Through a bizarre set of circumstances, Rowdy returns to the States after the war, turns his life around, and falls into the only job he can find-preacher at the sparsely populated community church in Cut Eye, Texas, a dusty highway town situated at the midpoint of nowhere and emptiness.
The town’s lawman, suspicious that Rowdy has changed his ways only as a cover up, gives an ultimatum: Rowdy must survive one complete year as Cut Eye’s new minister or end up in jail.
At first Rowdy thinks the job will be easy, particularly because he’s taking over for a young female missionary who’s held the church together while the men were at war. But when a dark-hearted acquaintance from Rowdy’s past shows up with a plan to make some quick cash, Rowdy becomes ensnared due to an irrevocable favor, and life turns decidedly difficult.
Rowdy’s a man used to solving problems one of two ways: with his rifle or with his fists. Will he be able to thwart his old friend’s evil schemes while remaining true to his new higher calling?
This is a wild ride of a book bursting with a bank robbery, kidnapping, desperate prayers, and barroom brawls. Before the smoke clears, all sides just might end up getting exactly what they want.
Marcus Brotherton is a journalist and professional writer known internationally for his books and literary collaborations with high-profile public figures, humanitarians, inspirational leaders, and military personnel. He has authored or coauthored more than 25 books.
Notable works include We Who Are Alive and Remain, a New York Times bestseller, A Company of Heroes, which ranked No. 1 in the country among World War II/ Western Front books, and the widely-acclaimed Shifty’s War. Marcus’ debut historical novel, Feast For Thieves, released on September 1, 2014.
Born in Canada in 1968, Marcus earned a bachelor’s degree in biblical education and journalism from Multnomah University in Portland, Oregon, and a master’s degree in practical theology and writing from Talbot Seminary at Biola University in Los Angeles, where he graduated with high honors.
Marcus lives with his wife and children in Washington State.
Described as a neo-Western and WWII novel, I really had no expectations about Feast for Thieves, the debut historical novel by Marcus Brotherton. Ne0-Western? This was either going to be a book I loved or one I found boring. Well it is anything but boring! Filled with great characters and a twisting plot, I will recommend Feast for Thieves to anyone no matter their literary tastes.
Zearl “Rowdy” Slater has been drifting since his stint in prison following his discharge from the Army. It is 1946 and there aren’t many prospects for an ex-sniper and convict. So he turns to what at face value is a sure thing — robbing a bank with former cellmate, Crazy Ake. But Rowdy has trouble with sure things and soon finds himself serving as preacher to the rough and tumble west Texas town of Cut Eye.
Feast for Thieves has a lot going for it. First, Brotherton has created interesting, complex and definitely colorful characters. Rowdy is a preacher who knows nothing about being a Christian, let alone preaching. His first sermon involves the Creation and field dressing a squirrel. Bobbie Barker, missionary and daughter of the Sheriff, is a no-nonsence dreamer who spouts poetry and drives a jeep. Sheriff Barker loves the town of Cut Eye and sees its and Rowdy’s potential. Other characters, including Mert the church secretary and Cisco a grieving father, will grab your imagination and heart. Then there is the setting of Cut Eye in the years following WWII. Brotherton brings the west Texas landscape and the struggling town to life. The plot is twisting. You’ll never guess from one moment to the next just where Brotherton is taking Rowdy. At times laugh out loud funny and then poignant, Feast for Thieves will certainly keep you entertained and engaged. Told in Rowdy’s first person voice, the language is richly detailed. I loved the many colloquialisms and colorful descriptions. In describing her fiance, Bobbie says he is as upright and dependable as the color brown.
The best thing about this book has got to be the spiritual journey that Rowdy takes, from his Jacob wrestling struggle in the river to the fist fight in the mission church to the working out of his faith through fights at the local tavern and chopping firewood. Rowdy has grown so much and has so much to look forward to by the closing pages of the book. Will there be another Rowdy Slater book? I hope so.
A novel that grabbed me from the opening pages, I highly recommend Feast for Thieves by Marcus Brotherton. This is one of the best books I have read all year.
(Thanks to Side Door Communication and River North for my review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)