Monday, January 29, 2018

Sunday Synopsis

End of Days: Con Law II (Professor John Bookman Book 2)End of Days: Con Law II by Mark Gimenez
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The End Times


End of Days

Borrowing from real life headlines, there are 50 ATF agents about to swarm a religious compound near Waco, Texas. Little do they know, they are about to be blasted with Browning Machine Guns. This is the start of a ten day standoff between the FBI and Jesus Christ and his disciples.

John Bookman is in Austin. He receives a letter from the grandmother of two little girls who live in the compound with their mother. Grandmother begs Bookman to save her two granddaughters, so he goes. Bookman also agrees to go in the compound to negotiate with JC, the leader of the group.

What he finds is a peaceful community of people who were once down and out but are now perfectly happy with life in the compound. There doesn't appear to be any abuse. There doesn't appear to be any rule saying members of the compound can't leave. Book's intern, Veronica Cross, a spoiled 3rd year law student, also enters the compound with Bookman, but her experience is much more predictable.

By the end, it all makes sense. Bookman and Cross realize there is no way to peaceably remove the children from the compound, because the FBI got there first.

Con Law II falls far short of Con Law I. Same main character: John Bookman, nominee for the Supreme Court, Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Texas in Austin. Add in one of his law students, Veronica Cross, who is his intern. Add in a woman, Ingrid Divine, a PI in love with Bookman, who shows up at the end of the book. And FBI SAC DuVall. Plus a dozen or more other characters who are central to the plot.

On his website, Gimenez says, "Buckle up, boys and girls, it’s going to be a bumpy ride. I think you will enjoy it. I guarantee you will not expect it." It was bumpy, and there were a few surprises, but much of it was quite predictable, and I don't feel like the book really ended. It just kind of stopped.

A few things got on my nerves. First and foremost, his overuse of the word "caliche." I have never used this word although I have lived in Texas all my life, and I would not use it over and over to describe a road. The defintion is... a mineral blend of gravel, sand, and nitrates or calcium carbonate." I wish I had counted how many times the word was in the book. I stopped at 35. I don't know anyone who describes this type of road as "caliche." They usually say sandy, gravel, unpaved, dusty, or something like that. So, there's my biggest beef! And another things that got "old" was listening to DuVall thinking about the demon in his head straining on his leash. Over and over. And one more repetitive phrase, "Drinking the Kool-Aid." And Chanel L'Eau.

Second, this book was more about spouting off his own ideology, some of which I probably agree with, but I don't need an author to preach to me. Give me drama, or history, suspense, or surprise, but not a lesson. Did you know that the Antichrist is Wall Street, according to this book?

This book was 562 pages. If we'd been spared the lectures and the repetitive words and phrases. I feel sure it would have been less than 500. Giminez didn't focus enough on why this man believed he was Jesus Christ. Much of it was unrealistic, which would be okay if it were more interesting.

Giminez... You disappointed me with this one.

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