The body of a young woman is found in a dumpster in Chicago and detectives Andy Polanski and Frank Campello are charged with finding the killer. The two are polar opposites. Polanski is the son of a disgraced Chicago police officer and is fastidious about his reputation. He has also recently been transferred from another district having blown the whistle on some corrupt cops. Campello, however, takes a live-and-let-live approach to his life and job.
It soon becomes clear, as another young woman–a potential witness–is murdered, that a sex-trafficking operation in Chicago is preying on illegal aliens. As the ill-matched pair dig deeper, an influential alderman and his son are implicated. Then Polanski is framed for a narcotics offense, devastating the cases against the corrupt officers and the alderman. Only when Campello is challenged by a local minister, whom he meets when visiting Polanski, does he find the motivation to seek justice.
The Chicago political machine has a reputation for corruption, and that is the focus of the newest novel by Brandt Dobson. In The Sons of Jude, some of Chicago’s finest are beholden to politicians and those politicians are beholden to far more nefarious beings. Detective Polanski is transferred to Campello’s precinct and Campello isn’t happy. He believes in the fraternity of the police force and that Polanski is a traitor for speaking out against corruption. Campello’s understanding is that you do whatever you have to do in order to close a case. But when Campello is shot at in a case of mistaken identity, his world view begins to change. In order to rout out the bad guys, he also receives help from reporter Christy Lee. She wants a story for the front page.
The Sons of Jude held my interest even though it was very gritty. I’m not sure why there had to be scenes set in a strip club, but thankfully the description of what was taking place inside the club was mild. The narrative is written in such a way that you know who some of the major bad guys are, and there’s surely only one way this can end, but the reader gets to wonder HOW the end will go down.
Sure, there are a couple of negatives to this book. I presume the character featured on the front cover is Christy, but you wouldn’t know who she was just from the publisher’s information in the bold paragraphs. Dodson also has a habit of describing exactly what certain characters are wearing in certain scenes. It’s minutia that the reader doesn’t really need to know. Thirdly, and this is unusual for me, I didn’t care for the attraction and developing romance between Campello and Lee. I would have been content without this angle.
Finally, a word on the Christian content of this novel: although it is being published by a Christian publisher, there is little mention of faith in it. The minister mentioned in the publisher’s information is the minister for Polanski’s church, and Polanski does state that he is a Christian. Campello, however, is not a Christian and shows no indication of wanting to become one.
Publisher: Monarch Books
Publication Date: 01 September 2012
Page Count: 314
Thank you to Kregel Publications for my free copy of The Sons of Jude, which I received in exchange for an honest review as part of a blog tour by the publisher. Kregel also has a special deal this week for Kindle users.