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I purchased the 2008 ACFW Writers Conference CD last  year. And let me say that the sessions by Mark Mynheir, a homicide detective and author, made the purchase well worth the price(can be purchased here).

He offered insights into the lives of cops and detectives and made me respect law enforcement even more than I already did.

So, when I received some “teaser” e-mails from his publisher, Multnomah, I had to buy the book–maybe it was because I already felt I “knew” the author after hearing his talk.

My husband and I are on Dave Ramsey’s Baby steps so I didn’t want to buy the book. I want to stick to the budget.

The day before Mother’s Day, my husband informed me he didn’t know what to get me. Of course, I knew–I wanted The Night Watchman by Mark Mynheir.

But we weren’t going anywhere to buy it and I knew first hand that Barnes and Noble  didn’t have it in stock at the store closest by me(I had checked previously—I wasn’t going to buy it, I promise. I was just curious to see if they had it).

My husband and son went with my mother-in-law to see Star Trek and while they were gone, I had a brilliant idea(my husband always hates those).

I got out my PALM T/X and hooked in to Mobipocket and downloaded the book and within minutes I was reading a GREAT detective novel.

Personally, I like my Palm TX as an e-reader because it is much smaller than the Kindle and fits better in my smaller purses. But the big problem with these e-books–I can’t share them with others like I can with my hard copy books. I really want to share the book with my friends because it is so good.

After a terrible police call gone wrong, Ray Quinn, a cop forced into medical retirement, works as a night watchman where he spends his shift working on sudoku puzzles. When a young woman shows up at the complex concerned about her brother, the preacher, the night watchman finds himself thrown into an unauthorized investigation.

This film noir-like novel offers realism (based on the author’s experience) and the character reminds me of two of my favorite TV characters– Dr. House(walks with a cane and is not afraid to use it) and Monk(lost  his loved one to an  act of violence).

Oh, and I LOVE the sidekick in the novel who seems a little like Barney Fife.

The author has an incredible authorial “voice”. This is the first paragraph in chapter 3:

Crime scene tape is like flypaper for busybodies; the second you put it up, they all come buzzing around and stick to it.

What is even more impressive to me--the author has dyslexia and  had previously resigned himself to the fact  that he was “just not very bright”.

The NightWatchman

I wished I had been a little more patient and ordered the physical copy of the book.

I’ve not seen the despair of the drug trade and organized crime up close, but the book White Soul seems to portray it accurately.

I believe Brandt Dodson does an excellent job at showing how easy it is for the Christian to be caught up in the world.

The blurb on the back of the book:

Undercover agent Ron Ortega has a decision to make… do the right thing, or the desired thing?

Too often we choose the desired thing which can have dire consequences to our life.

As an undercover agent, Ron has to make his subjects believe he is one of them. But how far is too far? Ron came close to going too far.

I’m reading the book of Judges now and I see how easy it was for the Israelites to fall into the habits and customs of the people around them. And each time, they faced terrible circumstances. But each time they were restored by God’s grace.

I like this verse from the Apostle Paul:

Romans 7:18-20 (New International Version)

New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

18I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[a] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

I’m glad to know that my place in Heaven is not determined by how good I am, because I cannot be good enough. Even the Apostle Paul struggled with the evil in his life as evidenced by what he wrote above.

No, my place in Heaven is secured by a man who purchased that place for me by taking on my sin while on the cross.

At the end of the chapter 7, Paul says:

21So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Who will rescue me from this body of death? JESUS

Read White Soul if you like gritty crime novels.

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