ForeWord Reviews

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Book of Nathan

Foreword Review — July / Aug 2010

“Speak for those who cannot speak for themselves, defend those who cannot defend themselves, and plead the cause of those in need.” — Proverbs 31:8-9

There are few issues more divisive than the question of when life begins. How one answers that question influences one’s beliefs on abortion, stem cell research, and end-of-life issues, like assisted suicide. There is little doubt that this politically charged, hot-button topic can cause even intelligent, reasonable people—whether pro-life, pro-choice, or conflicted—to become enraged. And some, like Olympic Park Bomber Eric Rudolph, will kill for the cause.

In this fast-paced, thoughtful mystery, protagonist Rick Bullock has left his career as a high-level advertising executive to run a homeless shelter. His wife Anne has died of cancer, and in the wake of her death, wealth and material possessions no longer matter. Bullock sets out to honor her memory by doing something meaningful. When Miklos “Zeus” Zeusenoerdorf, a mentally ill resident of the homeless shelter, is charged with murdering well-known evangelist Benjamin Kurios, Bullock will risk his own life to save the “gentle giant” he believes incapable of harming a fly.

But somebody wanted Kurios dead. Found near his body is a CD containing the “Book of Nathan”—purported to be one of the missing books of the Bible. Many people, including members of an extreme pro-life organization, an eccentric billionaire, and an angry, vindictive mob boss, want possession of the book. It appears that Kurios had been about to reveal that it contained God’s definitive word on the question of when life begins.

Curt Weeden is a recognized expert on philanthropy and social responsibility, and the former corporate vice president of Johnson & Johnson. He is the author of Corporate Social Investing and How Women Can Beat Terrorism. Richard Marek, author of Works of Genius, a novel about the relationship between authors and publishers, and once editor-in-chief of the Dial Press, has worked with numerous writers including Robert Ludlum. Given the authors’ backgrounds, it is no surprise that Book of Nathan is a top-notch murder mystery with a socially and politically relevant message.

“Defend those who cannot defend themselves.” Bullock embodies this proverb in his fight to prove Zeus’s innocence. His steadfast defense of the poor and downtrodden is inspiring. With wonderfully quirky characters, well-paced action, and a thought-provoking premise, readers who like mysteries with intelligence and heart will enjoy this edge-of-your-seat read until the very satisfying end.

Julie McGuire