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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2011
The Brotherhood is a police thriller, complete with gangs, organized crime, guns, drugs and the cops who put their lives on the line every day.

It's also a book that doesn't shy away from a true-to-life crisis of faith. Jenkins explores the hard questions. Why does God allow tragedy? How much control do we have over our lives? Why aren't good people rewarded for doing good while bad people seem to be rewarded for evil? Can God forgive those who have committed the most heinous crimes? And why would He bother?

I appreciated the way Jenkins answers these tough questions. They aren't answered with neat, tidy platitudes. They are wrestled with by characters grasping at faith when life has thrown them to the ground. These characters-and their faith or lack thereof-are real.

The plot follows Boone Drake as he deals with his own personal trauma while planning a dangerous operation that could cripple organized crime in Chicago. The tension and suspense escalate to a satisfying conclusion - with plenty of room to continue the story into book two of the series.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on February 1, 2011
This is actually the first Jerry B. Jenkins book I have read and it absolutely captivated my interest from page one; I couldn't turn the pages fast enough!. Boone's experiences bring to mind the old sports intro "the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat." How quickly life can go from one to the other in the blink of an eye. When Boone's world is rocked to the core, he isn't sure of anything anymore, especially what he thinks about God. His emotions and questions are raw and honest and pulsate throughout the novel. Woven throughout this fast-paced story of the battle against gangs and organized crime in Chicago is the story of an even bigger spiritual battle that Boone--and all of us--face, as well as the message that God freely offers forgiveness to all who call upon Him. As for the ending. . . well, let me just say that enough was resolved to tide me over until the next book in this series, and enough left dangling to leave me eager for more!

I received a complimentary copy of this novel for my review from Tyndale House Publishers. I was not required to write a postive review.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on February 1, 2011
An unexpected accident changes Boone Drake's life in an instant. Faced with death, guilt, and bitterness, Boone disdains the house he lived in and the God he claimed to serve. Unable to understand such tragedy, he searches for meaning in his job, his routine, and the bottom of a bottle. Led by the faithful Pastor Sosa and supported by his partner, Jack, Boone faces one day at a time and finds that time does not heal all wounds, sometimes there is no human understanding about why tragedy occurs, but there is a God who is faithful through it all. From the depths of depression to the thrill of rounding up gang leaders, Boone travels a difficult path and ultimately finds that there is a hope to live for.

It didn't take long for The Brotherhood to grab my attention. Jerry Jenkins' writing style is flawless and easy to read, yet compelling. The moral lesson that stood out to me most was the theme about the importance of valuing a relationship with God in both the good and the bad times. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. Any one of us could experience an unexpected tragedy. The important thing is to recognize that God is with us whether life is going great or if things are tough.

I found the plot unique. It's not everyday that you read about a gang leader, repentance, and forgiveness all together. I recommend this book to anyone who likes fiction. People who are affiliated with law enforcement or enjoy law enforcement novels will especially enjoy this book. Although the book is good as a stand alone, I look forward to the next book in this series.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2011
The Brotherhood by Jerry B. Jenkins

The Brotherhood tells the story of Boone Drake, the man who has everything: he's a respected cop and has a beautiful wife and a baby boy. His partner at the police force is one of his closest friends, and Boone aspires to get on the OCD (Organized Crime Department). But a terrible tragedy sends his life spiraling downward and he doesn't know if he'll ever pull through. He has to, however, because his help is needed in dealing with one of the largest Mob bosses in Chicago. Will Boone be able to overcome the tragedy he suffered, or will he turn his back on his dream?

The hook for the books was good, straightforward and intriguing. Also, Jerry B. Jenkins has a distinct way of creating characters. Early last year I read his novel Riven, which I thought was a solid story about a prison chaplain. When I started The Brotherhood I instantly was able to see the similarities in how Jenkins creates characters. If you love Jenkin's character's you may very well want to read this book.

However, I found the story often clichéd, and at times a bit long. A couple chapters into the book is when the tragedy happens (which I will not spoil for you), and then the Mob Boss isn't introduced until well past page 200. And, despite the suffering and pain Boone goes through, many other things happen that seem too good to be true. At one point he is accused of brutality after accidentally injuring a criminal. Instead of seeing the case all the way through, the criminal drops the charge because he has a guilty conscious and knows Boone didn't mean to hurt him. In the end none of it seemed believable - I wasn't drawn into the story.

That said, it is still impressive that Jenkins decided to tackle the theme of suffering. It is something many authors, fiction and non-fiction have tried to do and it is not always done well. Though clichéd and cheesy in a way that only Christian fiction can be, Jenkins still has a well thought out approach. Suffering is not a sensible things and it when it hits it is never pretty. However, suffering need not be the end all, and strength can be found in friends and in faith.

Jerry B. Jenkins co-authored the wildly bestselling series Left Behind as well as the aforementioned Riven. He purchased and owns the Christian Writers Guild, an organization which has the goal of improving the quality of Christian Fiction.

2.5/5 stars

I received this book free from Tyndale. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 7, 2011
After a house fire severely alters his future, taking his young family from him in an instant, Chicago police officer Boone Drake struggles to come to terms with his loss and how God could allow such a thing to happen. Slowly, with the help of his pastor and the support of his partner, Boone begins to heal and build a stronger relationship with God than he had ever had.

I enjoyed the The Brotherhood by Jerry B. Jenkins immensely. It has a mix of drama, action, and a bit of romance. I felt, however, that the book did not live up to its classification as a police thriller. While there are some action scenes, I found very little of the book to fit my idea of a thriller and would classify it as more of a police drama than a police thriller.

If you're looking for a touching story and are okay with some graphic descriptions, I would definitely recommend this book.

In addition to the great story, the audiobook edition was excellent. The narrator, Johnny Heller, did a fantastic job and the audio quality is exceptional.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this audiobook free from the christianaudio Reviewers Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 7, 2013
I liked the beginning of this book about a young, Christian cop with a good partner, happy marriage, adorable son. I like police procedure stories and it promised to be a good one about solving crimes. I like Christian stories and the idea a character can actually have good relationships. (Too many stories revolve around broken marriages and divorced or widowed characters. Why can't happily married people still have stories in their lives?)

Then a terrible tragedy strikes the life of Boone Drake. It would have been bad enough if he'd been told his family was "burnt beyond recognition." But the horrific scenes were described in graphic detail. Unfortunately, my visual mind envisioned those scenes and horrified me to the point I simply can't finish reading the book.

When I want tragedy I read the newspaper. I don't want to go on this "downer" trip with the character in the book to find out how he deals with it, even though I get the idea he may obtain some spiritual healing based upon some of the other reviews I read of the book. I can't review the ending of the book because I can't bring myself to read it. Life is too short to spend it on unnessary grief. There's enough of that in real life.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2011
Jerry Jenkins uses his vivid imagination to weave a story of love, personal loss and an amazing comeback. I cried so hard ar times that I lost my breath and had to keep wiping my eyes so I could continue. Well Done!!!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Boone Drake is a self-made man. He's the perfect police officer on his way to the top. He has a perfect wife and young son. He teaches boys in his church. He is out to bring justice to the gangs in Chicago where he is part of Precinct 11. Boone really doesn't need God very much in this equation. Really, when he thinks about it at all- after a conversation with his pastor- Boone decides that God hasn't had much to do with where he is now. It has been all Boone. He has made this good life for himself. But, when tragedy strikes, Boone has to come to terms with God and his relationship with Him. And, when Boone's family is gone and his career is threatened, where can Boone turn for help?

Although the book looked very exciting, and the plot summary on the cover seemed intriguing, I must say, the book was rather predictable. Boone's extreme over confidence and "perfect" life set him up for a tragedy. His reactions and slow coming to God seemed too scripted. I was also bothered by the fact that much time passed- months and then years- with hardly any reference. Boone is in one place in his life, and then all of a sudden, after only a brief mention of the passage of time, here we are over a year later. That was a little difficult to follow. I did enjoy Boone as a character. And the other characters in the story were well-developed and interesting people. The final conflict and resolution in the story were interesting and more unexpected than Boone's earlier tragedy, so I ended the book with much more interest and a desire to read more in the series.

Despite the predictability, I thought the book held some important lessons about God and about life. I especially was struck toward the end of the book when Boone met the son of a notorious gangbanger. Boone found himself resentful that this man had a healthy, happy son even though he was so morally bad; while Boone, who considered himself so good, had lost his own son to tragedy. The point, which was not overly emphasized, hit home with me. It is easy to feel like "the wicked" don't deserve happiness, but we are not the determiners of that. Only God is sovereign and perfect in His plans.

Jerry B. Jenkins, author of The Brotherhood, is best known for co-authoring the Left Behind series with Tim LaHaye. He has written more than 150 books- fiction and non-fiction. You can find out more about this author and his books and The Brotherhood at Tyndale.com.

I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale for review purposes. Opinions expressed are my own.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2011
I just couldn't get into Boone's tale because I found his characterization to be too typical and simplistic - the perfect police officer and family man. Right from the beginning, everything is perfect, which becomes far too cliche after what happens later on in the book. I also didn't like the writing style. The descriptions were very flat and unimaginative; this made it difficult to get into the flow of the story or develop any kind of sympathy for the characters. Ex: In the very beginning of the book, a crazed man brandishing a six-inch steak knife charges at Boone but is easily defeated with a vicious uppercut - in one sentence. These types of unbelievably perfect descriptions lacking in any substance soured me on the book from the first few chapters. However, because it was a free download, I didn't feel too bad about deleting it from my library after growing tired of it partway through.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 4, 2011
I haven't read a novel by Jerry B. Jenkins in a long time. I made it through almost all of the Left Behind Series, then got turned off by the shameless gimmicks used in those novels to keep the series going, instead of just telling the stories the way they should be told. THE BROTHERHOOD intrigued me. It is labeled as a police thriller and Jenkins continually tops the best seller lists, so I thought I'd give it a shot.

The Verdict: The novel in no way passes the test as police thriller or procedural. However, it is a solid and entertaining drama about Boone Drake, a cop who faces tragedy, and with God's help, rebounds to overcome it.

Boone Drake is an idealistic cop with a great family. When tragedy strikes, he doesn't know how he will cope. He loses everything. His pastor is there to guide him through the rough times, as is his partner Jack Keller. Over the years, Boone grows closer to God and finally gets his chance to tackle the gang problem in Chicago.

Why this isn't a police thriller: Readers looking for a good Christian police novel where the primary focus is police work and cases should look elsewhere. It's hard for the novel to be a procedural when the action lasts over several years. Boone is interested in fighting the gangs, that is mentioned early on. But, the actual case, and only case, that he works on in the novel, doesn't begin until you are 2/3 through the novel. The case he works on includes getting to know a gangster personally and talking about their faith for several chapters, so little "policing" occurs there either.

Everything involving the police, from the characters, to the situations, to the chronic use of the word "gangbangers" seems both amateurish and clichéd. I don't know Jenkins' background in police work, or how much research he did, but to me as a reader, it doesn't seem like he did much. An example of a great police thriller for the Christian market would be J. Mark Bertrand's BACK ON MURDER. From page one, I felt like Bertrand knew and understood everything about police work. In THE BROTHERHOOD, Boone spends weeks and months researching the gang scene in Chicago, but that's all we learn. We learn nothing about what this research involved, or what Boone figured out.

Why I'm recommending this novel: Jenkins is at his best when he is writing about the suffering that Boone Drake goes through and the steps he takes to reclaim his life and relationship with God. Even though this book threw me off by not being a police thriller, I still found it to be an enjoyable and rewarding book because of the message.
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