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Formats
Hardcover Book Details
  • 08/2020
  • 9781733250900
  • 326 pages
  • $26.00
To Burn the Cloth
P. A. SANTOS, author
When a new law is passed forcing all American churches to organize under a corrupt governing body and pay hefty dues, many small churches struggle just to stay open. Franklin Catoe, a small town reverend with a dark past vows to bring down the corrupt new system by any means necessary. He hires Daniel Montclair, a theater student with no experience in the church, to help infiltrate the UHCC. How many more sins must they commit to end the new evil in the church?
Reviews
Santos’s political religious thriller paints a grim alternative future in which the separation of church and state has recently been undone in the United States. Reverend Franklin “Frank” Catoe (the founder of Tall Rock Baptist Church), with a dodgy past and unorthodox religious views, transforms into a formidable opponent of the government’s United Holy Christened Church (UHCC), which seeks to dissolve all sects of Christianity, tax small churches into extinction, and run religion like a business. Frank elicits the help of college thespian Daniel Montclair to infiltrate the UHCC, gain incriminating information, and bring the organization to its knees. Daniel travels to South Carolina to train for his covert mission. Here, the thriller deviates from its suspenseful plot: Daniel gets ensnared by some conniving, dangerous locals, and the part of the narrative following Frank delves into his relationship with his wife and the resurfacing of his violent past self when faced with a threat.

Santos portrays men as vigilantes and women as unchaste and often untrustworthy. Time-jumping chapters alternate between past and present, providing exhilarating background information; however, the lack of explanatory labels in some chapters leaves the reader working overtime to discern the timeline. But these stumbling blocks are quickly overcome as the story pushes forward.

Violent plot twists and explicit sex and rape scenes earn this book the “mature audience only” label. Meanwhile, devout Christians may be disturbed by Frank’s heretical beliefs and violent actions, and non-Christian readers may be put off by the book’s premise. But Santos’s story is an exciting one. Readers seeking thrillers that mix politics and religion with a dark worldview will appreciate this one.

Takeaway: This political thriller with its unconventional religious hero will win over readers looking for a gritty adventure.

Great for fans of: Dan Brown, Sam Christer.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A-
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: B-
Marketing copy: A-

Formats
Hardcover Book Details
  • 08/2020
  • 9781733250900
  • 326 pages
  • $26.00

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