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review 2015-07-17 15:27
Mystery thriller
The Soul Reader: A Novel of Suspense - Gerard D. Webster


The Soul Reader is the long-awaited sequel of the award winning book, In-Sight, from extraordinary Catholic author Gerard Webster.


In the first book, Mr. Webster introduces three main characters: Ward McNulty, a prominent syndicated political columnist; Carrie Hope, an outstanding reporter and news anchor; and Chet Garner, Democrat State Senator and aspiring Congressman. Ward and Carrie agreed to help Senator Garner to gather support for the development of the North Beach Project, a luxurious beach resort in Timuqua Island. As the story unfolds, however, their affiliation with Senator Garner would emperils both their lives and careers. In the climax of the book, Ward experiences a tragic car accident after which he is shocked to discover his new In-Sight ability.


In The Soul Reader, Carrie Hope signs a contract with a major publishing house to write a book about the untold truth behind the “North Beach Project.”She contacts Ward and asks for his assistance. At first, he is extremely reluctant due to the potential danger of this multifarious investigation. However after some soul searching, he agrees to help her.


Mr. Webster takes Carrie, Ward, and the reader on an intriguing international manhunt in search of clues regarding a series of unfortunate events associated with some investors of the North Beach Project. The investigation leads them to Mr. David Schoenhauer, a powerful and resourceful German investor and the extremely dangerous hit man Culebra, known for his ability to kill quickly, cleanly, and unnoticed. Culebra has valuable information that could compromise now-Congressman Garner, Mr. Schoenhauer, and other worldwide investors.


As a reviewer, I enjoy reading sequels. And I appraise them with a more critical eye. I expect a more elaborated story, better developed characters, and unexpected twists and turns leading to a climatic end. Mr. Webster exceeded my expectations.


Even readers who have not read the first installment, In-Sight, will be able to follow the story and understand each character's motives and actions.


The end gives reassurance that everything is possible for those who believe and trust the Master's plan.


I highly recommend this book to mystery readers searching for a suspense story intertwined with trust, love, forgiveness, Catholicism's teachings, and expiation.

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review 2015-07-17 15:24
An enjoyable, entertaining, action-dram award winning tale!
In-Sight - Gerard D. Webster


The award winning action-drama novel, In-Sight, written by author Gerard D. Webster, stands out among other Catholic books in this genre.


The book begins with Carrie Hope's dad's last words to her before dying in the hospital: ''I love you as my own.'' Carrie's parents were killed by a drunk driver when she was a freshman at Florida State University (FSU). This event leaves Carrie alone and with no known relatives. When she turns 21, opportunity comes knocking at her door- she lands a Summer internship job in TV journalism in England. She needs to apply for a passport and is unable to find a copy of her birth certificate. She contacts Mr.Tom Eddington, the family lawyer, and asks for his assistance. Her meeting with Mr. Eddington reveals some shocking family secrets that find Carrie ill-prepared and send her in a life of busyness and internal turmoil.


Meanwhile, syndicated column writer, Ward McNulty, is enjoying the fame and the power of his political commentary column, Inside Story. His credibility and insight change the lives of those people he writes about. Ward has been very outspoken and supportive of State Senator Chet Garner in his column. This relationship, however, will proof itself shallow and manipulative as the story unfolds.


Carrie Hope buries her past and continues working on TV journalism. Her hard work earned her the position of co-host at the news program, Channel Five at Five. She and Ward McNulty meet at the studio as she interviews him for the news series,'Local People Makes Good.' Some time after this interview, Carrie and Ward start dating and end up with Carrie's moving in with Ward. At first, their relationship is full of lust and passion, but these slowly disappear as they get more and more involve in their careers.


Democrat State Senator Chet Garner will stop at nothing to gain the necessary votes to the US Congress, including, but not limited, to defamation of his competitor and all of those who stand on his way. He has been supportive of the ''North Beach'' development project to take place in Timuqua Island because he sees it is beneficial for Florida and also for the residents of the island.


Some of the residents are suspicious about the ''North Beach Project'' and they decide to hire real state lawyer, Bob Rohrback, to represent them in court. When Bob starts requesting papers from the City Council and taking some legal actions, this sets the wheel on as a set of unfortunate events starts affecting those obstructing and delaying the project. One of those victims is Ward McNulty, who refuses to use his column to defame former defense lawyer, Bob Rohrback. Ward suffers a car accident that leaves him blind for some time. Soon after his sight is restored, he discovered he has an in-sight into people's souls. This so discovered ''gift'' terrifies him and he doesn't know how to deal with it. But with the help of his dad, he learns to use his gift to better himself and help others in need.


The rest of the book goes back and forth between those in favor and those opposed to the project. Ward McNulty and Carrie Hope find themselves caught in the middle of the struggle and fighting in opposite sides. Lives will be turned up side down and others will be destroyed, while a handful of brave ones will find justice as the truth sets them free.


This is a tale of betrayal, faith, power, recovery, redemption, trust, and justice for all. I enjoyed the way the author weaved into the story the benefits of a regular confession, the AA Program for alcohol addiction, family relationship, and law. All these elements are tastefully discussed through the story without making the readers uncomfortable with some of these sensitive topics. The word of Jesus: ''Let your eyes be opened'' will take a whole new meaning after the reader finishes reading this book.


I recommend this book to those readers looking for a Catholic action drama fiction story with a cutting edge that doesn't jeopardize their beliefs and convictions. This book was awarded 2nd place in the 2009 Creative Arts Council Book Awards.

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