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Forgiving Solomon Long (Kansas City Blues Crime Series) [Kindle Edition]

Chris Well
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $3.99

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Book Description

A hit man is haunted by a preacher's dying words: "I forgive you." Forgiving Solomon Long is a page-turning thriller that combines the drama of King Lear and the Godfather with the adrenaline rush of an action epic directed by John Woo.

Crime boss Frank “Fat Cat” Catalano has dreams of building a legacy in Kansas City—but a coalition of local storeowners and clergy have banded together to try to break his stranglehold.

Detective Tom Griggs is determined to bring Fat Cat down, no matter what the cost. Even if that cost is neglecting—and losing—his own wife.

Hit man Solomon “Solo” Long is a “cleaner” flown in from the coast to make sure the locals get the message from Fat Cat. But when one of his kills goes awry, his whole world comes crashing down...


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Just when it seemed Christian publishers had explored every possible fiction niche, enter this debut contemporary gangster novel that occasionally falters but still tells an engaging story. When a Kansas City coalition of local churches tries to break the grip of organized crime, a mobster flies in cold-blooded hit man Solomon Long (aka "Solo") to knock off influential members. After one of Solo's dying victims forgives him, he is overcome with guilt and unable to complete the assigned serial murders. Well makes Solo a believable and fully rounded character, a killer plagued with obsessive-compulsive disorder and haunted by a fundamentalist childhood. Another compelling figure is Det. Tom Griggs, a workaholic who spends his sessions at the marriage counselor mentally working through a case rather than shoring up his faltering relationship. There's plenty of unexpected humor, including gunmen who play chess and a whiz-kid detective who likes Fruit Loops in his coffee. The snappy dialogue and occasional KER-CHUNK or BLAM, BLAM show evidence of Well's background as a comic book and radio series author, as do some short scenes and tight prose. There are a few trouble spots, including an unbelievable concluding chase scene and at least one unfortunate insider joke (a rapper named for a Harvest House editor). However, Well's fresh voice makes this an enjoyable addition to faith fiction.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Clergy and storeowners have banded together to force out Kansas City's last crime boss, Frank "Fat Cat" Catalano, and Fat Cat isn't happy. He brings in hit-man Soloman Long, aka Solo, to kill ministers and priests, but one such has the temerity, even as he dies, to forgive Solo. Solo, who had a terrible childhood in a fundamentalist home, falls apart. Meanwhile, Detective Tom Griggs, a likable workaholic who mulls over his cases even as he sits in sessions with his wife and a marriage counselor, closes in on Fat Cat. This sounds like an unlikely story line for Christian fiction, but Kansas City was once a major hub of organized crime, and Well knows his way around the neighborhoods. He also serves up brisk dialogue and interjects references to pop culture into even his most violent scenes. This is Christian fiction, but Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction comes to mind. John Mort
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 394 KB
  • Print Length: 280 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BK7A5WA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #644,411 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 So Clean, So Deep March 28, 2005
Format:Paperback
It's a simple, yet profound, premise: When a contract killer makes a move to kill an innocent preacher, the preacher offers unconditional forgiveness. The killer, Solomon Long, is rocked by the man's reaction.

"Forgiving Solomon Long" is a story of redemption, couched in the organized crime scene of Kansas City. At times, it reads with the vivid focus of a comic book; at others, it delves deeply into the wounds that many violent men carry. We meet Det. Tom Griggs, a man numbed by his job and impotent to change his own marriage. We journey with "Solo" through his ugly childhood, his contract-killer career, and his guilt-driven attempts to come clean. We bump into criminal low-lifes, attractive female cops, and greasy crime lords.

In the story's conclusion, most of the pieces come together in a moving, yet understated manner. Although the plot thread concerning Solo's mother seems to unravel, the action never flags, and Chris Well stays true to his characters and their inner struggles. Like a classic comic book (think "Spiderman" and "Batman"), this novel is so cleanly drawn that a non-reader could enjoy it, yet so deeply developed that a voracious biblophile can find numerous things to appreciate.

In the growing world of Christian fiction, "Forgiving Solomon Long" proves there is room for new styles, gritty characters, and stories that can move us without sermonizing. Keep bringin' it, Mr. Well. We're ready for more!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Breath of Fresh Air July 17, 2007
Format:Paperback
I came across Forgiving Solomon Long while searching for interesting and edgy books that didn't leave me feeling like I needed a bath. I appreciate how Chris Well does not shy away from the darker sides of life yet does not dive into them himself. As a Christian artist I am often faced with the difficulty of remaining true to life without losing my principles. Chris Well's approach is a great study in how to accomplish that. I also liked all the theater and Shakespearean references.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not your typical CBA fare January 25, 2005
Format:Paperback
What a fun ride. Chris Well's debut masterfully weaves humor and a Sopranos-like attitude through this well-crafted thriller. Recommended for any book fan primed to embrace both a Christian worldview as well as the cynical wit of Hiassen and/or Leonard.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A story of forgiveness & second chances January 27, 2006
Format:Paperback
Solomon (Solo) Long is a killer for hire. His current employer, Frank Catalano, better known as "Fat Cat", is a mob boss who wants to take out all six leaders of the community coalition trying to clean up their city and take it back from his control. Detective Tom Griggs and his task force have been investigating Fat Cat's operations, trying to find that chink in his armor to bring him down.

Solo handles his assignments without problem until the murder of his third target, a pastor who grants Solo his forgiveness in his final moments of life. This turns Solo's world upside down as he struggles with reconciling memories of his past with the forgiveness & redemption he catches a glimpse of through the pastor's words. This plus the bible that mysteriously keeps appearing opened to key passages such as "Thou shalt not kill" in his motel room start Solo down a different path in life. And the changes in Solo begin to have far reaching repercussions that bring the story to a climatic ending.

Chris Well certainly taps into an unusual storyline for the Christian market and I enjoyed the book. However, at the end I found myself not satisfied. Other than Solo I felt I didn't have enough information on the other characters to truly care about what happened to them. Tom Griggs and his wife Carla have marital problems and are a major part of the story line. Yet very little is truly revealed to explain what got them to the place they are in. And, considering that Fat Cat thinks the community coalition is important enough to bring in a hit man to take out the leaders, very little is shared about the people in the coalition and what they have done or plan to do in the community.

I recommend this book for the message of forgiveness and redemption that it brings. I think it could have been even better with more depth to the characters.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging, engrossing read (but pass the antibiotic wipes) February 16, 2005
Format:Paperback
I'm not a usual reader of crime fiction, but this book is an entertaining, quick read, and should appeal to folks beyond any artifical designation of "genre".

The characterization is unique, sometimes sparse without superfluous detail, but always catches your attention. Many side characters have enough "color" to them that they stick in your head.

The action moves along briskly. Occasionally I would like a little more detail in settings, but it all works.

The thing I appreciate the most is that the author doesn't make all of the conclusions for you. You have room for interpretation at the end. But don't worry, it's not a philosopical tome, but an enjoyable read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Forgiving Solomon Long cleans up January 31, 2005
Format:Paperback
Forgiving Solomon Long opens with the title character gunning down Father Mac in a confessional booth since the priest was part of a group standing up to mob boss Frank "Fat Cat" Catalano.

And Christopher Well builds steam from that promising beginning, whipping up a magnificent concoction that is part Sopranos, part Carl Hiaasen, and part Elmore Leonard. But mostly, it's all an edge-of-the-seat romp through Kansas City's underworld - with the breaks off.

Well creates some unforgettable characters here. None is better drawn than Solo Long, the clean-freak hitter. But there's also mobsters bantering about The Odd Couple, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Singing in the Rain and just about everything in between. And then there's detective Tom Griggs, whose single-minded pursuit of Fat Cat is coming at the expense of his marriage.

That opening scene is also your first hint that Forgiving Solomon Long isn't your run-of-the-mill CBA fiction. But body count - and don't kid yourselves, there are dead bodies strewn all over the Midwest by the end - isn't all that separates Forgiving Solomon Long from most works coming off Christian presses.

It is edgy and contemporary and hip, without compromising its Christian message. It's also a lot of fun.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Book
I will definitely read more books by this author, but I find it hard to believe that the criminals are as ignorant as some of them seem to be. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Forget
Sorry, really don't remembe anything about this book. Not even buying it. I read too many books and forget what they were about.
Published 11 months ago by numbnuts
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read
This was a pretty good story both as far as plot and as far as how the author told the story. It was Christian in that it had no cuss words or graphic sex and had some Christian... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Jonnelle
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
I wasn't sure how I would like this book; but the storyline was good and it kept me reading until the end. I would definitely read another of Well's books.
Published 12 months ago by hummin' again
4.0 out of 5 stars Forgiving Solomon Long
This book was different from what I usually read. Not what I would classify as Christian fiction but still good!
Published 13 months ago by FlutterBye
4.0 out of 5 stars takes awhile to get into
I began this because it was set in Kansas City and the reviews caught me up. While it was sometimes difficult to keep up with the switches back and forth, it was worthwhile to make... Read more
Published 13 months ago by miki57
5.0 out of 5 stars Freebie book; now I'm hooked
Combining crime and humor? WHAM! right on! My heart is still thumping.

While at times I got a little lost on the dialogue, the swift current of the story kept pulling me... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Julie Scott
5.0 out of 5 stars My new favorite author!!
Chris Well is BRILLIANT!!! I cant stress that enough! He's also pretty fearless, tackling things that most Christian authors would shy away from, especially because many would... Read more
Published on January 25, 2012 by Sweet1
2.0 out of 5 stars Too dark, violent, and with poor characterization
I was really disappointed by "Forgiving Solomon Long" by Chris Well. I found it to be far too violent. Read more
Published on March 25, 2008 by John Thornton
4.0 out of 5 stars Well Written
"We distrust fiction that has a palpable design on us," as someone wrote. In my view, all fiction has a palpable design. That said, there are designs and there are designs. Read more
Published on September 24, 2007 by Gord Wilson
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More About the Author

Chris Well writes laugh-out-loud crime and mystery fiction. His novels include Forgiving Solomon Long ("Action-packed prose," RT Book Reviews) and Tribulation House ("Well's clever dialogue will leave readers in stitches," Publishers Weekly). He and his wife live in Tennessee. Visit him online at StudioWell.com.

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