Unholy Retribution

A Murder Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

Fiction - Mystery - Murder
294 Pages
Reviewed on 01/11/2016
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Unholy Retribution: A Murder Mystery/Suspense/Thriller is a hard-boiled police procedural mystery written by George Hopkins. Father Jack Bennis is in a world of hurt after being shot while saying mass. After days spent in Intensive Care, he was finally moved to a semi-private room where his brother, Detective Tom Cavanaugh, and sister-in-law, Francesca, and a host of parishioners, reporters and others came to visit. The bullet had narrowly missed his heart, and he also suffered a punctured lung, so, no matter how restless the former Special Forces officer turned Jesuit priest became, he was still hooked up to more tubes and was in more pain than he cared to think about. When it finally quieted down, he wanted to simply keep his eyes closed and enjoy the solitude, but he soon felt the presence of someone else in the room. Keeping his eyes closed, he wondered what test they were planning to subject him to now; then he felt something heavy land on his lap and noticed a familiar tang in the air.

George Hopkins' hard-boiled police procedural, Unholy Retribution: A Murder Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, brings back Father Jack Bennis and his brother, Detective Tom Cavanaugh, and I was thrilled to see them in action once again. The author provides a whole cast of possible culprits for reader-sleuths, as well introducing Detective Perez, the angry purple-haired detective assigned to the case, who is determined to make the brothers pay for Tom's insensitive treatment of her now deceased sister. Hopkins' characters are authentic and believable, and his plot is both complex and fast-paced. I've read and enjoyed other Bennis/Cavanaugh mysteries in the past and found this one to be every bit as entertaining as its predecessors. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series. Unholy Retribution: A Murder Mystery/Suspense/Thriller is most highly recommended.

Ryan Jordan

Unholy Retribution: A Murder Mystery Suspense/Thriller by George R. Hopkins is an excellent and incredibly fast paced mystery novel about culture in the world, and it's timely insofar as the conflict in the novel is a microcosm of what's happening internationally. In the very beginning of the novel, a Muslim is murdered in cold blood in a hospital bed, and the police detective assigned to the case has history with the brother of a possible murderer. This causes her to be biased during the examination of evidence, but rather quickly more people start turning up dead. Very quickly things start to spiral out of control as the characters and readers try to figure out exactly what is going on, if this is a crusade against Muslims, and who the real killer is.

George R. Hopkins crafts a brilliant novel with Unholy Retribution, sucking the reader into his world with clever and creative characters and situations. The story is snappy and intense, driving from one conflict to another with well-written dialogue and a lot of action. Perez is an interesting character, caught between her job and her personal life, and she makes a lot of decisions based on her feelings rather than evidence. She has an agenda, and will do whatever it takes to bring Cavanaugh down, but eventually fate brings them onto the same side. Unholy Retribution: A Murder Mystery Suspense/Thriller by George R. Hopkins isn't just a thriller or just a mystery, but rather employs elements from both genres to create a striking tale that keeps the reader guessing at every turn.

Rabia Tanveer

Unholy Retribution: A Murder Mystery Suspense/Thriller is written by George Hopkins. I am really grateful that there is a writer out there talking about the other side of the picture. Not all Muslims are Jihadists. In the novel, a Muslim driver is killed in cold blood. He was decapitated and Detective Adriana Perez is given the case. Her job is to find the person who has killed this innocent man and she will not hold back, not anymore. The key suspect is Jack Bennis, a priest who was also an ex-Black Ops officer. All clues point to him, but he is not the killer. Together, Bennis and Homicide Detective Tom Cavanaugh will do everything to have the real killer caught and judged for his crimes. However, with more murders and bodies turning up, Perez is under extreme pressure. Will she find the true murderer or will she become a prey to her prejudice and put an innocent man behind bars?

Fast paced, thrilling and very entertaining, Unholy Retribution is a great novel. It talks about the things which other writers are ignoring, and is doing a great job of it. The characters are smart, believable and very well-developed. In a time when people are against Muslims, Hopkins shows that not everyone is bad. Terrorism is a great threat to the community and religion has nothing to do with it. It is people who are bad and making things worse for everyone else. With his crisp dialogue, sound development and great writing skills, Hopkins has given us a piece of literature that reflects the truth.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Unholy Retribution: A Murder Mystery/Suspense/Thriller finds Detective Tom Cavanaugh and his brother, a Jesuit priest and former Black Ops, Lieutenant Jack Bennis in the thick of things again. Only this time, the good priest has been shot while leading a service. During his recovery, Jack shares a hospital room with a devout Muslim. While he prays in the quiet of the night, someone sneaks in and kills the Muslim, beheading him and leaving the head at Jack's feet. The cops obviously assume that Jack is guilty. The leading detective has a personal vendetta against Jack's brother, so why not take the evidence as it appears.

The gruesome plot intensifies as more Muslims are killed and beheaded and each time Jack is implicated. Even the reader is starting to wonder if Jack really is guilty - but of what? Whoever is killing certainly has a grudge against Muslims and, to top it off, also appears to have a grudge against Catholics, but why? Only by understanding the connection between the two grudges will the real killer be revealed.

George Hopkins has written another exciting mystery/ thriller about Detective Tom Cavanaugh and Father Jack Bennis. The plot is thickened with very real scenarios and addresses very current concerns. It also provides a lesson, that evil only intensifies evil and the personal vendetta killings must stop. Not all Muslims are committed to a holy war; not all Catholics abuse children. The author has a penchant for making the characters come to life in realistic situations. This was a very troubling but also thrilling plot right to the end. Well done!