Thursday, May 07, 2009

According to Their Deeds

This week, the

is introducing

According To Their Deeds


Paul Robertson

(Bethany House)


A computer programmer/math teacher has no business writing fiction this well.

According to Their Deeds is a uniquely written book. A good 95% of it is dialogue. Backstory and characterization are spare. Both are achieved through the dialogue and vividly descriptive word choice.

Although labeled a suspense it's not a tense story. Against the refined and genteel backdrop of the world of rare books and antiques, and with little onscreen violence, the story has more of a cozy mystery feel--although that's not quite right either. The literary bent of the writing raises According to Their Deeds above the cozy mystery genre. Perhaps literary suspense is a better term.

You need to do a lot of reading between the lines in this tale of mercy versus justice. Much of the dialogue is beautifully subtexted. I particularly got a kick out of the protagonist's repeated questions of his employee as to what the shop had sold in the last few hours. The purchased classic work inevitably spoke to the protagonist's current situation.

I can't say this book is for everyone. If you must have the rush and thrill of page-turning suspense, you may find this story too slow. But if you can read According to Their Deeds for the uniqueness and quality of the writing, if you can sit back and allow a story to quietly unfold (in this case through dialogue)--you'll see what a rare find this novel is.


Paul Robertson is a computer programming consultant, part-time high-school math and science teacher, and the author of The Heir. He is also a former Christian bookstore owner (for 15 years), who lives with his family in Blacksburg, Virginia.


A Deadly Game of Justice Versus Mercy. Charles Beale lives outside the shadow of Washington, D.C. Politics and power matter only when a client crosses the Potomac to visit his Alexandria Rare Books shop.

But that all changes when a former client--a man deeply connected in the Justice Department--is found murdered after a break-in gone bad. When Charles reclaims at auction the books he'd once sold, he quickly discovers he's bought more trouble than he could have ever imagined.
Inside one volume are secrets. A collection of sins that, if revealed, could destroy reputations, careers--even lives. Charles soon learns he isn't the only who knows. Going to the police means ruining a multitude of lives. But staying silent puts a target on his shop, his wife--and himself. Charles must decide: Should one mistake really cost you everything?

If you would like to read the first chapter of
According To Their Deeds, go HERE.


Nicole said...

Good review, BC. Mine was similar. Not for everyone.

PatriciaW said...

Totally agree with your assessment. Just finished it this morning, in time for today's post, and loved it. For me, however, it was a page-turner with a good deal of suspense--the cerebral kind.

And I hope, as another IT type person, I should write so well.

Lynetta said...

Very well said, Brandilyn--I agree this is way too literary to be in the suspense genre. I loved all the allusions to plots from the classics.

Sheila Deeth said...

Followed the link to the first page. I like it. Very neat and clean writing and filled with darts of detail.

Paul Robertson said...

Brandilyn -

You're very kind. Thanks.