GOSPEL - Sydney Bauer
Sydney Bauer’s first book, UNDERTOW was a fast paced thriller and GOSPEL is promoted in the same way. It doesn’t seem to have quite the same pace and I think it suffers for that. The first couple of chapters introduce a so many characters that I found it confusing for quite a while. Bauer’s use of adjectives seemed at times a little unnecessary: ‘She took two of the upturned glasses standing on the crisp white towel on the black marble counter and poured them both a drink before gliding across the room, extending her long slender arm and handing him his water.’ It was a very minor detail. She gave him a glass of water would have sufficed. I found numerous examples of this. These unnecessary descriptions detracted from the pace of the book considerably. When a book is 487 pages long, details like this can become annoying.
Most of the plot was predictable. There were a few very clever little twists, but they didn’t arrive until after 400 pages and seemed to come too late. A large part of the ending involved a dramatic overblown court scene. “’Cavanaugh is a liar,’ he yelled, his voice rising over an astonished crowd. ‘A simple-minded show pony who, in his desperation to win exoneration for his murderous client, has rallied this group of geriatrics, has-beens, teenagers and drug addicts in a pathetic attempt to sully my good name,’”. Speeches like this abounded and I felt that any resemblance to a real courtroom situation was purely coincidental.
It’s a shame that GOSPEL was so overdone because there was a good idea in the basic plot premise.
US Vice President Tom Bradshaw is the perfect candidate, a presidential “sure thing”. This, despite the unfortunate mistake made in his youth…a transgression he turned into triumph. But when the future President is found dead in the penthouse of Boston’s finest hotel, the American people want answers and his administration need a scapegoat.
It has been ten years since Boston attorney David Cavanaugh has spoken to his ex-wife Karin, and twelve years since she left him for another man…a man of power and influence. Now, she has called to ask the impossible. She wants him to represent her husband in the case of the century; the charge – murder, the victim - the Vice President of the United States.
Now Cavanaugh faces the toughest decision of his career, a decision he knows will ultimately see him face off with his past and carve out his future. What he does not realize is that Tom Bradshaw’s death is not what it seems. Three more are dead and his enemies will stop at nothing to protect their secret and consolidate their power…for they are an unbreakable band of four, and their word is ‘Gospel’.