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One Hand Killing (An Alex Sullivan Zen Mystery Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 359 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
As I understand it, a goal of practicing Zen is to find inner peace and a sense of connectedness. In other words, it's quite a cultural distance from the traditional hard-boiled, hard-cussing, obsessive world of the murder mystery.
Protagonist Alex Sullivan is not unaware of these disparate claims of reality. She is a student of Zen but also a proud member of the NYPD. When murder comes to what should be a peaceful retreat at a Zen monastery, Alex trips, stumbles, and falls as she tries not only to solve a case that the cops are not succeeding with, but also to maintain her Zen composure. She must hear the sound of one hand killing, so to speak, and her spiritual training proves handy in ways she wouldn't have predicted.
Readers familiar with Zen or other Eastern religious traditions--or the general conglomeration of spiritual practices often called New Age--should enjoy this book. Also, if you've ever wanted a crash course in Zen, you will get it. Mystery readers who simply want to know who did it--or for whatever reason are turned off to Eastern religions--may or may not empathize with Alex as she tends to her spiritual goals with as much vigor as solving the case.
But all in all, the author deserves credit for this unusual approach to the murder mystery genre, and I look forward to seeing where Alex takes us in future books.
Jon P. Bloch
(The Kindle Book Review)
One of the great pleasures for readers of crime fiction is the opportunity to enter cultures, businesses, families, or neighborhoods whose gates are usually shut firmly against outsiders. The act of murder tends to blow such sanctuaries wide open, changing the daily life of the inhabitants, as a pile of police, reporters, and rubberneckers beat a path into these havens, revealing a society whose strange traditions are heightened by homicide.
Welcome to the mysterious and weird world of Zen Buddhism, 21st century American-style.
One Hand Killing is a classically face-paced yet thoughtful whodunit that knocks the shoji screens off a Zen Monastery in the Catskills, run by a Japanese Roshi who may be the ultimate target of a murderer stalking the once peaceful sanctuary. Detective Alex Sullivan is a veteran of the NYPD Homicide unit, a typically tough cookie whose edges are softened by her search for some form of inner balance to offset the horrors of her job. She found Zen Buddhism, and has practiced its rigorous sitting meditation in the serenity of a mountain monastery for some years, finding in it a practical counterpoint to the craziness of the city and the demands of her job. But when she hits the hills to attend the monastery's celebration of the Buddha's birthday, the two carefully separated contructs of her life collapse into one another when the body of a monk is found within the sacred halls of the zendo.
Alex is torn between her training in distrust as a cop, and her zen training as unquestioning student of the Roshi.Read more ›
And if this book is a true rendition of a Buddhist monastery, then the Buddhist monastery is depicted as still just another cult...the head honcho that everyone reveres and obeys. Or unless one is on a killing spree.
Gee, I had the mistaken opinion that monks in a monastery lived a peaceful life free of conflict with each other. Instead, among the residents of the monastery (in this book) there was the jealousy, greed, envy, hate, and resentment between the members/monks just like in any other area of life.
I slogged through 88% of the book until I gave up. I read for enjoyment and knowledge and entertainment. With this book. at less than 50% I was tempted to delete the book. Unfortunately I kept slogging through it until I said "enough" at 88%. By that time I didn't care "who dunnit" or what happened to any of the other characters in the book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was a very interesting story. Different storyline at times was difficulty to follow the charters but really enjoyed the story and seemed very realistic.Published 4 months ago by Traveler
I've just started reading the novel. I'm about a 100 pages into the book. Up to this point I like the book quite well. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Ron Jones
Too much Zen and navel gazing for my taste, but not too bad from a murder and mayhem point of view.Published 19 months ago by Mary L
Another great read by Nancy O'Hara!! Thank you... Please keep them coming!Published 21 months ago by Martha
This is a story that gets complicated. We have a woman detective who tragically lost her father her at a young age and has his old time friend and partner and friend as mentor. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Gloria Stanchak Alexander
I didn't like it - too involved and seemed to present too much religion.Published 22 months ago by Russell Vorpe