Monday, May 30, 2011

Review of The Corruptible by Mark Mynheir

I don’t typically read fiction books.  I like them but they seem to have an addictive quality that I try to shy away from.  I love a good story but sometimes I’m simply not disciplined enough to read one—I’d rather watch it on television.  One genre that I especially love to watch is Crime/Suspense films or shows.  So, when I was given the opportunity to read The Corruptible by Mark Mynheim I thought I’d give fiction a chance. 

The Corruptible is part of the Ray Quinn mystery series.  The first one, which I have not had the chance to read, was an award winning book called The Night Watchman which follows the story of Ray Quinn—an ex-homicide detective that is now working a private investigator. 

In this second offering Quinn finds himself involved in a financially lucrative gig.  His duty is to find an ex-cop that has stolen information from a wealthy—though secretive—financial giant.  Quinn, and his sidekick Crevis, will be heftily rewarded if they return the information. 

As they begin tracking down this corporate information the suspect turns up dead in a hotel.  The plot thickens.  Now he is working with the Orlando Police Department to solve a murder as well as attempt to track down this stolen information.  The story takes a few twists and turns as any good suspense/crime novel does.  As it is plugged on the back cover:

“Suddenly the line between the good guys and the bad guys isn’t so clear.  With a foot in both worlds and an illuminating look at an unhappy ending that could well be his own, which will Ray choose?” 


Almost as predictable as the show itself, after every episode of House I find myself asking the same question, “why do I continue to watch this show”.  The predictability of House has been humorously documented before.  But yet I keep coming back for me.  Ray Quinn shares much with Greg House: from his sarcastic attitude to his drug/alcohol abuse, out of control living, bad hip, and predictability.  But it shares one other thing—it keeps me hooked…for some reason. 

I think I “solved” the mystery about half-way through the novel.  But I kept going thinking that perhaps I was wrong.  Even though I figured I knew the ending it kept me going.  Mynheim is indeed an engaging writer and tells a good story, though perhaps predictable. 

So how does this relate to the gospel?  Actually not overtly.  And that is actually a very strong part of this novel.  I expect that as the Ray Quinn series comes to a close it may be a little more overtly Christian.  But for now Quinn is certainly not a hero for your children to emulate.  He is an alcoholic, he wouldn’t have a tough time with fornication, you get the idea he probably drops the F-bomb outside the pages of this book, and his attitude certainly doesn’t share that of Christ.  But just like House—there is something about his character that has you pulling for him. 

I have to confess one thing that keeps me from Christian fiction is that they all seem ridiculously cheesy and divorced from how the gospel is lived out in real life.  There is always the ubiquitous “praying to receive Jesus” scene that just feels so foreign to the film/book.  Thankfully Mynheir has Ray Quinn living as a real lost person in a real world.  Yes, his “secretary” Pam is a Christian.  But she’s not presented as a big-haired and heavy made-up nutjob either.  I appreciate that.  She seems real.  Her struggles are exposed.  It’s a faithful and realistic gospel witness thus far.

All in all I really enjoyed this book.  I may give the third book (whenever it comes out) a shot.  The only thing that may keep me from reading it is spending the time and effort on 340 pages when the ending was relatively predictable.  But if you like drama/suspense/crime novels you should enjoy this one—I know I did.  Buy it here.

I received this book free from Multnomah in exchange for a review.

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