A KFUO BookTalk 2014 "Book of the Year" Finalist
by Ray Keating
Keating is back with another story of excitement and suspense in THE RIVER: A PASTOR STEPHEN GRANT NOVEL.
Some refer to Las Vegas as Sin City. But the sins being committed in THE RIVER are not what one might typically expect. Rather, it’s about murder. Stephen Grant once used lethal skills for the Navy SEALs and the CIA. Now, years later, he’s a pastor.
How does this man of action and faith react when his wife is kidnapped, a deep mystery must be untangled, and both allies and suspects from his CIA days arrive on the scene?
How far can Grant go – or will he go – to save the woman he loves?
Will he seek justice or revenge, and can he tell the difference any longer?
Once again, in THE RIVER, Keating wields his formidable story-telling skills by serving up a fast-paced adventure, rich characters, faith, humor, big ideas, and murder.
A very special book reviewer at THE WASHINGTON TIMES served up a fantastic review of Ray Keating’s THE RIVER: A PASTOR STEPHEN GRANT NOVEL. Like Stephen Grant, this reviewer, Kenneth V. Blanchard, was with the CIA and is now a pastor.
Blanchard wrote: “How do you handle being a former CIA adrenaline junkie turned pastor? Ray Keating's latest novel, ‘The River,’ takes you on an intriguing summer ride from Langley to the Vatican with Stephen Grant, a former CIA agent who leaves his intelligence career behind and becomes a pastor of St. Mary's Lutheran Church on East Long Island. Mr. Keating's storytelling is so lifelike that I almost thought I had worked with him when I was at Langley. Like the fictitious pastor, I actually spent 20 years working for the U.S. intelligence community, and once I started reading ‘The River,’ I had to keep reading because it was so well-crafted and easy to follow and because it depicted a personal struggle that I knew all too well. I simply could not put it down.”
Blanchard added: “What Ian Fleming's 007 series has probably done for ex-MI-6 agents and Tom Clancy has done for retired CIA officers, Mr. Keating has done for the minority of former CIA agents who have served their country by working in the intelligence community, but now wish to serve God.”
In addition, he pointed out: “‘The River’ takes us to the core of moral principle; that is the battle between good versus evil, right versus wrong and the differences between one's past and present lives, leaving the reader in deep reflection about the blurred lines that inspire inner conflict in anyone who has a past that they must reconcile with… Mr. Keating also allows you to discover how each of his characters tick in a style and tone reminiscent of some of the best loved books of all time. The details and descriptions of ‘The River’ brought me back into the secret corridors of the agency.”
Blanchard concluded: “Many spy-novel authors try to appeal to members of the intelligence community as well as the average American looking for a little international intrigue and James Bond excitement. With Mr. Keating's Pastor Grant, he has touched upon a small fraternity within the intelligence community of those who have wanted to serve both God and country — but necessarily in that order.”