Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Canary List

I just finished reading The Canary List by Sigmund Brouwer.  I have to make a disclaimer--I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.  The book started out a little slowly for my taste--I had trouble getting into it.  But about a quarter of the way into it, I realized I couldn't put it down!  The story picks up the pace and moves very quickly, twisting and turning until literally the last page.

The story concerns a young girl Jaime who insists she can "see" Evil when she removes her special bracelet.  She's in foster care due to the death of her parents years earlier.  But on the night the story begins, she turns to her teacher Crockett Grey for help.  Crockett has his own issues to deal with and was intent on spending the night drowning his own memories of his recently deceased daughter.  When Jaime knocks at his window, he first thinks of his daughter Ashley but realizes it's Jaime.  He enlists the help of his next door neighbor Nanna, who insists they take the girl back to her foster parents.  They arrive to find the home engulfed in flames. Crockett tries to ask for help from the police but afraid for Jaime's safety the adults take her back and she spends the night at Nanna's house.  The next day things begin to fall apart for Crockett.  Accusations of inappropriate behavior with a young girl, especially given that she is his student, follow.  The police search his house only to find a hard drive of child porn in the attic.  He is arrested and his life suddenly spins out of control.

Rather than giving in and accepting his fate, Crockett begins to try to unravel the mysteries surrounding Jaime.  Why is she seeing a child psychologist who is researching Jamie's  DNA?  Why is Nanna suddenly missing from her home next door?  Who's paying the high priced lawyer who came from out of nowhere to defend Crockett?  The trail leads him all the way to the highest levels of the Catholic church in Rome where a scandal of unbelievable proportions is threatening to explode and expose all manner of Evil.

The book, reminiscent of Dan Brown's DaVinci Code, puts forth realistic explanations of many of the recent scandals within the Catholic Church.  After a slow start, the twists and turns of the plot keep the reader guessing until the very end.

The first few pages of the book can be found here.

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