THE CONFESSIONAL is a book about murder, racism, anger, bullies, drugs, and fitting in, which takes place in an all-male Catholic private school located on the Mexican-American border.
After a random bomber blows up the international bridge that connects Mexico and the United States in El Paso, Texas, tensions escalate at the school. Nearing the one-year anniversary of the Mexican terrorist bombing, a fight breaks out between two boys at the school. One boy ends up in the hospital. The other boy ends up dead by the end of the day.
Mayhem follows. A racial riot erupts on the Cathedral steps after a special mass for the dead teen. Mexicans and Americans point fingers at one another. No one feels safe. Everyone is ready to fight. Will the boys be able to find out who killed their fellow student before someone else disappears? Before someone else is murdered? And at what cost? How many will go to jail before it's all over?
This is a gripping read and difficult to put down. It's an honest look at how quickly tempers can flare and get out of hand. Be warned, the language is also brutally authentic. In the beginning, the reader may struggle to keep all the boys straight in their head as I did. Don't worry about that. This book is told from multiple points of view. As each boy has his say, it becomes very clear who they are and you will have no trouble at all keeping them straight. This novel is incredible in its glaring realism. I give it five stars.
Reviewed by: Cana Rensberger