Review of The Rector by Michael Hicks Thompson

The Rector is the story of one tiny Mississippi town during the late 1950s. The town’s preacher has died of a sudden heart attack, and boarding house owner and eBook Review Gal Book Review of The Rector by Michael Hicks Thompsonnewspaperwoman, Martha McRae, isn’t buying it. The preacher was far too young and healthy, so Martha suspects foul play. In the meantime, the church needs a new preacher and one mysteriously shows up at Martha’s door. The town is full of secrets, lies, gossip and deceit and this new preacher soon adds his own form of evil to it all.

I’m on the fence about this book. As a murder mystery, I’d say it was okay – if not slightly over the top and at times farfetched – a main character somehow managing to abduct three prison visitors, two separate times comes to mind.

My issue is more with the main character, Martha McRae, a supposedly God-fearing, church-going woman of faith. Asking the local postmaster to steam open a letter meant for someone else seemed a little too dishonest and devious for my taste (even if it wasn’t sent through the postal service). And, getting someone drunk so that they spill the beans about what they know seems downright wrong.

There was a lot of gossiping, backstabbing, infidelity and other very un-Christian-like behavior going on throughout this book. I get it…we’re all sinners and susceptible to temptation no matter how strong our faith in God. Yet, this behavior seemed rampant among the residents of such a small town.

I found the story to be a bit slow at times, causing me to lose interest. It’s only 342 pages, yet it took me three days to finish. I really did want to love this book. I certainly didn’t hate it, but it just didn’t impress me as much as I thought it might.


3 of 5 Stars, Review by Susan Barton

eBook Review Gal received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.