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Feast for Thieves: A Rowdy Slater Novel [Kindle Edition]

Marcus Brotherton
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sergeant Rowdy Slater is the most skilled-and most incorrigible-soldier in Dog Company, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne, an elite group of paratroopers fighting for the world's freedom in World War II.

Through a bizarre set of circumstances, Rowdy returns to the States after the war, turns his life around, and falls into the only job he can find-preacher at the sparsely populated community church in Cut Eye, Texas, a dusty highway town situated at the midpoint of nowhere and emptiness.

The town's lawman, suspicious that Rowdy has changed his ways only as a cover up, gives an ultimatum: Rowdy must survive one complete year as Cut Eye's new minister or end up in jail.

At first Rowdy thinks the job will be easy, particularly because he's taking over for a young female missionary who's held the church together while the men were at war. But when a dark-hearted acquaintance from Rowdy's past shows up with a plan to make some quick cash, Rowdy becomes ensnared due to an irrevocable favor, and life turns decidedly difficult.

Rowdy's a man used to solving problems one of two ways: with his rifle or with his fists. Will he be able to thwart his old friend's evil schemes while remaining true to his new higher calling?

This is a wild ride of a book bursting with a bank robbery, kidnapping, desperate prayers, and barroom brawls. Before the smoke clears, all sides just might end up getting exactly what they want.

Editorial Reviews


This debut historical novel from Brotherton, who has written many nonfiction titles about war veterans (We Who Are Alive and Remain), was inspired by the true story of a paratrooper named Wayne "Skinny" Sisk in Easy Company, featured in the book Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose. An "incorrigible" man, Rowdy Slater, becomes a preacher after the war. His first sermon is a disaster, but one line summarizes his insight: "If God could care for a ruffian like Cain, even with everywhere he'd been and with all the wrong he'd done, then I reckon God could care for someone like me." Rowdy's story unfolds with satisfying unpredictability, offering plot twists that would be unbelievable if not for strong motivations that encourage suspension of disbelief. The two loves of Rowdy's life are one of many surprises. Dialogue is colloquial and historically rooted, as in Twain's Huck Finn. The short novel is packed with action, intrigue, and scoundrels who have Rowdy over a barrel. Readers will want to find out exactly how the unlikely hero is going to escape yet another predicament. - Publishers Weekly, 7/11/14

Highly recommended! A hard-edged and well-crafted novel, with surreptitiously smart prose, confident plotting, and characters you feel you know. - Michelle Burford, founding senior features editor of O, the Oprah Magazine

Feast for Thieves is smart, gritty, and inforgettable. Filled with calamity and humor, this book is a hands-down winner. It's about time veteran writer Marcus Brotherton added his powerful voice to fiction. His writing voice is superb. - Tosca Lee, New York Times bestselling coauthor of the Book of Mortals series

An exhilarating story told in a neo-Western genre, of all things. Masterful and riveting, humorous yet poignant. Anyone who enjoys books by Ted Dekker, Randy Alcorn, or Leif Enger will enjoy every story woven by Marcus Brotherton. This unique and page-turning adventure will harvest a whole new fold of fans. - Julie Cantrell, New York Times bestselling author of Into the Free

Part Band of Brothers, part True Grit, this is the rollicking tale of a wartime hero's fight to find his place in a post-war world. Rich with action, Feast for Thieves is cinematic storytelling at its best. - Adam Makis, New York Times bestselling author of A Higher Call

As a great admirer of Marcus Brotherton's nonfiction work, I was eager to dive into his debut novel. Feast for Thieves does not disappoint. From the first page, Rowdy Slater emerges as a character to root for, complete with flaws, charm, and an unshakeable conscience. I enjoyed this story from beginning to end, a wonderful tale of redemption that will leave readers hoping for a sequel. - Kristina McMorris, bestselling author of The Pieces We Keep

A gutsy, never-preachy story filled with massive redemptive undercurrents. Why read this? Ultimately it's a book of hope, and it shows how anyone's heart can be changed. - Matt Carter, lead pastor, Austin Stone Community Church, Texas, and coauthor of The Real Win 

Marcus Brotherton has crafted more than a rousing story here. He's created characters who leap off the page and a small corner of the world you can lose yourself inside, all held together with stirring prose. I really enjoyed this book. - Billy Coffey, bestselling author of The Devil Walks in Mattingly

This story is a delight. There is a strong sense of literary quality here, combined with a remarkably unique redemptive message. The characters are real, the descriptions potent, and the force of a good story well told is strong throughout Highly recommended. - Davis Bunn, bestselling novelist, writer-in-residence at Regent's Park College, Oxford University




From the Back Cover

Preaching or prison. An impossible choice for a man who usually solves his problems with a rifle or his fists.

Sergeant Rowdy Slater was the most incorrigible paratrooper in Dog Company during World War II. But after the war, when Rowdy robs a bank with the black-hearted Crazy Ake, he vows to turn his life around. The lawman, suspicious that Rowdy's confession is a sham, gives him an ultimatum: Rowdy must serve one year as the town minister, or go straight to jail. Rowdy's choice? Preaching at the community church in Cut Eye, Texas, at the midpoint of nowhere and emptiness.

At first the job seemed easy, particularly since Rowdy took over for the willowy female missionary who held the church together while the men were at war. But when Crazy Ake shows up with a plan to make some quick cash, Rowdy becomes ensnared and is forced to make a deadly choice.

Product Details

  • File Size: 763 KB
  • Print Length: 289 pages
  • Publisher: River North; New Edition edition (August 15, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00J48B0BW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #395,720 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Redemption for a drifter September 2, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Every now and then a talented writer creates a character that is truly memorable, and Marcus Brotherton has given us one in the person of Sgt. Rowdy Slater, WWII veteran who parachuted into occupied France with the famed 101st Airborne. But this member of the Band of Brothers wound up cashiered from the Army and thrown into prison. When he gets out, he returns to his native east Texas and drifts from job to job. His past catches up to him when a former cellmate recruits him into robbing a bank in a sleepy town. They pull off the heist, but Rowdy has a change of heart. He returns to the scene of the crime and gives back the money, fully expecting that he will face many years behind bars. To his surprise, though, the sheriff offers him a deal: become our town's preacher and if you stick it out for a year, nobody will ever learn about your part in the robbery.
Over the course of that year we will learn what happened to cause Rowdy's dishonorable discharge and imprisonment, what drove him to commit the robbery and what he intends to do about it. Our nostalgic memories of post-war 1940s America don't often include the dark alleys and backwaters, but they were there and Rowdy will have to walk into that darkness if he hopes to come out and live in the light.
Brotherton writes in the first person from Rowdy's point of view, and he nails the dialect of the time and place without overdoing it, always a challenge for writers. If this had been written in the 1950s and made into a movie, we could easily see a young Andy Griffith in the role of Rowdy. Making the movie today might be a challenge, since there's little if any of the things that modern moviemakers seem to prize: profanity, gratuitous violence and sex. What there is, is a story about a man seeking redemption, and that's always the best kind of story.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a fan of Marcus Brotherton's nonfiction and a regular reader of his blog, I knew that I had to read his first published novel. I am so glad that I took the opportunity to read Feast for Thieves.

As a WWII veteran who is a little rough around the edges (to say the least), Rowdy Slater is essentially forced into life as a preacher. As the wife of a pastor, it is somewhat difficult for me to imagine a realistic scenario in which someone enters the ministry against his will; however, somehow Rowdy's story seems to make sense. Although we like to think that we always act with honorable motivations, Rowdy teaches us that sometimes our heart follows after we make the correct choice out of a sense of duty or obedience. Themes of forgiveness and mercy are pervasive as Rowdy makes his choices in life and we witness the results and watch his heart change. Getting to know Rowdy also reminds us that everyone has a story behind their actions and that sometimes we judge others for what they do without realizing that they may be coming from a place of pain and loss. We're all in need of "the good meal" that Rowdy is looking for.

In addition to the dynamic character of Rowdy, the book features well-developed minor characters and a strong plot. The themes are thought-provoking, and the novel is written in a manner that is fast-paced and entertaining. Colorful language helped me visualize the setting and, most notably, the lavish descriptions of food throughout the story clearly made me understand why "feast" was an apt word to include in the title! I appreciated Brotherton's notes regarding his choice to use dialect as a narrative device and especially enjoyed reading about the real-life paratrooper-turned-preacher who inspired the character of Rowdy.

I certainly hope there will be more Rowdy Slater books to follow!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great plot, great characters, a thrilling debut novel. September 6, 2014
First things first. I became aware of Marcus Brotherton's writing from his guest posts on the Art of Manliness website. This led me to check out Marcus' own website and I have been a regular visitor ever since. So before I give my thoughts on his first novel let me encourage you to check out Marcus' website,

As someone who does not generally read much fiction I was unsure how I would feel about Feast for Thieves. Let me say I was very impressed. I don't want to give too much of the plot away because it really is a fun ride reading this book. I feel that Marcus chose a perfect time frame and setting for his novel and his character development is very well done. Once I started reading I could not put the book down.

Feast for Thieves shows how hard it is for anyone to come back from war and find their place in society again. Rowdy Slater has found himself in this situation after his service in the 101st Airborne in World War II. Like many men at the time discovered, Rowdy is unable to find work in immediate post war America, especially when he has a past history that is not exactly sterling. Eventually Rowdy makes a series of poor decisions that land him in a take it or leave it situation; become a pastor in a small Texas town or face the consequences of those poor decisions. The story that follows is hardly what I expected and that is a real credit to Marcus and they way he chose to write this story. As someone who is fairly indifferent to an overly religious message, I was a bit apprehensive about this theme of the book. That apprehension was unnecessary and the inclusion of the theme of faith and forgiveness really enhances this story.

I really cannot recommend this novel enough. I could go on more about the story and the characters but I really want everyone to discover them on their own. Great job by Marcus on his debut novel, I'm hopeful that it will be the first of many.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 10 days ago by diane Bruland
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read. I love when I don't know what's ...
Riveting novel. Excellent read. I love when I don't know what's coming next...and that was true of this book. The vernacular of the characters was well delivered. Read more
Published 18 days ago by Sandi Cobb
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome whimsical book
Awesome whimsical book. The characters are come alive quickly so the book captures your attention right away. Loving the read!
Published 1 month ago by Corene Dyer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great historical novel
What an entertaining novel! It has quirky characters, great action, and the promise of new life for a compassionate crook. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Joan N.
5.0 out of 5 stars Story of redemption and following Jesus
Rowdy Slater has had it rough. Coming back from the war and not being able to fit back in, then getting caught up in a crime. Read more
Published 2 months ago by PhillipCole
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun read with surprises and lovable characters - a good ...
A fun read with surprises and lovable characters - a good measure of southern dialect thrown in for authenticity and charm. A great story!
Published 2 months ago by Carol D. Knipes
5.0 out of 5 stars Well done, Mr. Brotherton.
Did I enjoy this book: I loved it.

I’ve been in a reading slump lately — I’m not sure why, but much of what’s been coming across my desk has been sub-par. Read more
Published 2 months ago by The Every Free Chance Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars The Redemption of Reverend Rowdy
Another name has joined Father Tim and the Reverend John Ames in my directory of beloved fictional pastors. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Michele Morin
3.0 out of 5 stars An O.K. book
Feast for Thieves by Marcus Brotherton is an O.K. book. I did enjoy most of it, but wasn’t totally thrilled with it. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Trinity Rose
5.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Excellent book - hard to put down. Received it quickly and was very pleased.
Published 2 months ago by Cathi Flanary
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More About the Author

Marcus Brotherton is a journalist and professional writer, known internationally for his collaborations with high-profile public figures, humanitarians, inspirational leaders, and military personnel.

Visit his blog at:

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