When journalist Peter Merrick is asked to write a eulogy for his mentor, Jesuit priest James Ingram, his biggest concern is doing right by the man. But when his routine research reveals disturbing ties to sexual abuse and clues to a shadowy deal trading justice for power, everything he believed about his friend is called into question. With the US presidential election looming, incumbent Arthur Wyncott is quickly losing ground among religious voters. Meanwhile, Owen Feeney, head of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, is facing nearly a billion dollars in payments to victims of sex abuse. When Feeney hits on a solution to both men’s problems, it seems the stars have aligned. That is until Ally Larkin—Wyncott’s brilliant campaign aide—starts to piece together the shocking details. As the election draws closer and the stakes get higher, each choice becomes a calculation: Your faith, or your church? Your principles, or your candidate? The person you most respect, or the truth that could destroy their legacy?
When the line between right and wrong is blurred, how do you act, and whom do you save?
I read lots of mysteries and thrillers. Many are full of gore and suspesnse. None are quite so scary as reading The Shepherd’s Calculus and seeing just how close religion and politics are, and the lengths some people will go to gain ground for their side.
The Shepherd’s Calculus has a slow start. The sheer number of characters and laying out the background is astounding. As soon as I got into the rythm of Ms. Farrelly writes I found myself immersed in the bad, and the good, of these characters.
What I liked: Although James Ingram, Jimmy, is deceased for most of The Shepherd’s Calculus I couldn’t help but to love him. His values and morals are everything that is right with the church. His love and willingness to protect his flock is what we expect of a priest and why we’re horrified when wolves lurk in robes.
I loved how The Shepherd’s Calculus really got me thinking. It’s definiltey not the typical brainless novel I prefer, but it was a great change. Following the characters and their manipultaions, watching them calculate the risks of their choices, and seeing those who should be sheparding their flock protect the stained instead of the innocent was as enthralling as it was heart-breaking.
What I didn’t like: Honestly, I do not generally read, or enjoy reading, anything that shows the darkness where we expect to see love, so I didn’t really want to read this book. However, in The Shepherd’s Calculus Ms. Farrelly depicts an honest and, what I believe to be fair account of what could happen. She doesn’t slam the church, but instead shows that it’s a person’s choices to allow the gray area to shift into what should never occur.
I also rarely read books that feature pedophiles or rape. It’s gross and wrong and I just don’t want any part of even the thought that these people believe they’re doing something acceptable. I can honestly say that in The Shepherd’s Calculus that is never broached. Thank Goodness!! With the exception of one, maybe two, incidents, where the details are glossed over, there are only references to letters, people, and subjects instead of actions and specifics.
If you’re looking for a mystery that’s thought-provoking and interesting The Shepherd’s Calculus is a great choice!
|Source:||I requested The Shepherd’s Calculus by C.S. Farrelly from Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours because I wanted to read it & share my thoughts|
|Publisher & Date:||2017 by Cavan Bridge Press|
|ISBN:||0998749303 (ISBN13: 9780998749303)|
|Steam:||18+ | There is some foul language (not a lot) and|
|Setting:||Mostly centered in Washington DC|
C.S. Farrelly was raised in Wyoming and Pennsylvania. A graduate of Fordham University (BA, English), her eclectic career has spanned a Manhattan investment bank, the NYC Department of Education and, most recently, the British Government’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office. She was a 2015 Presidential Leadership Scholar and obtained a master’s degree from Trinity College Dublin, where she was a George J. Mitchell scholar.
She has lived in New York City, Washington, D.C., Ireland, and England. An avid hiker, she camped her way through East Africa, from Victoria Falls to Nairobi. She currently lives in Pennsylvania with her family.
The Shepherd’s Calculus is her first novel.
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