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Tillabooks: Will's Book Blog

Sunday, March 20, 2005

The Third Funeral by Kevin Bowen

The Third Funeral by Kevin Bowen. Port Townsend, Washington: Engage Publishing, 2003. ISBN: 1-930892-14-4

This and the two previous blog entries are for books that I was assigned to read in order to provide capsule oral reviews for a Washington Library Association program featuring small press books. This was definitely the least favorite book from those that I read for the program. Overtly Christian fiction is not my schtick, and the religion here just seem artificially tacked on, as though the author decided that every so many pages we need a brief injection of Christianity. Not only that, the plot and storyline are frankly not very believable, and what is worse, the book isn't very well written either.

Besides which, one of the main characters goes by the name Will, short for William, except that the author perversely insists on spelling it "Wil" with only one "L," which as anyone who has ever encountered the name knows, is NOT the correct way to spell it. Since this is my own name, seeing it spelled in this ridiculous way was like the sound of fingernails scraping a blackboard, every single time I saw it in print.

Even so, once the story gets off the ground, it is admittedly somewhat of a page turner, with lots of twists and turns, action, and suspense. An airliner crashes into an oil refinery under mysterious circumstances, killing one of the airline's crooked executives, along with everyone else on board. Just as the rest of the nefarious airline honchos think they're succeeding in covering up their culpability, someone starts mysteriously leaking information to Will's wife, Hope, one of our other leading characters, who just happens to be an investigative journalist.

Then Hope and her young son are kidnapped, and we suspect the airline company, but no, it's a psychotic power-mad former presidential advisor and politico, who had a run-in with her husband in the author's previous novel, and is now after revenge, AND a multi-million dollar ransom. This makes absolutely no sense within the context of the present novel, but I suppose it might work for those who've read the previous title, Wil's Bones, which I, however, have not read, and have no intention of reading.

The book is only slightly recommended for libraries with a strong demand for Christian fiction, and/or action thrillers where the level of writing is less important than the combination of these other elements. Not recommended for general readers.


  • Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:38 PM  

  • Hey,

    This is a inquiry for the webmaster/admin here at tillabooks.blogspot.com.

    Can I use part of the information from this post right above if I give a backlink back to this website?


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:17 AM  

  • Certainly, but my preference would be that you link to this specific posting, not to the website in general, since my review, you'll have to admit, is pretty mixed, and my guess is, you only want to quote the "good" parts.

    Will Stuivenga, the reviewer

    By Blogger Will, at 11:10 AM  

  • Hi there,

    Thanks for sharing this link - but unfortunately it seems to be down? Does anybody here at tillabooks.blogspot.com have a mirror or another source?


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:44 PM  

  • If you're talking about the links to Engage Publishing, and the link to the book titles in the posting, unfortunately, you're right. They no longer appear to be active. I did some hasty Google searching, and couldn't find anything. So my assumption is that they've gone out of business, at least under that name. If anyone has better information, please feel free to post it here!

    By Blogger Will, at 11:59 PM  

  • Hey - I am certainly glad to discover this. Good job!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:58 AM  

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