The Brotherhood by Jerry B. Jenkins
The Brotherhood tells the story of Boone Drake, the man who has everything: he's a respected cop and has a beautiful wife and a baby boy. His partner at the police force is one of his closest friends, and Boone aspires to get on the OCD (Organized Crime Department). But a terrible tragedy sends his life spiraling downward and he doesn't know if he'll ever pull through. He has to, however, because his help is needed in dealing with one of the largest Mob bosses in Chicago. Will Boone be able to overcome the tragedy he suffered, or will he turn his back on his dream?
The hook for the books was good, straightforward and intriguing. Also, Jerry B. Jenkins has a distinct way of creating characters. Early last year I read his novel Riven, which I thought was a solid story about a prison chaplain. When I started The Brotherhood I instantly was able to see the similarities in how Jenkins creates characters. If you love Jenkin's character's you may very well want to read this book.
However, I found the story often clichéd, and at times a bit long. A couple chapters into the book is when the tragedy happens (which I will not spoil for you), and then the Mob Boss isn't introduced until well past page 200. And, despite the suffering and pain Boone goes through, many other things happen that seem too good to be true. At one point he is accused of brutality after accidentally injuring a criminal. Instead of seeing the case all the way through, the criminal drops the charge because he has a guilty conscious and knows Boone didn't mean to hurt him. In the end none of it seemed believable - I wasn't drawn into the story.
That said, it is still impressive that Jenkins decided to tackle the theme of suffering. It is something many authors, fiction and non-fiction have tried to do and it is not always done well. Though clichéd and cheesy in a way that only Christian fiction can be, Jenkins still has a well thought out approach. Suffering is not a sensible things and it when it hits it is never pretty. However, suffering need not be the end all, and strength can be found in friends and in faith.
Jerry B. Jenkins co-authored the wildly bestselling series Left Behind as well as the aforementioned Riven. He purchased and owns the Christian Writers Guild, an organization which has the goal of improving the quality of Christian Fiction.
I received this book free from Tyndale. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255