Review: The Shepherd’s Calculus by C. S. Farrelly

Review: The Shepherd’s Calculus by C. S. FarrellyThe Shepherd's Calculus by C. S. Farrelly
Published by Cavan Bridge Press on October 3, 2017
ISBN: 9780998749303
Genres: Thrillers
Pages: 272
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher

When journalist Peter Merrick is asked to write a eulogy for his mentor, Jesuit priest James Ingram, his biggest concern is doing right by the man. But when his routine research reveals disturbing ties to cases of abuse and clues to a shadowy deal that trades justice for power, everything he believed about his friend is called into question.

With the US presidential election looming, incumbent Arthur Wyncott is quickly losing ground among religious voters. Meanwhile, Owen Feeney, head of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, is facing nearly a billion dollars in payments to victims of sex abuse. When Feeney hits on a solution to both men’s problems, it seems the stars have aligned. That is until Ally Larkin—Wyncott’s brilliant campaign aide—starts to piece together the shocking details.

As the election draws closer and the stakes get higher, each choice becomes a calculation: Your faith, or your church? Your principles, or your candidate? The person you most respect, or the truth that could destroy their legacy? When the line between right and wrong is blurred, how do you act, and whom do you save?

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Disclosure: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

drey’s thoughts:

Politics and religion get thoroughly entangled in C.S. Farrelly’s The Shepherd’s Calculus

Peter Merrick is a man wrestling with his faith – and his life, to a certain extent – when he learns of the passing of a mentor. Asked to write the eulogy for Jesuit priest James Ingram, Peter quickly buries himself in his own past. When he inadvertently uncovers letters pointing to the Church’s wrongdoings, Peter’s not quite sure what to do. Or how far to go.

One coincidence too many leads him to the political wrangling entangled in the current Presidential election, and Peter has to wrestle with his conscience.

I liked Peter, though he’s a far cry from the image of the investigative journalist I have in my head; the one pounding doors and hounding (important) people to get at the truth. Peter was quieter, more timid than I expected, though I suppose that those who live a lot in their heads would come across that way…

I liked that Ally Larkin – a campaign volunteer – is from the midwest, and attended Marquette University, which is right down the street from my son’s high school. The local setting was a joy as I don’t come across Milwaukee very often in the books that have crossed my threshold. I also liked that she’s sharp and no-nonsense, and it irked me when she disparaged herself (questioning her living situation, her lack of a social life, etc.) when comparing against her fellow campaign aides.

Overall, I thought The Shepherd’s Calculus was a good read – solidly written, flows well, and leaves nothing hanging. The bad guys aren’t evil nor idiots, the good guys aren’t heroes; people are just people, doing what they thought was right (or what they could get away with), within the parameters of their beliefs and convictions.

drey’s rating: Good

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