I wrestled with the contrast between Chavez’s steady faith and the harsh situations in which he finds himself, but ultimately I was fascinated by one of the book’s underlying questions: what happens in the darkest corners of the real world when someone takes his faith very seriously? When the Los Angeles DA’s office runs out of leads in the murder of a migrant worker with ties to Chavez’s parish, the young priest doesn’t just offer prayers—he takes action. Cynical DA Michael Story just wants to make sure he comes out of the scandal looking good, but Chavez knows that doing the right thing isn’t always pretty. He’s the real public servant here: he’s worried about the next person who needs help, not the next rung on the political ladder.
Chavez’s struggle for justice still has me captivated—no matter what comes next for this complex, conflicted character, I’m along for the ride.
- Kjersti Egerdahl, Editor