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Some Rise by Sin
Philip Caputo
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Some Rise by Sin

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  186 ratings  ·  48 reviews
New York Times bestselling author Philip Caputo tells the story of a Franciscan priest struggling to walk a moral path through the shifting and fatal realities of an isolated Mexican village

The Mexican village of San Patricio is being menaced by a bizarre, cultish drug cartel infamous for its brutality. As the townspeople try to defend themselves by forming a vigilante
Paperback, 352 pages
Published May 8th 2018 by Picador USA (first published May 9th 2017)
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Tom Mathews
“Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall.”

So speaks Escalus, a character in Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, a play that tackles the subjects of justice and mercy, yet also addressees the abuse of power by those tasked with protecting the public. So, it should be no surprise that Philip Caputo’s first novel in eight years borrows more than just its title from the bard.

Set in the fictional north Mexico town of San Patricio trapped in a war between narco-traffickers and the Mexican army and
Sam Sattler
Over the years, Philip Caputo has earned a reputation as a master storyteller. Caputo’s novels are as character-driven as they are plot-driven, and that finely tuned balance seldom fails to make them memorable and moving reads. Regular Caputo readers have come to expect nothing less from the author by now, and Some Rise by Sin, his latest novel, will not disappoint them.

Father Timothy Riordan, a Harley-riding Franciscan friar, has been exiled by his Order to the small, isolated town of San
robin friedman
Jan 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Mexican Drug Trade And The Religious Life

Philip Caputo's 2017 novel "Some Rise by Sin" examines in the context of questions of good and evil and religious faith a contemporary poor, rural Mexican community dominated by drug cartels. It is a broad-themed novel with many insights both about Mexico and about the religious life.

The story is set in the Mexican village of San Patricio. Following the destruction of one large drug ring, a new cartel has arisen which goes by many names, most simply
Apr 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
San Patricio is a small Mexican town besieged by drug cartels, corrupt police and poverty. Two Americans, one by choice the other by church decree are there to make a difference. Lisette Moreno is a doctor who could easily have a practice stateside but chooses to bring medical care to those least likely to receive it – the poor and rural areas of San Patricio. Father Timothy Riordan has been sent to San Patricio because of his actions involving a church matter back in the states. Along with the ...more
Glenn Roberts
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I have enjoyed Caputo's books for years. The first war he wrote of was my war and so Indian Country and A Rumor of War are part of the canon. Some of Caputo's other books deal with warfare in Africa and the Middle East. I see now he's written another a new one, Ten Thousand Days of Thunder, about Vietnam which I now have on reserve at the library. One of my favorites of his is The Lions of Tsavo about African lions without the huge mane. Interesting non-fiction.

Some Rise By Sin is about the
I wanted to like Philip Caputo's Some Rise by Sina lot more than I did. It contains many of the elements that make for an exciting story, and it takes place in Sonora, a part of Mexico adjacent to Arizona, where I live for much of the year.

Caputo himself spends his winters in Patagonia, Arizona, south and east of Tucson. He knows the region and he has written extensively on border issues between Mexico and the United States. This novel profits from the research he did in writing his previous
Anna Amato
The print was tiny - I mean tiny - not standard type at all. The subject matter was dark, very dark, no rating for this because I didn't even try to finish
May 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
"...I damned myself by cooperating, and now I wish to make up for it and save my soul."
"If I were you, I'd be thinking about saving my fucking life, not my soul."

Father Riordan, a Franciscan priest, has been sent to the Sonoran Desert in Mexico where he has learned that things can always get worse. The police chief of his parish, San Patricio, has been assassinated and the village is caught in the war between a corrupt police department and a drug cartel gang hiding in the Sierra Madre
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
San Patricio is a borderline 3rd world Mexican village struggling to free itself from some powerful evil forces, mainly drug trafficking and corruption in law enforcement. Father Tim Riordan, a priest in semi-exile from the U.S. has been assigned to San Patricio. He struggles with those same forces, plus a few others that put him in the crosshairs of the brutally deranged drug cartel el jefe' (The Butterfly), the district police commander (the Professor), and the federale' army capitan ...more
Chaya Nebel
This very interesting novel centers on Father Timothy Riordan, an American Fransiscan friar with a Harley, and the challenges he faces while living in San Patricio, Mexico. One of these challenges is dealing with a vigilante group in the town, as well as staving off and dealing with the effects of a ruthless drug lord. Both factions go to war, with Riordan in the middle.

Lisette Moreno is another American expat who works in the town as a doctor, brining much-needed medical care to the poor. She
Mar 19, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are echoes here of Graham Greene's The Power and the Glory: a gringo priest struggling with a crisis of faith and conscience in a dangerous Latin-American setting. But Some Rise By Sin tells its own story.

Tim Riordan is a middle-aged American Franciscan priest who has come to share the responsibilities of a small village parish in Mexico. There is continual tension due to the power of the local drug gangs; the one currently holding sway over the area is known as The Brotherhood, led by a
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense, netgalley
Henry Holt and Co and NetGalley provided me with an electronic copy of Some Rise by Sin. I was under no obligation to review this book and my opinion is freely given.

Tim Riordan, an American missionary priest, has come to serve a void in the Mexican village of San Patricio. As the townspeople fight the drug cartels on one front, and the Mexican army and police on the other, Father Tim tries to broker a peace with those who should protect and serve. Along with fellow expatriate Lisette Moreno, a
Pam Cipkowski
The story of a Franciscan priest in a small town in Mexico caught up in the doings of a Mexican drug cartel held all the elements of a captivating tale for me. I was hoping it would be a good literary read, with heavily wrought man vs. self conflict, deep character studies, and colorful descriptions of the land and culture. While the story had some of this, I found it a little too formulaic: just enough sex for the casual reader, a bit of machismo with the motorcycle, and modern elements that ...more
Jun 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really appreciated this story. The author weaves together the horrific drug-fueled cartels and their violence in Mexico, along with the federal, local police and army - corruption tainting any simplistic notion of clear right or wrong.

Then there are the citizens with little neutral ground allowed. The influences, both direct and indirect of that wealthy, indifferent neighbor to the north - equally angry and destructive with benevolence and concern. And finally the Catholic institution -
Sean Gill
The premise was interesting but I found myself struggling to maintain focus when reading the book - I dunno if it was keeping track of the characters or just the relative lack of action (which seems funny to say given the drug war stakes). I suppose Father Timothy Riordan is meant to be a tragic figure but it was hard to have a ton of sympathy for him. Perhaps that's the point - that he's a dumb gringo? Lisette Moreno's character is savvier and ultimately more true to her principles as a doctor, ...more
May 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
San Patricio is a small Mexican village so typical of the situation in that country today. It is menaced by a cultish drug cartel, & as the people try to defend themselves, the Mexican army appears becoming another problem for them. Tim Riordan is an American priest who loves the people but life is not easy for him. He must decide whose side he'll be on. Lisette Moreno is a doctor with a free clinic making house calls to impoverished areas around the town. This novel is based on actual ...more
Michael Bell
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Father Timothy Riordan was between a rock and a hard place literally in this book. The savagery that is life in parts of Mexico is on full display in this book. Being made to inform on the parishioners that confess to you is terrible. I thought that I was going to find out that he was a spy or something of that sort. Lisette was a Doctor in Mexico with an interesting back story and relationship issues. Cesar Diaz could have been guilty of an egregious crime. I understand that this is a work of ...more
The premise of the book was intriguing--an American priest, his relationship with his small town parish in northern Mexico, and the involvement of the narcotraficantes, the federal police, and the army. It's a complicated and interesting topic, and it kept me reading. Much of the description of the village seemed true to life. However, the numerous mistakes in the Spanish phrases began to drive me crazy. Using some Spanish is a great idea to make the interactions seem more realistic, but ...more
Jerry Peace
Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like this novel. Caputo treats a brutal, sometimes crazy and many times tragic situation with the seriousness it deserves, without succumbing to overwroughtness. I do believe the painter's presence is excessive and weakens the book. I love that there's just a tad of past; it is the present which demands action, decision, choices. Two critical quotes-"He wasn't worthy of it, but his faith taught that it was the unworthy to whom grace was granted," and "Grace is given to the undeserving, ...more
Jun 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very solid novel about violence and redemption in a rural narcotics infested Mexican village. Caputo is a very solid novelist and his depiction of a village under siege from drug dealers, corrupt policeman and a brutal military reads true to me and that makes it pretty horrifying. Two American expatriates a troubled Catholic priest and a female doctor(who happens to be a lesbian) struggle to bring some level of relief to the residents of a small Mexican village. Somewhat by the numbers but the ...more
Barb Eck
Jun 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is another interesting book from a giveaway by Goodreads. Philip Caputo based his novel on a true story in Mexico. The people of the town are trying to fight a brutal drug cartel. A Franciscan priest, Timothy Riordan, and a doctor, Lisette Moreno, are both fighting their own battles along with the fight against the cartel. It is almost too much for each of them to handle. I thought this was an interesting book and will be on the lookout for Caputo's next book.
Elizabeth Sienko
This was an excellent fast paced novel. A Franciscan priest who lives and works in a poor Mexican village is torn by his responsibility to his religion versus the drug cartels and the Mexican army tactics. The other major character is a female American
doctor who is dedicated to the poor people in the area regardless of the risk. A novel that reveals the violence related to the drug trade in Mexico.
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would give this book 5 stars for shedding light on the causes of systemic corruption and the role of both the U.S. and Mexico in the drug epidemic. Caputo, a former journalist, is a skilled writer tackling a difficult subject. His knowledge of the issues and players involved in the drug trade runs deep. He shows respect for everyday Mexican people while condemning those in power who choose profit over principles.
Paul Downs
Oct 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Depressing but compelling story of life in narco-infested Mexican town. If you wonder why evil takes hold in society, and is so hard to eliminate, read this. The book suffers from an over-reliance on American characters to tell a Mexican story. They're well drawn and interesting, though. Worth reading.
Michael Jacobs
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked the premise of this. The politics of cartel run areas of Mexico came to life in this. Is this story completely plausible? Maybe not, but it was a very interesting read. The characters were developed well, all had a interesting background. Never read anything by Mr Caputo, but I might because of this.
Blaine Morrow
Sep 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirit, 2017-books, mexico
Caputo presents moral dilemmas, mid-life crises, and the tragedy of crime and corruption against the backdrop of a Mexican village where a drug cartel rules everyone. A priest, a doctor, and two implacable law enforcement officers provide most of the action, which is skillfully arranged.
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well-written morality play. Father Tim and his friend Dr. Lisette live and work in a remote Mexican village torn in the middle of government corruption and the drug trade. Looking at the lives of small town folks living a nightmare made this tale riveting.
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great book by one of my favorite writers. I love the way Caputo explores faith and religion in his books, and this was another thoughtful exploration of those themes set against the devastation of Narcoland.
Paula Yerke
Jul 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book really grew on me and had the best ending I have read in a very long time. For me, it was all about how to live morally - with faith, when the world in which you live is dark, confusing and riddled with evil.
Aug 10, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Did. It grab me as much as his other books. Not sure why. It could be the Catholic theme is no one I relate to. Reminded me a little of Graham Greene but not as compelling. Plot dragged.
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American author and journalist. Author of 17 books, including the new HUNTER’S MOON: A Novel in Stories. Best known for A Rumor of War, a best-selling memoir of his experiences during the Vietnam War. Website: