2 out of 4 stars
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Do you believe in life after death? Do you believe in faith? If so, do you believe faith can change someone for the better? These are some of the questions that will linger in your mind while reading A Matter of Faith by Duke Woodrick. The prologue begins with the execution of Jason Thomas Bradford. He was convicted of murdering seven people, and he requested the death penalty as his punishment for these crimes. However, why was Mr. Bradford smiling and giving Ella Martin, the star witness for the prosecution, a thumbs up? The reader is left with many questions even before starting chapter one. Then, the author takes the reader back to a time before Jason Bradford's birth, and he, also, gives us a glimpse into his terrible childhood. In addition, most of the book is centered around Jason Bradford's murder of Sandra Brown with a few minor subplots. This particular murder stood out from Jason's other murders because it involved a star witness, Ella Martin, who was present, but yet thousands of miles away during the terrible crime. Will the jury believe Ella Martin? Will Jason Bradford change his murderous and evil ways?
Most importantly, I did enjoy A Matter of Faith, because it has a unique story line. Throughout the book, Woodrick perfectly switches narrators and includes flashbacks dozens of times. He does this with such ease, and I never found myself confused or lost. Also, the author must be familiar with the justice system, because he explains the court proceeding in a professional manner. In addition, Woodrick is excellent at character development. I really felt each character's persona and even hated the murderer, Jason Bradford. This book is formatted professionally.
On the other hand, there were many aspects of the novel that I did not enjoy. My biggest complaint, the author repeats the detailed murder numerous times. I believe this would not be such an issue if Woodrick would not have included every detail each time he retold the murder scenes. Another issue I have is the progression of the novel. There were times in the book that it progressed quickly and it flowed nicely. However, large portions of the novel seemed to bring the progression to a halt. One example, during jury selection he goes into detail about most of the jury members. I felt that this was not relevant to the story or to the main characters. Also, I found many grammatical and spelling errors in this book. Such as one page one hundred and sixty-eight, the author uses decision instead of decided. Also, on page two hundred and five, the author writes, “ Rusty watched the paramedics rolled Mr. Smith out through the broken front door.”
Also, I enjoyed the religious theme of the novel. Woodrick did not push his beliefs onto the reader. He simply made me question certain elements of faith, religion, and the afterlife. Therefore, the author allows the reader to come to their own conclusion about the afterlife.
With all of the above in mind, I rate A Matter of Faith by Duke Woodrick 2 out of 4 stars. This novel deserves at least two stars because it has a unique story line. Also, the character development is superb and the author transitions between people, places, and times perfectly. However, I do not believe it deserves three stars because it does need proofreading and some of the unnecessary details need to be removed. I would recommend this book to readers of all ages. The details of the murder are not too descriptive for young readers.
A Matter of Faith
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