Thursday, September 18, 2014

REVIEW: God's Banker

Enforcement Division 2:
God's Banker
Chris Malburg

Genre: Mystery, Suspense
Publisher: Writers Resource Group, Inc
Publication date: 5.14.2014
Pages: 394

Date read: 9.17.2014
Recommended by: Worldwind Blog Tours, Read 2 Review

Summary: Cardinal David Caneman took just three years to engineer his ascension into the CEO's office of Vatican Bancorp.  His cabal of fundamental zealots now quickly moves to seize the world's largest institution.  First by publicly assassinating the Pope.  Next by replacing him with Caneman.  Finally by giving the masses a common, everyday object - unquestionably used by their savior - to rally behind.  For centuries, folklore has claimed the sacred item laid in wait sealed within the Church's lost treasury vault.  Caneman races to unearth the vault - if it exists.  He has bet everything that he can find the blessed object surely buried within.  He intends using it to sweep the faithful from their ungodly ways and into his personal standards of piety.
            The Taliban took just two years to overthrow Kabul.  Armed with over a billion faithful worldwide and a $200 billion war chest - and the sacred Brook of Formia - Cardinal David Caneman figures it will take him just half that time to conscript the hearts and minds first of Europe, then...
            Jackson Schillings enjoys his happy, early retirement.  He attends minor league ball games near his home in Elkhart, Indiana.  He's an amateur chef.  And Jackson Schilling is a hunter.  Then the SEC drafts him.  Come on, Jack.  One last audit.  It's mandatory after an attempt on the Vatican Bank Chairman's life.  But Jackson Schilling is no ordinary auditor.  And it was his Commander in Chief who personally ordered him drafted.  Schilling exhaustively uncovers Caneman's deadly purpose.  First he must stop a professional assassin from completing his mission against the Pope.  Now the hard part - derail a fundamental faction led by a brilliant, ruthless [and some would say] saint to over a billion faithful.  Jackson Schilling battles a force growing faster and more deadly than the Crusades, the Inquisition or the Taliban ever were.  Legitimate governments will surely topple, becoming answerable to one man and his band of strict fundamentalists if Schilling fails.

I am a huge fan of this kind of book - religious zealots, mystery, espionage, intrigue, suspense, and lots of action - so when this book came up for a blog tour with Worldwind, I jumped at the chance.  It was a lot of fun to read and the characters were really interesting.  (I especially like Schilling's wife.) The author does a great job of showing you who each character is and how each of them effect the story as a whole.  

The story itself was awesome and riveting.  Even sick with the plague (haha some sort of flu or something), I forced myself to stay awake so that I could see what would happen next.  From the first couple of chapters, with the sniper setting the Pope up in his crosshairs, I just could not put it down.  Watching as Caneman's plan was elaborated on - and watching Schilling swoop in to do what he had to in order to save the day - was awesome.  

Mr. Malburg, you have a new fan.  Not only do I plan to go pick up book one, but I plan to continue this series.  You did an awesome job.

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