Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Bullet 59: A Ruthless Calculation is a political thriller written by Andrew Hamilton. Sonny Langstrom had gone through hell and high water to regain visitation rights to see his six-year-old daughter, Kelly and they both loved the alternating weekends they spent together. Sonny’s ex-wife had finally regained some confidence in his recovery, and had only asked that the father and daughter attend church on Sunday. Before that, they would be going to the zoo on Saturday, followed by pizza, ice cream, and a movie. After church, they’d probably go to a playground. The church Sonny selected was not one that his deeply Conservative ex-in-laws would have approved of. Faith Unity Christian Church welcomed all worshipers regardless of their race, social status or sexual preference. Same sex marriages had been celebrated at Faith Unity, and Sonny was amazed to find that he was actually inspired by the sermon of the young pastor who wore a rainbow pin on his lapel. But there was another celebrant at the church that Sunday; one who had infinitely darker plans for the worshipers and Sonny’s life would be forever changed by that man’s actions.
Andrew Hamilton’s political thriller, Bullet 59: A Ruthless Calculation, charts the aftermath of an horrific church shooting where a deranged young man commits mass murder using an AR-15 assault weapon before anyone is able to bring him down. My mind was inevitably drawn to the countless mass shootings that seem to occur with frightening regularity in this country as I read this deeply moving book, and I couldn’t help but feel outraged at the thought that gun manufacturers actually reap profits from each tragedy as it causes their sales to increase. Hamilton addresses the control the gun lobby has over Congress that ensures that no new regulations are passed to ensure some sane gun control, and he calls attention to the fact that even the Senate hearings and courtroom trials held after the worst school and church shootings seem to do little more than drive impassioned gun owners to buy even more weapons. Sonny’s story is a gripping and tragic one, and seeing his attempts to come to terms with his loss is heartbreaking. The trial scenes in Bullet 59 are authentic and thrilling. Hamilton’s own background in law makes the examination and cross-examinations of witnesses and the final summations work brilliantly. Bullet 59: A Ruthless Calculation is a highly relevant and powerful debut novel about a uniquely American problem and continuing tragedy. It’s most highly recommended.