Item description for According to Their Deeds by Paul Robertson...
Overview When a devoted client dies, respectable rare-books dealer Charles Beale eagerly regains the man's book collection, but Beale soon finds himself with more than he bid on when, in one volume, he discovers documents incriminating a host of major political figures. Original.
Publishers Description Charles Beale lives happily in the shadows of Washington, D.C., as a respectable rare-books dealer. Or mostly respectable. He has a streak of the gambler in him and when a devoted client dies--a man deeply connected to the Justice Department--Beale eagerly regains the man's book collection...and soon finds himself with more than he bid on. In one volume, Beale discovers documents incriminating a host of major political figures--blackmail material that might have led to murder. Weighing questions of justice and mercy--and with a bull's-eye on his back--Beale must untangle a complicated knot of deadly lies and dangerous secrets.
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Studio: Bethany House
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.44" Width: 6.28" Height: 0.95" Weight: 0.69 lbs.
Release Date Mar 1, 2009
Publisher Bethany House
ISBN 0764205684 ISBN13 9780764205682
Availability 0 units.
More About Paul Robertson
Paul Robertson is a full-time software developer and the author of five novels, including "Dark in the City of Light," "Road to Nowhere," and "The Heir." He is also a former Christian bookstore owner (for 15 years), who lives with his family in Blacksburg, Virginia.
Reviews - What do customers think about According to Their Deeds?
Succinct & Twisted Page Turner Dec 30, 2009
Paul Robertson's treatment of "According to their Deeds" is innovative yet feels as if it were an old classic not typical of Christian fiction. Much of this story is driven by dialogue alone, so for the reader who doesn't want to experience an "avant-garde" read, this book will have no appeal. Robertson weaves religious beliefs into Charles' reminescent "chats" between him and the man murdered. Their "flashback" discussions not only explore their match of wits and philosophical differences but also add another layer of the mystery to be revealed about the victim. I was intrigued with Robertson's style and the mystery, and once I started into the story, couldn't put it down. Contrary to another reviewer's insistence that people don't speak the way the characters do in this novel, there are intellectuals, or "nerds" to use today's vernacular, who do think and talk exactly as the characters are portrayed here. The author peels away each layer of the plot and the characters involved with teasing ponderous slices until everything makes sense. It's a journey I would highly recommend to all readers who love intrigue.
Non-existent Character Development Jun 28, 2009
The mystery in the book is OK, and the pacing is not bad, but the language used in the book and the supporting characters is horrid. Besides the main character and a few others integral to the story, most of the characters seemed to have no personality, they all have similar styles of dialogue. I felt like I was reading about a cast of robotic automatons. At one point, I screamed at the book "NO ONE talks like that!" If you care about how people "sound" and like all the characters in a book to have personality and be interesting, I would suggest picking up something else.
A Fascinating Story of Justice vs. Mercy Jun 10, 2009
Antique book dealer Charles Beale is deeply saddened by the vicious murder of one of his clients, an intriguing and eccentric man connected with the U.S. Justice Department. When Charles purchases at auction a set of books he had previously sold to the deceased, he is shocked to find a box concealed inside one of the tomes. Upon opening the box, he discovers that his client enjoyed acquiring far more than antiques. The hidden box holds a variety of secrets that could ruin the lives and reputations of some high-powered people if he were to expose them. Charles's irrepressible curiosity draws him to pursue his own investigation of the mysterious documents. But as the dirty little secrets become names and faces, he gets enmeshed in a sticky web of lies, deceit, fear and murder.
Charles attends the auction of the late Derek Bastien's antique collection and is mystified by the bidding war for Derek's desk. Rather than the $24,000 the desk is worth, rival bidders bring the sale to $105,000. It is the very desk on which Derek's bloody body was discovered --- the result of a burglary gone bad. After winning his own bid for the books he originally sold to Derek, Charles uncovers the secrets concealed within. On a whim, he begins contacting the powerful politicians whose names appear on various receipts and documents from the hidden box.
When Charles tries to meet with some of Washington's elite, he quickly discovers that Derek's name opens many doors. Each suspects Charles knows something, but isn't sure how much. Charles knows each has engaged in career-ending mistakes in their pasts, but struggles with his role in the entire scenario, which is somehow tied to Derek's murder. Should he be the one to judge others based on the skeletons in their closets?
One clue leads to another, and Charles suspects that the antique desk holds secrets of its own. His suspicions prove correct when a hidden drawer reveals even more damaging documents, including one with his name on it. But by this time, the antique-book-dealer-turned-investigator has uncovered enough to place a target on his own back.
The dialogue in ACCORDING TO THEIR DEEDS is without a doubt the most clever I have ever read. Dry wit, puns and ingenious references to classic tales pepper a fascinating story of justice vs. mercy. An interesting variety of characters weaves in and out of Charles's investigation, each made distinct by his or her dialogue and quirks. The secondary characters, Charles's three employees, have well-defined personalities and engage in brief but colorful tête-à-têtes with their boss. I especially liked Angelo, who six months earlier robbed Charles at knifepoint and was now on probation under Charles's supervision.
And then there is the sweet-but-not-sugary, sincere and enviable relationship between Charles and his wife, Dorothy. Even without lengthy descriptions, the heart of this relationship is made strong by the author's brilliantly creative use of the English language. From the moment Dorothy is introduced, the reader can see she lovingly holds the key to Charles's heart.
Adding another layer of depth and interest to the book are the flashback conversations between Charles and Derek over games of chess. Discussions of human nature, politics and philosophy provide insight into each man's soul.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone wanting a thought-provoking, fascinating whodunit with rich characterization, colorful imagery and creative twists and turns.
--- Reviewed by Susan Miura
Amazingly Creative Jun 4, 2009
hould one mistake cost you everything in life? Aren't you glad God doesn't think so for us. A mystery written with twists and turn, this question is pondered throughout the story line.
The characters engage in chess games which turn into philosophical debates which reveal the intelligence level of the author. Sometimes I felt that inserting so many "intellectual" points allowed the book to be predictable in its plot instead of leaving some of the mystery.
However, there were some lines in the book that I literally wanted to get a pen and underline they were such great one-liners. They were ones that you would want to post on Facebook because of their wittiness! These characters are ones you would want to go out to dinner with and spend talking the night away!
Solid Story, Clever Mystery, and Characters May 8, 2009
When I opened Paul Robertson's latest book I wasn't sure what my final opinion would be. The characters, mainly Charles, reminded me of the type of character played by Woody Allen. Charles and his friends were a little odd, I love quirky, but these folks had to grow on me a bit. Charles, the POV character, considers books as his livelihood and his passion, after his lovely wife Dorothy, of course. Book characters, scenes, lines and titles become fodder for his many puns and descriptions.
The mystery within According to Their Deeds takes a few unexpected turns and is layered, involving past, and present, and I guess I could even say future because there are some snippets of theological conversation. Bibliophiles, especially antique/rare edition fiends and bookstore lovers should find this a satisfying read. Fans of mysteries will probably enjoy the twists. Of Robertson's three novels I'd say According to Their Deeds is my least favorite, but I'm glad I had the opportunity to read it.