Religion is neither foolish nor hypocritical in John Desjarlais’s excellent Bleeder (Sophia Institute Press, $14.95). When classics professor Reed Stubblefield is disabled in a campus shooting soon after the death of his wife from leukemia, he retreats to a rural cabin to emotionally regroup. He soon hears that Father Boudreau, a local priest, is revered as a “healer,” a man whose touch can cure the sick and the dying. A skeptic himself—Stubblefield’s “god” is Aristotle, about whom he is writing a book—he is still curious enough to meet with Boudreau.
A friendship develops between skeptic and believer, but soon the priest dies in the middle of the Good Friday service. Shortly thereafter, Stubblefield is accused of the murder, and the only way he can keep himself out of jail is to track down his new friend’s killer. Bleeder’s genius lies in its brilliant Aristotelian arguments both for and against faith. Smart, frequently witty, and beautifully researched (the author’s paraphrasing of Aristotle’s logic is an intellectual delight), it is refreshing to read a book where faith is neither demanded, nor held up to ridicule.
-- Mystery Scene Magazine(image: Selena de la Cruz's vintage Dodge Charger comes to Reed Stubblefield's aid)