It is a cold February night in Dallas, Texas and the body of Father Robert Lanton has been found on Jefferson Street near I-35. Homicide Detective Renee LaFleet and his partner Danny “Tex” Beers have been assigned to the case because of Assistant Police Chief Harold “Harry” Wong. Wong is not only very good at his job; he is tough on the officers below him. Chief of Police Chief William Smyth III wants the case solved fast and though the body has just been found in the last hour he is already pushing Wong hard to get results.
Despite the fact that both Wong and Smyth are despised by most, LaFleet likes them and respects them. The Chief of Police knew the victim, Father Robert Lanton, and believes a Catholic, even one who has fallen away from the church a bit, should work the case. LaFleet has done some volunteer work with two of the department chaplains. Taken all together that means he and his partner, Tex, have the case whether they want it or not. A complicated case that will eventually lead to a final showdown in an ice covered Cotton Bowl.
Buried in this book self-published by the author’s own police tactical company, Charlie-Mike Enterprises is an interesting story. At nearly every point through Sentinel’s Choice the story is bogged down with overly long and unrealistic conversations between characters as well as long descriptions of situations. Frequently when a one or two sentence paragraph or comment from a character would work far better, the author choose to give a multi sentence paragraph result in a text that is overly wordy from start to finish. While the large paper back is only 314 pages, the read seems considerably longer as the author shows off his extensive military and police experience as he slowly takes readers through various things point by laborious point.
That being said, there is a story here worth reading beyond the noted issues with the book. The many characters are interesting and a fair number of them are fully developed. The action scenes work well as do the various complicated angles to the case. The moral quandary at the heart of the novel is a difficult one with no easy answers.
A small sample of the next one in the series titled Sentinel’s Dilemma is included at the end of the book.
Michael E. Witzgall
Charlie-Mike Enterprises, Inc.
Large Paperback (e-book also available)
Material supplied by Publicist PJ Nunn of BreakThrough Promotions for my use in an objective review.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2014