Compelling Story, But Very Violent

“A suspenseful retelling of the Prodigal Son story like you have never heard before.” With this phrase my attention was captured, and I was eager to give new-to-me author Samuel Parker’s latest release from Revell Publishers a try. “Border Son” is a thrilling suspense novel that brings the dangerous world of Mexico’s underground drug trade to life with chilling vividness.

I enjoyed the deeper themes of redemption, forgiveness, sacrifice, and honor that were the foundations of “Border Son”. The story of a father and a son who are offered a second chance at a relationship was very well done, and really makes you think about the Prodigal Son in challenging new ways. However, and this is a big caveat… the amount and level of detail about harsh violence in this book is absolutely horrific. There are over 80 (short) chapters, and a large percentage of them contained a death (or multiple deaths) of some kind, usually with a lot of description. Hired assassins, torture, betrayal, shooting, stabbing, the list goes on and on of different types of murders portrayed in this book. I understand that maybe this inhuman brutality can be an accurate picture of some places and circumstances in the world, but I was really not expecting a Christian suspense novel to contain quite this level of gore and violence.

I do not want to say this book is all bad, because it isn’t. It is thought-provoking and intense, and brings characters to life that you really can’t help but sympathize with, despite their unwise choices in the past. While it wasn’t a book I would read again or recommend to friends due to the violence, I think readers who are prepared for a challenging (and at times brutal) novel will find “Border Son” to be a book they will not soon forget.

“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.”

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