Today’s post will be a cluster of Stephen Grant reviews. The Stephen Grant series is a pretty well-known Lutheran series by Ray Keating, so it’s high time I reviewed them!
This was one of the first explicitly Lutheran novels I had heard about. It’s got it all: action, intrigue, character development, etc., with a Lutheran sub-plot to boot! It’s an excellent introduction to the concept of Lutheran novels.
I know, I know. One needn’t be explicitly Lutheran in content to be a Lutheran and write a novel. At the same time, a major hat tip to you, Ray Keating, for casting a high church Lutheran pastor serving a Saint Mary’s Lutheran Church as normal enough to exist, let alone have a past, present, and future in this messy, complicated, action-packed world of ours.
There is some language and sexual content, but it isn’t lauded. It’s violence level is . . . well, what I’d expect of a spy or action story starring a former SEAL & CIA operative without going over the top.
This is a worthy novel to follow Warrior Monk. Offering more complex scenarios and writing structure, I enjoyed it even more than its predecessor. Well written, fast paced, it held my attention well while merging drama, adventure, theology, and economics.
It’s interesting to see how economics is becoming an increasingly important theme throughout this series. I look forward to reading as many as Ray Keating writes.
I really enjoyed several significant things throughout this book. It seems a little different than the earlier two books in the series. It was shorter and had a bit less interweaving, stylistically and plot-wise. Still, well-worth reading. I flew through it with enthusiasm.
Ok, so there’s been a bit of bad language in the series. Still, The River is another fine novel, exploring both the human side of a Lutheran pastor (or CIA agent!) and the adventures of a formidable figure. <Slight spoiler> Some may be confused by the initial flashback opener. It does set up both character and plot development. Some might find this book a little darker than previous books, but I see this as opening up a lot of possibilities for later revelations and hopefully reconciliations in the series.
Somehow I read this one before its immediate predecessor, The River, but I can tell you I still thoroughly enjoyed it. I may have missed a few things because of it, but I’m almost relieved to know this is an enjoyable series even if you accidentally read something out of order!
I really enjoyed the baseball references! The complexity of the plot was great. Structure and flow were great. This was just a super pleasing read! Likely my favorite of the series.
I haven’t read his latest in the series, yet, but along with the above Stephen Grant reviews I’m already happy to recommend it with a link and call to your attention:
And, consider reviewing books, too, even if its just a wordless number of stars. 🙂