Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Power in the Blood (John Jordan Mystery #1)” as Want to Read:
Power in the Blood (John Jordan Mystery #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Power in the Blood

(John Jordan Mystery #1)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  1,791 ratings  ·  155 reviews
In a mystery book market saturated with stories of gruesome serial killers devoid of morality and shady investigators whose questionable tactics make them difficult heroes, Power in the Blood by Michael Lister offers a more spiritual view of social ills and acknowledges that, behind every despicable act, there is always room for forgiveness and redemption.

In this debut no
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published December 8th 2010 by Pulpwood Press (first published 1997)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Power in the Blood, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Power in the Blood

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,791 ratings  ·  155 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Power in the Blood (John Jordan Mystery #1)
Kathi Defranc
Oct 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Pastor/officer-One man is asked to be both...

This is a good thriller about a prison chaplain,divorced and in AA, who was a cop when things went wrong. As he tries to put his life back together he lives in a small trailer and ministers to the inmates and employees of the prison. This story starts with a dead body and as the investigation continues we learn much about the Chaplain. There are good suspenseful scenes ,well- developed characters and I kept turning pages to see what happens next. A ni
Dec 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Good story.

Prison Chaplain investigating the murder of one prisoner. This takes many twists and turns and more killings. From VCR tapes and typewriters, I guess it was written sometime in 1990. Just opened three years ago this correctional institution full of AIDs, drugs, gays and transsexuals with corrupt guards running the prison. Parts was confusing and hard to read.
Patrick Read
Sep 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
As Michael Connelly brilliantly stated in the pages prior to Ch. 1, read this book! He is an obvious fan of this author and now I am as well. A well written brisk read....
Good plot and a little different with the setting being a prison in Florida and the main character an ex-detective turned prison chaplain. I wasn't sure whether I would enjoy this because of the religious aspect, but it wasn't preachy at all. There were a lot of characters making this a little confusing at times, but I liked the protagonist and enjoyed the plot, so I would certainly try the next book in this series.
The audio production didn't seem very professional. Background noise and several
Jun 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
I read this book as part of a 5-book package purchased at deep discount. I liked it enough to keep reading more of the books in the series, although I would rate it at 3.5 stars (not 4) if that option had been available! I liked the protagonist, especially that he is not portrayed as a physical superman who can whip anyone who crosses his path. He does seem to be morally admirable, while admitting that he is weak and sometimes thinks 'unclean' thoughts. I am not religious personally, so I normal ...more
Rowena Hoseason
Feb 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
An enjoyable read with a solid murder-mystery at its core, but no hook strong enough to tempt me into reading more in the series. The idea of having a prison chaplain as an investigator is a neat theme, and one I enjoyed, but it seems to rely on too many contrivances to be truly credible.
The number of conflicts in the protagonist's personal life (his ex-wife, his alcoholism, his angry ex-father-in-law, his drunkard dying mother, his sibling rivalry) plus the professional coincidences and antagon
Aug 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Pretty good read but desperately needs an editor. "Roles of fat" and "we had switched rolls" were amongst my favourites. Several times the exact same paragraph was repeated a page or two later. Factual errors such as having an AIDS test hours after having been exposed to AIDS infected blood.
I have another in this series and I'm hoping the author found an editor. The story was interesting enough to keep me reading through the errors but if the next book is the same, it will be the last. *fingers
May 05, 2016 rated it did not like it
Writer needs an editor

Every woman in this book is beautiful or more beautiful. In a one-horse town, and in a penitentiary. Horny chaplain, super horny writer. Who badly needs an editor to cut down on the lengthy inappropriate metaphors. And extensive descriptions of alcoholism and how it destroys lives. The chaplain is in recovery, the ex-father in law is still in it, etc. Makes for much cumbersome reading. Show, don't tell. A lot of telling, not so much showing.
Well, I got this book for free, a
Gregg Show
Sep 21, 2017 rated it did not like it
Bizarre and pretty bigoted.

First, from the get go, everyone is described by their color except for the white people. I find that strange. I am a white person. Second, all those black people are illiterate. I just don't think I want to read a pastor-related book like this one again.
May 25, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: kindle, own
I feel bad rating this 1 star, I usually save that for books I truly hate, but this book was not good enough for a 2 star. It started off OK and I thought it would be a decent mystery/thriller. I read it because Michael Connelly, whose books I love, gave kudos to this book. Mid way through I found myself going "what?" and "what just happened?", "seriously?" I found things extremely unrealistic, characters coming out of nowhere, convenient characters just showing up, and every time a female chara ...more
This novel has a different setting than most books in this genre: a correctional facility in the Panhandle of Florida and the main character is a chaplain there. The main character is likeable and has flaws that he recognizes.

There is a lot of violence in the novel. There are some twists to the story, but most of it was straight forward. The novel does reflect that segregation and prejudice still exists in our world today. It was worth the read as it made me think about the world we live in tod
Sheila Myers
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense
I have mixed feelings about this book. I did rate it five stars because the author incorporated all of the important elements needed to write a novel such as good plot and character development. Things I didn't like were some of theology, making all the corrections officers seem like rednecks seems a little unbelievable (although admittedly I don't know much about prison life), and that some parts of the story should've probably been told earlier in the story. ...more
Aug 13, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery
This book managed to combine brutality, sex, gore and sanctimony in a sexist plot with one dimensional characters. I am at a loss to see how this type of misanthropic story could spawn a whole series of books.
Rebekah Tooley
I’m sorry to say I didn’t get past the 7th chapter before I encountered several swear words. So I will not be continuing this book sadly.
Sep 07, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: male-author, mystery
John Jordan is a former cop and the present Potter Correctional Institute chaplain who witnesses first hand the gruesome death of inmate Ike Johnson. When the superintendent asks Jordan to help investigate the death, Jordan discovers not only a network of crime and corruption taking place within the walls of PCI, but also the crime and corruption that is spilling out in the county. With the assistance of his friends Merrill and Anna, Jordan sets out to uncover the truth behind it all.

Craig Pittman
A flawed but fascinating first novel. Former Florida prison chaplain Michael Lister has created a believable detective hero, Florida prison chaplain Jon "JJ" Jordan, a divorced man and recovering alcoholic who before his call to the ministry was a cop from a family of cops. Jordan has disappointed nearly everyone in his life but now at last feels like he has found his true calling, ministering to the men behind bars at Potter Correctional Institution in Pottersville in the Florida Panhandle. But ...more
David Huelsmann
Jun 17, 2017 rated it liked it
I have mixed feelings about this book. There was good character development but some poor editing. John the prison Chaplin was asked to investigate a murder that occurred in the prison. This is an unlikely scenario at best. There were a lot of twists and turns and John didn't share his findings with the superintendent nor with the chief investigator for the prison system - John's former father-in-law. Several instances of relatives to various players popping unexpectedly during John's investigat ...more
Lyle Nicholson
Jun 20, 2017 rated it liked it
This book started off well, then all of sudden I was going "what happened to the plot?" He started throwing in characters that he didn't develop. There's an ex-brother-in-law, that he has tension with, then somehow, they're getting along. There's a woman he's infatuated with that disappears and then the main antagonist is hardly developed. I see that Lister has more books, and this was a revision.

I'm wondering if he shouldn't have rewritten this book completely? His writing is good, his descript
Ted Tayler
Jun 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
"Tough stuff"

I expected something truly amazing when I saw that the story was sandwiched between glowing references from Connolly and Bearden. Don't get me wrong. The standard of writing is at a very high level but there were occasions when this got too violent, too real, and at that point it didn't matter how good the descriptive passages were, I wanted to read something less graphic. When I finished the story at 80% I was disappointed. Then I realised this was a re-packaged starter to the seri
Dec 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
4 Stars

Power in the Blood (John Jordan Mystery Book #1) by Michael Lister.

Full review to come.
Michael Lister is a chaplain with the Florida Dept. of Corrections. He spins a didquieting story about corruption, sexual activity, drug dealing and violence inside a Florida prison.

John Jordan was a former cop who had a calling to the ministry. He's assigned as chaplain at Porter Correctional facility.

In the opening scene, Jordan witnesses a prisoner being killed. It appears that the prisoner was hiding in a garbage bag, attempting to escape.

Superintendent Edward Stone considers Jordan's law ba
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Well this was a VERY different sort of murder mystery novel with a refreshing change from standard fare ... and it works extremely well.
Set in Prison with the protagonist being a former cop turned chaplain, the story held me from the first page to the last, being my quickest read of the year so far.
I think one of the greatest positives from the novel, apart from complex characters with an interesting plot, is that it wasn't all that "preachy" considering it's main character had a religious backg
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Bloody Good

I’m not sure if the 20th Anniversary edition is better than the original, but this is one of the most entertaining, interesting and addictive books l have read. I can’t wait to read the next one in the series.
david kingsmore
Jun 22, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely terrible.
1. The text jumps at several points - I kept wondering if the Kindle version had actually missed chapters. These wild jumps make it very hard to keep interest up.
2. There is an odd mix of theology lasting several pages, then brutal sexual imagery. I cannot understand the point of this - I was hoping for escapism and instead my memory of this book is unhappiness and hopelessness. I had the feeling that this was there to fuel imagination and doesn't add at all to the central st
Ron Stotyn
Apr 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Power In The Blood (20th Anniversary Edition) Review
I've been a fan of the John Jordan series for several years now and more recently I've had the honor of being included in Michael Lister's cadre of early reviewers for critique comments preparatory to publication on several titles. In that process I've read Power in the Blood several times. John Jordan is an intriguing character, as are his various friends and significant others. By intriguing I include a certain understanding that John Jordan
Aug 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, thriller
I only wanted to read this book because one of my favorite authors, Michael Connelly, recommended it. It's one of the best ways I discover new authors, and it's worked again, because I can understand Connelly's enthusiasm now.

Lister's protagonist, the detective/prison chaplain John Jordan, is a compelling character. In this his debut, he is a witness to the accidental killing of an inmate who appears to have tried to escape the prison by hiding in the trash truck. Unfortunately, all the garbage
Aug 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, audio, reviewed, thriller
( Format : audiobook )
"You come to cast me out, holy man?"
An intelligent and well written thriller, Power in the Blood seems to lose it's way after a good beginning. The plot becomes convoluted, veering away into crazy chaos in an attempt to prevent the reader solving the who-dun-it puzzle before the big reveal. However, the characterisation of the main protagonist, prison chaplain John Jordan, was excellent.

The narration of this book was excellent. Jason Betz reads in a slightly downbeat fashio
April Weeks
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
John Jordan is a prison preacher with a ruff past of alcohaulism and a failed marrige. He is starting his first day as preacher for Potter correctional institution. As he is waiting to be cleard by the gate and enter the prison he watches as a prison guard checks the trash by thrashing it with a metal pole. all is going well until he hits something more than he expected. these events thrust john into an investigation that will test him as he finds the truth.
I enjoyed this book alot, it is the f
Linda Ellis
Sep 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Written in the first person. John Jordan - ex-cop, ex-husband, ex-drunk, and now a prison chaplain. I was surprised to find Jordan is only 27, which seems a little young for the background he is given. The writing is graphic, portraying very clearly the grim realities of the prison population, and the equally grim life of Jordan.

This was one of the problems for me. It is all too grim. There are no individuals that I felt drawn to, or even care greatly about. The other problem was the plethora o
Aug 22, 2019 rated it did not like it
It seems that everything in this story is determined by the race - every black inmate is unable to read or write, every white man (excluding our hero) is racist thug and whole town is hell hole determined by racism. Preachers faith is well hidden not to cause anaphylactic reaction in readers allergic to Christianity. Direct transfusion from human to human was practiced by Russians in WW II with mixed results and today no doctor who wants to keep hes/hers licence will do it. Young and healthy per ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Play Book Tag: Power in the Blood by Michael Lister - 4 stars 1 10 Aug 07, 2019 10:46AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Deadly Connections (Detective Sarah Spillman, #1)
  • Endless Evil (Pruitt County Mysteries, #1)
  • Moose Island: Maine Murder Mysteries
  • A Christmas Cruise Murder (A Rachel Prince Mystery Book 5)
  • Big Numbers (Austin Carr Mystery Book 1)
  • You Can Go Home Now
  • Lifting the Lid (Lifting the Lid, #1)
  • Angel With A Bullet (Dixie Flynn, #1)
  • The Advocate's Justice (The Advocate Series, #10)
  • Promise of Malice (Detective Kendall Halsrud #3)
  • VICTIM (CSI Reilly Steel, #2)
  • Iced Malice (Detective Kendall Halsrud #2)
  • Shaken (Quake Runner: Alex Kayne Book 1)
  • The Fulcrum (Rex Dalton #1)
  • Steel Force (Jack Steel, #1)
  • Lethal Innocence (Jessie Black Legal Thrillers Book 7)
  • The Side Hustle (The 509 Crime Stories #1)
  • Gales of November (Ray Elkins Thrillers #9)
See similar books…
New York Times bestselling and award-winning novelist Michael Lister is a native Floridian best known for his literary suspense thrillers as well as his two ongoing mystery series, the prison chaplain John Jordan "Blood" series and the hard-boiled, 1940s noir Jimmy "Soldier" Riley Series, and the post-apocalypic suspense thriller Cataclysmos.

Visit for more information, or fol

Other books in the series

John Jordan Mystery (1 - 10 of 25 books)
  • Blood of the Lamb (John Jordan Mystery, #2)
  • The Body and the Blood (John Jordan Mystery, #4)
  • Blood Sacrifice (John Jordan Mystery, #5)
  • Rivers to Blood (John Jordan Mystery, #6)
  • Innocent Blood (John Jordan Mystery, #7)
  • Blood Money (John Jordan Mystery, #8)
  • Blood Moon (John Jordan Mystery, #9)
  • Blood Cries (John Jordan Mystery #10)
  • Blood Oath (John Jordan Mystery #11)
  • Blood Work (John Jordan Mystery #12)

Related Articles

If you're a fan of the mystery and thriller genre and young adult books, recent months have brought a bevy of great reads to your shelves! We...
140 likes · 21 comments