Aaron's widow and his children become increasingly dependent on Luke as they process their grief, and for the first time Luke understands the kind of loss that he had previously only observed from afar.
When the case stalls and there are no leads, Luke decides to hunt down his brother's killer himself.
As he begins to investigate, he finds a long and tangled trail of clues and a rather unlikely collection of compatriots to help him on his way.
The people Luke Miller meets are just as interesting as the clues he chases, and that is saying something.
There are homeless men in his city park, a man named Sal who offers Father Luke his "connections", and a fiery Muslim woman whose name means Beautiful, these are all part of the cast of characters in A Prayer for the Devil.
I like a mystery that allows me to look over the protagonist's shoulder as he collects evidence. This one does. At times the cleverness of Father Miller and his friends had me doing fist-pumps, saying "Yes! That's how to catch 'em!"
And whoa! The ending...I mean literally the last sentence... that was a punch that came out of nowhere! Can't tell y'all what it is exactly, you'll just have to find out.
I was given this book through the awesome site for readers and also reviewers: Bookfun.org!
Thank you Nora and Fred St. Laurent for sending me my copy to review!