Tim Rathbone grew up in Dayton Crossing, a small town located somewhere near New York. A member of a Pentecostal church, his pastor encourages him to enter the ministry. He did his best to succeed as a minister, but after four failed assignments, he returns to his home town like a prodigal son, hoping that his old church will take him in.
Tim’s father committed suicide when he was a young boy. His mother went crazy with guilt. He found solace at the home of a married couple, who treated him like a son. When his motor home blows up, he has no choice but to turn to them again. But when he does, he finds that they have committed suicide as well.
He’s taken in by the town slut, Freddi, a reporter for the local newspaper. She uses her investigative talents to unearth the truth about the deaths, his father’s death, and a plot that has been going on for some time in the quiet town.
“Power in the Blood” is a man’s novel, told in first person from a man’s point of view. It contains quite a bit of sex and foul language, yet it all fits into the character’s personality. The sex scenes are described briefly, without getting into all the little details. The language is used when it is needed to create the scene.
It is a well-written story that flows nicely and has enough action and mystery to keep the reader interested. The author takes the time to explain denominational traditions that the reader may not be familiar with, such as altar calls. The only newbie mistakes in this debut novel are a spattering of typos and the omission of where the story takes place.
Catholics will most likely choose not to read this story because it contains the typical falsehoods that Pentecostals preach about our church. It would have been more Christian, more considerate, to leave those falsehoods out. At first, it’s a bit insulting to see those lies in print, but at the end of the book, the hatred for Catholics is used as motivation for one of the crimes committed.
So, while 96 percent of Catholic priests maintain their vows of celibacy without exception, in this tabernacle, every minister, minister’s wife, administrative assistant and Sunday School teacher is screwing someone; either physically, mentally, or financially. It is a story that warns about letting other people have too much power, of misinterpreting the Bible to suit their own needs, and committing sins in God’s name because it’s the easy way out. It is a warning that false prophets can occur even today.
But just when you think Tim is going to lose his faith forever, God answers a prayer. Even when the prophets are false, God remains true.