Some Rise by Sin

Channeling the likes of Thornton Wilder and Graham Greene, Philip Caputo (Acts of Faith) frequently writes about Americans working abroad who struggle with the moral consequences of their actions. Some Rise by Sin focuses on Father Tim Riordan, a troubled Franciscan friar assigned to a church in Mexico's remote Sierra Madre mountain town of San Patricio, and Lisette Moreno, the only medical doctor in the area. These two conflicted expatriates try to serve the indigent in a place dominated by poverty, fear, cartel wars and the corrupt army and state police sent to wipe out the narcos.

Riordan is a Harley-riding priest with a history of failing in his vows of celibacy. He also harbors a troubling doubt regarding a God who fills his church with funeral masses for senselessly murdered young men, as well as a debilitating acrophobia that strikes every time he rides the narrow mountain roads. Lisette works with limited resources to treat locals despite their history of Catholic admonishments and Amerindian folk medicine. She's also keeping her affair with artist Pamela Childress under wraps. As the cartel wars accelerate, Riordan and Moreno compromise their respective professional vows to try to stop the bloodshed. As Riordan reflects, "Pity without action is sentimentality." But action brings consequences, both personal and political, and in Some Rise by Sin, Caputo puts his discerning finger on the pulse of the struggle to reconcile altruism with pragmatism. --Bruce Jacobs, founding partner, Watermark Books & Cafe, Wichita, Kan.

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