Power in the Blood by Michael Lister, image courtesy of Author's website
Power in the Blood is the first book in the John Jordan Mystery series by Michael Lister.
I came across Michael Lister one day when I was watching him being interviewed by Thriller Author, J. F. Penn, on her The Creative Penn YouTube Channel.
I was incredibly intrigued to hear that Michael Lister had been a chaplain of a prison in Florida and that his John Jordan mystery series were born out of this experience. He is now a full-time author and draws on his experiences during that time to create a truly believable world and characters that stand out in your mind well after the book is finished.
Of course, the book's stories are all works fiction and imagination, however, it is absolute fascinating read.
The main character, John Jordan, is an ex-cop, recovering alcoholic, prison chaplain in a correctional institution in Florida.
Power in the Blood, starts with John Jordan revealing that he was a witness to a murder inside the prison and from that moment forward this crime/thriller mystery takes off.
John Jordan is a terribly flawed human being who does his best to be there for the men in his 'spiritual care' and finds that he struggles with his own faith all at the same time.
He has a romantic attraction to a young courier, named Laura which I quite enjoyed reading about. At the same time he is totally in love with Anna Rodden whom he knew growing up.
The savvy, sexy and strong Anna Rodden is Potter County's "only true feminist" and her quick wit is fabulous to read. She also works there in the classification department.
She is obviously attracted to John Jordan but neither one act on their hidden-in-plain-sight feelings. She is a married woman and he is a chaplain, which adds tension to their character development.
John Jordan councils inmates, talks to correctional officers and follows clues as he pieces together who-done-it.
Yet, his life is further complicated by the fact that the warden insists that John cooperate and assist "unofficially", with the official investigation headed up by his very own ex father-in-law, who pretty much hates his guts.
The conflict, internal and external, for John Jordan is detailed and interesting.
There are other unforgettable characters like Merrill Monroe. Merrill is a gorgeous African American man who is yet another hero in the book's story line. I thoroughly enjoyed this character who gives John Jordan sarcastic humour and some much needed backup when things go pear shaped.
I could not stop reading this book until I knew who killed the person from the very first scene.
Power in the Blood was Michael Lister's debut novel and it is a thrilling who-done-it with a spiritual edge in an environment that many of us have never experienced. The potential murderers are numerous when you consider the suspect list and the story keeps you guessing the whole way through.
I have quickly become a huge fan of Michael Lister's John Jordan Mystery Series and have downloaded books 2 and 3 as well.
If you love reading mystery crime novels, or have an interest in the unusual setting and character qualities of a chaplain dealing with the microcosm of prison culture, then the John Jordan mystery, Power in the Blood, is sure to please you!
To find out more about Michael Lister and the John Jordan mystery series, go to his website.