Wanted: A Spiritual Pursuit Through Jail, Among Outlaws, and Across Borders

Chris Hoke. HarperOne, $25.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-232136-7
Just as Wanted posters alert the public to outlaws, Hoke’s written sketches of prisoners with whom he has worked alert readers to the presence of God in those “slipping through the shadows.” Lost in his early twenties, he imagined committing suicide until he met Bob Eckblad, a “radical theologian” who established Tierra Neuva ministry for jailed gang members in Washington state. There’s rich material here: characters with tragic, compelling stories, including the narrator himself. He connects to these men by comparing them to Jesus and his followers, finding beneath their reticence red-hot spiritual hearts. This book should be great, but its narrative jumps are confusing. The story starts slowly, hampered by abrupt changes from character to character and time to time. Although this process introduces several players who will be followed through the book, the result is frustrating. One of the middle chapters, “Fly Fishing with the Damned,” contains full story arc in itself, and it’s a relief. From there, the book gathers momentum. It’s worth the effort. Agent: Wendy Sherman, Wendy Sherman Associates. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/08/2014
Release date: 02/01/2015
Genre: Religion
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-0-06-232137-4
Ebook - 384 pages - 978-0-06-232138-1
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