Letters from the Dead by George Hopkins
Discover how fear, revenge, and anger can affect a person’s judgment.
GEORGE HOPKINS’ THIRD adult murder mystery with Detective Tom Cavanaugh and Jesuit priest Jack Bennis takes readers through a suspenseful array of murders, pregnancies, marriages and revenge as Hopkins’ always intriguing characters deal with their physical, emotional and spiritual problems.
Aging detective Tom Cavanaugh is seeking to solve a series of murders he feels his own actions have put into motion. Meanwhile, his half-brother, Father Jack Bennis, has requested a leave of absence from his bishop in order to “find his mind,” as he struggles to come to grips with his involvement with a former Cuban prostitute.
Both men then find themselves the targets of a killer seeking revenge for the cyber-bullying death of his daughter. An elderly woman in a nursing home continues to protect letters from her dead sister which reveal the true relationship between these half-brothers, but her life, too, is in danger.
“Why are some men and women so stubborn?” asks novelist Hopkins. “And how does one’s perception of reality affect one’s actions?” Letters from the Dead offers answers as Hopkins’ well-crafted novel shows readers how fear, revenge and anger can affect a person’s judgment and his actions.
Letters from the Dead also shows what a person can do when a killer comes after the people he loves, and Hopkins’ clever plot twists keep both his characters and his readers on their toes until the surprising climax of the mystery unfolds.
Review by Charles Kuffner: George Hopkins takes Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch and C.K.Chesterton’s Father Brown to a new level. But more importantly he joins the two characters into a team of unlikely allies.
I apologize for those who do not remember Fr. Brown and and of course it dates me as an old man. However, referring to Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch should revive my credibility.
What the reader will confront are two related men of the world whose sense of justice, ethics and conscience are honed in different life experiences. The detective sees things thru a prism of crime, violence and the legal system he doesn’t trust. The Priest is a throw back to survivors of war coming home with a desire to heal, serve and restore through prayer, the Sacraments and compassion. Except, however, when street justice demands otherwise.
The amount of work and research that Mr. Hopkins devotes to this intriguing story and complex characters is breathtaking. For example there is detailed research into Latin and it use by the killer; likewise Mr. Hopkins explores many other unusual disciplines.
Superimposed on all these complicated issues is that detective doesn’t want the Priest anywhere near this case because of the obvious dangers posed by the killer.
I wish I could be more specific about the plot, but the last thing I want to do is take away from the reader the thrill of discovery of how this crime spree is solved.
Suffice it to say, that Mr. Hopkins weaves a deep, dark web of intrigue while at the same time taking you into the lives of complicated men so that you get to appreciate them more completely.