Playing Saint is new author Zachary Bartels' debut novel. Sometimes I'm nervous about reading a new author, but the premise of this book sounded so intriguing that I just had to give it a shot - and I wasn't disappointed. The description of the book reads:
"Yesterday, Parker Saint’s only concern was his swiftly rising star power.
Today, he’s just trying to stay alive.
Parker Saint is living the dream. A cushy job at a thriving megachurch has him on the verge of becoming a bestselling author and broadcast celebrity—until life takes an abrupt turn that lands him on the wrong side of the law. To avoid a public scandal, he agrees to consult with the police on a series of brutal murders linked by strange religious symbols scrawled on each victim.
Parker tries to play the expert, but he is clearly in over his head. Drawn ever deeper into a web of intrigue involving a demanding detective, a trio of secretive Vatican operatives, and a centuries-old conspiracy to conceal a mysterious relic, he realizes for the first time that the battle between good and evil is all too real—and that the killer is coming back . . . this time for him."
I was pulled in just from the Prologue - I instantly wanted to know more. I knew right away this had the potential to be an excellent book, and it was. Bartels has taken the Christian thriller genre (which is my favorite, by the way) and turned it on its head. While he proves that you can write a gritty, scary page turner without bad language and sex and still write a great book, he also proves that just because it's a Christian book, it doesn't have to be cheesy, lame, or cliche. This is one book that you just won't be able to put down - don't start it right before bedtime! There is also liberal humor sprinkled throughout the book, which makes a subject that could be grim and depressing a much more enjoyable subject. It's the perfect balance. I highly recommend this book at anyone who enjoys a good suspense book.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.