I am continually amazed by large number of great books that are penned by attorneys. While not being part of the legal fraternity, as a journalist I have plowed my way through enough court documents’ to know that they mostly are not written in English! They use some secret code that only other attorneys can understand. However, when they turn their hand to penning novels, they can be most entertaining. Robert DesJardins joins the list, great plot line, great character development, and great flow.

Jeff Wells is a hugely successful LA based attorney, with a well established practice. Three decades spent in the legal trenches have taken their toll. Gone is the spark, the willingness to really put your all into a case. In Jeff’s mind it is time to move on, time to recapture the parts of his life that the legal world had denied him. Jeff has made grumbles in the past about wanting out of the legal business, and his partner assumes that this is just Jeff needing to blow off steam.

Jeff is bound and determined, it is time for Jeff to move on, his partner and the staff are more than qualified to take on his case load. His retirement alas is short lived, a phone call reveals that his old friend Jim Higgins is languishing in jail, accused of killing 3 men. Jeff sets out for Arizona to see if he can in some ways help, ‘Big Jim’ is an unlikely murderer, there must be an explanation.

So begins a strange journey of discovery. To say that Land Of The Saints is a little inflammatory is the understatement of the decade. Robert DesJardins takes the reader into the mysterious and somewhat murky past of the Mormon Religion. While people tend to think of the archetypal modern Mormon as a clean cut God fearing individual with a toothpaste smile, there is clear evidence that this image may not reflect reality. And most certainly was not the case for the founders of the church.

Land Of The Saints falls into a category that I like to call ‘faction’, a technique of weaving fact and fiction into a seamless cloth. Even the location for the story is intriguing, knows as four corners, it is where Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah come together. Do the fabled Mormon gold plates exist, no-one knows.

One of the interesting themes in the book are the Danites. While this secret society most certainly existed in the 1800’s does it exist today? If it does, what role does it play in the Mormon church? For sure, secret societies make for good subjects, author Dan Brown has reaped great rewards from using Opus Dei and the Priory of Sion.

I give Land Of The Saints very high marks. The writing is of the highest caliber. It is also a book that operates on different levels depending on what the reader wants. At face value it is an action/adventure story, and even though it is set in today it offers an interesting glimpse into yesterday. Robert DesJardins also manages to bring in a native American aspect, this was a link that I was not expecting.

You can order your copy from Amazon using the link above, you can also find Robert DesJardins online here.

Simon Barrett

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