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Bleeder: A Mystery Paperback – August 15, 2009


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Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Chisel and Cross Books from Sophia Institute Press (August 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933184566
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933184562
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #244,266 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Smart, frequently witty, and beautifully researched (the author's paraphrasing of Aristotle's logic is an intellectual delight), it is refreshing to read a book where faith is neither demanded, nor held up to ridicule."
--Mystery Scene

"A delightful page-turner full of twists and appealing characters to make it a complete mystery thriller. Enthralling!"
--d-review

"Sharp imagery, gripping plot, vivid characters, amazing climax and satisfying conclusion. Exciting and thought-provoking!" --St. Anthony Messenger

"A complex plot, multi-issue characters and an amazing climax. Wonderful!" --The Catholic Company

"I was absolutely floored! Go out and buy this book!"
--Family and Faith

More About the Author

A former producer with Wisconsin Public Radio, John Desjarlais teaches journalism and English at Kishwaukee College in northern Illinois. His first novel, The Throne of Tara (Crossway 1990, 2000), was a Christianity Today Readers Choice Award nominee, and his medieval thriller, Relics (Thomas Nelson 1993, 2009) was a Doubleday Book Club Selection. Bleeder and Viper (Sophia Institute Press 2009 and 2011) are the first two entries in a contemporary mystery series. His work has appeared in periodicals such as Student Leadership Journal, U Magazine, The Critic, On Being, Student Soul, Apocalypse, The Upper Room, The New Pantagruel, Dappled Things, The Karitos Review and The Rockford Review. He took Honorable Mention in the 1997 Writers Digest Competition (essay), 2nd Place in Fiction in the 2004 Phidian Art Society of Illinois Contest and 1st Place in 2006. He holds an MA in Media from Columbia University and an MA in Writing from Illinois State University. A member of The Catholic Writers Guild, The Academy of American Poets and Mystery Writers of America, he is listed in Contemporary Authors, Who's Who in Entertainment, and Who's Who Among America's Teachers.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 24 customer reviews
This time I was wrong!
gmps
When Father Ray dies suddenly during the Good Friday service, Reed finds himself accused of the murder of this beloved priest.
Lisa M. Hendey
These are all mysteries and each have unexpected twists and keeps the reader glued to the book.
jandries

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Lisa M. Hendey VINE VOICE on September 16, 2009
Format: Paperback
I just finished reading John Desjarlais' fascinating work of fiction, Bleeder. From the initial pages of the book through it's great conclusion, this novel was action packed and quite thought provoking. The main character, Reed Stubblefield, finds himself in a small town looking to heal from his physical and emotional wounds. He strikes up a begrudging friendship with Father Ray, a priest who is widely believed to be a stigmatic and a miracle healer. When Father Ray dies suddenly during the Good Friday service, Reed finds himself accused of the murder of this beloved priest.

This book is incredibly well written, and enhanced by the inclusion of quotations and teachings of Aristotle - these fit into the story since Reed is a professor, on sabbatical, looking to write about Aristotle. The novel's Catholic setting is never heavy handed or preachy, but rather contributes to the richness of the story told and the mystery that unfolds. Reed, a skeptic who finds himself surrounded by believers, must question some of his long held beliefs and philosophies.

I loved Bleeder and raced to the end to learn "whodunnit". At this point, I will likely go back and reread the book again to enjoy Mr. Desjarlais' stunning writing and the intricacy with which he creates and shares the lives of his characters.

Strongly recommend this book to anyone looking for a great mystery!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Gerard Webster, award-winning author VINE VOICE on October 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
Reed Stubblefield--a college professor on sabatical--is a wounded man...both physically by a student's random shot and emotionally by his wife's recent death. He retreats to his brother's remote cabin in the small town of River Falls, Ill. in hopes of writing a book on Aristotle. It's the middle of March and Reed expects the campsite to be empty; but he's both disappointed and aggravated when he finds that the campsite and town are overflowing with throngs of believers--sick pilgrims seeking a cure from "the stigmatist" priest. Not only that, but Reed suspects that his brother deliberately set him up for an encounter with "Fr. Ray" in the hopes that it would lead to his physical and spiritual healing.

Reed's skepticism and Aristotelian logic are an offset to the sometimes blind devotion of the believers. His natural curiosity and desire to find logical explanations are what leads him into becoming more embroiled in the frenzy going on around him. But when Fr. Ray dies suddenly in the middle of a church service, Reed's skepticism and unique physical ailments place him in the position of being a prime suspect in the priest's murder. Now he must rely on his intellect and training to find the real killer.

BLEEDER was an exciting read from the first page to its satisfying resolution. I found myself turning the pages quickly to see what would happen next. The story builds in a crescendo like a symphony--beginning with the muted strings of questions unanswered to the crashing cymbals of its exciting conclusion. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Laurie Hoecherl on September 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderfully crafted mystery with several unexpected plot twists just when you think you've got things all figured out. The characters are engaging, to the point where I wanted the story to continue after I got to the end of the book. The language used is beautifully descriptive and it's not at all gory as you might expect from the title. Being from a small town in Northern Illinois and teaching at a community college, I also appreciated the references to local geographical features as well as academic life. The first part does a very nice job setting the stage for the mystery; once the main event occurred, I was hooked into the mystery and had a hard time putting it down. I recommend it highly.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marquis A. Crocker on November 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
I recently read "Bleeder", a mystery novel by John Desjarlais. It is Catholic fiction. It was published by Imagio, which is a fiction division of Sophia Institute Press. In the past I have always been well pleased with any of the books I have purchased from Sophia Institute Press. "Bleeder" was not an exception to this rule. The author is John Desjarlais. This is his third book. The first two were "Relics" and "The Throne of Tara". "Bleeder" is a murder mystery with a mostly Catholic setting. Most of the characters were Catholic, except the main character, Reed Stubblefield. Reed is recovering from a shooting at a college, where he is a professor, and uses MAO inhibitors for depression, which cause him to have a restricted diet. He moves to his brother's cabin in the woods near a small town to write a book while he is recovering from the shooting, and the death of his wife by cancer. The local town has a priest with a reputation for being a healer and a stigmatist. The priest is murdered and Reed is the prime suspect, the story is his investigation of the murder to try to clear his name. "Bleeder" is a good book. I do not write reviews with spoilers. I am glad I read it. I will watch for his future works. Aristotle is quoted many times, and I am now interested in reading Aristotle's works. Sophia Institute Press sent me a complimentary copy of this book for me to review.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cheryl L. on March 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
Reed Stubblefield's experienced a couple of serious traumas, both emotional and physical. Seeking a quiet place to write and reflect, he moves into his brother's cabin in the early spring, and develops tentative friendships with some of the locals. Any illusions of peaceful solitude are shattered, however, when the local priest dies in the Good Friday service. Stubblefield finds himself a suspect in the puzzling death and needs to uncover the real killer.

Bleeder: A Mystery is medical conundrum, a puzzling whodunit, and an exploration of the mysteries of faith and love. I didn't want to stop reading it and finished it in a couple of long reading sessions. Highly recommended!
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