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'Innocent Blood' presages a flawed prison chaplain

A flawed prison chaplain's past is revealed in 'Innocent Blood'

'Innocent Blood' By Michael Lister. Pulpwood Press, 255 pages, $26.99

Prequels give an author a chance to delve even deeper into a character's psyche and show how the past affects the future. Michael Lister delivers a compelling history for his character, John Jordan. It shows how a chance encounter as a child influenced him to become a cop and, eventually, a chaplain at a Florida Panhandle prison that houses some of the state's most violent criminals.

When he was 12 years old, John met Wayne Williams, who would be identified as the Atlanta Child Murderer, at a video arcade. John got between Williams and a little boy, forcing the man to leave the child alone. John's obsession with the case intensifies when he moves to Atlanta after high school and is drawn into investigating the murder of a boy who was not on the "official list" of Williams' victims.

In "Innocent Blood," Lister does a credible job of showing how he created the character of John, a deeply flawed man who, ironically, has little use for organized religion, but who deeply believes in the power of prayer, forgiveness and justice.

"Innocent Blood," Lister's seventh novel, will intrigue readers about this unusual chaplain.

Meet the author

Michael Lister will discuss "Innocent Blood" at 7 p.m. May 15 at Murder on the Beach, 273 Pineapple Grove Way, Delray Beach, 561-279-7790.

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