's Reviews > Bleeder: A Mystery

Bleeder by John J. Desjarlais
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's review
Jul 11, 11

bookshelves: adult-fiction, book-clubs, catholic-christian, mystery, teens-ya
Recommended for: adult, teens, young adults, book clubs, teen ministries, college campus groups, teaching

Get ready...August is the month most families take vacations and it’s coming soon. What book are you tossing into your luggage? Try Bleeder: A miracle? Or bloody murder? Excellent mystery about the murder of a priest famous for his stigmata. Written for adults but acceptable for older teens. See the review against education criteria and our blog commentary

Written for adults, older teens will also appreciate the rich context within which Desjairlas situates his mystery as well as his multi-faceted characters. The protagonist, a religious skeptic, ends up knee-deep in a possible miracle—or hoax? Criticism and misunderstanding of Catholicism are treated realistically and given intellectual critique. In contrast to authors like Regina Doman who integrate classic literature with a poetic effect, Bleeder is equally intellectual but for the philosopher rather than the poet. However, rather than a heady treatment, we are entertained with continuous theme tying Aquinas to Aristotle in the self-talk and dialogue of characters. This gives it practical application to every day life (great for school assignment). A standard ethical process for decision making is provided that leads to the truth.

Teen readers should already have a foundation in their family’s own faith beliefs with which to contrast to the secular myths and Gnostic views portrayed by antagonists in the story. Excellent choice to share, book clubs, youth and college campus ministries, and vacation!


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