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on 3 October 2012
I am deeply fascinated by the fundamentalist communities of the polygamist Mormons portrayed in the Righteous series, evoked so well by Wallace. In this book, we see darker themes emerge in the life of Jacob, the prophet who denies his calling and Eliza, his independent sister. The Kimball family continue their murderous rampage with a plot to kill those they believe are not living in the right path and Jacob is tested as the violence now threatens those he loves most. This fast paced book continues with the high body count of the series and I zipped through it, loving the character development as well as the plot. It ends the story well but opens the series up further with some key deaths and new plot twists. Excellent!
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VINE VOICEon 20 October 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is the fourth book in the righteous series and I started reading hoping it would be as good as book 3. Intially I thought it was a bit slow and there were an awful lot of strands making it slightly confusing, but about halfway through the book the pace really picks up. When I say pick up, I mean it turns into an on the edge of your seat roller coaster ride. This time Taylor Kimbell Junior has resurfaced and is on a maniacal journey to kill off all those whom he thought had done him wrong. He also believes that Eliza is his wife and he is coming to get her back. The second half of the book is really explosive and the final part is the best I have ever read. I was literally holding my breath to see who would survive and what would happen. I am trying to give you a flavour of the intensity of the book without giving too much away. I would highly recommend this book, but I would advise you to read them in sequence in order to get the full picture. Book 5 is out in 2013 and I for one cannot wait to see what happens next.
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on 30 March 2013
This fourth book of the Righteous series continues on the themes and foundations built upon in the previous three books, and continues to provide a fascinating and realistic view of fundamentalist Mormon life, that is complemented by the core crime thriller storyline.
A large part of the fascination of these books for me, as someone who is interested in all aspects of the fact and fiction relating to polygamous Mormon culture, is the way that this series shakes up the reader's understanding of the lifestyle itself, the views of the younger generation raised within it, and gives insights into how things may change and evolve within these communities in the future.

For those interested in Utah's Mormon foundations, fundamentalist LDS sects, crime dramas and fresh takes on fascinating societies and religious organisations, The Blessed and the Damned is a strong mid-series work. Start from book one of the series to really appreciate the full picture painted by this book, although all of the books in this series are highly readable as standalone novels.

This book is perhaps stretching the bounds of credulity slightly in terms of the actions and direction that the tale of the main protagonist takes, and has somewhat diverged from the core tenets of the previous books in the series, in that the focal points of the story in the first three books were more about life in an LDS sect with a crime/thriller twist and the beginnings of character formation, whereas this book is more about the action/adventure/crime side, set against a fundamentalist LDS background.

That being said, this progression is natural and to be expected from the foundations paved in the first three books, the tapestry woven by the background tale is rich, and The Blessed and the Damned manages to step the story up a gear and carry the story forwards in a meaningful way.

Those picking this book up as a standalone tome may struggle to keep up without the context that is provided in the earlier books in the series, but as a mid-series novel, it certainly bears up to scrutiny and is engaging and eminently readable without having the 'filler' quality that mid-placed books in longer sagas often do.
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I moved straight on to The Blessed And The Damned from The Wicked. Initially I found it wasn't holding my attention the way The Wicked did and I thought maybe I'd overdosed on the good fight so I put it down and went away to do other things. I picked it up later and a few pages in I got so engrossed I couldn't put it down until I finished it. So, it is slow to start and you may feel, as I did, rather disengaged but the second half is high octane action and worth the perseverance.
I don't like to discuss the plot as the synopsis generally covers it and I don't want to inadvertently throw in any spoilers so all I will say is that this book is a bit more mystical and disturbing than the others. It certainly gave me much to think about - the nature of belief amongst other things.
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VINE VOICEon 26 September 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
im new to this series although i dont think it spoilt the books story to have jumped in on number 4 in the series. it is set in the mormon faith and has an interesting storyline to it ,it had enough twists to keep me interested to the end and i think i will go back and read the rest of the series on the strength of this one, so alls good . as for it being true to the faith ?? well you never know unless you have lived it so i read with an open mind and with fiction in mind . although it has probably been well researched im sure , but fiction should be veiwed imo as just that
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on 6 February 2013
I have really enjoyed this series - taking me into the LDS community, about which I knew very little other than from the occasional knock on the door by two be-suited gentlemen who normally left when they realised I work for a mainstream Christian denomination.

The setting and background are important to the storyline, which is as engaging and action-packed as you could wish for in a crime thriller. It's important to read the series in order - but read them you should :)
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on 21 November 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
'The Blessed and the Damned' is the fourth book in 'The Righteous' series, and once again, the author brings us a cracking, pacy read.

Once this series captures the public imagination over here, it's going to establish Michael Wallace in the top ranks of thriller writers.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
After reading the first 3 of the `Righteous' series I promised myself not to read any future episodes as each book declined further and became more tortuous than the previous and my disappointment deepened. Initially there were fascinating and meaningful insights to various Mormon sects overlaying the storyline, but now `The Blessed And The Damned' has degenerated to being just a convoluted outpouring of implausible wham, bam and scram exploits. There is an action packed climax and there are attempted explanations but regrettably loose ends have been deliberately left hanging. These will no doubt excite Michael Wallace fans, but I've made my mind up not to read any sequel - again!
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Fabulous read. Have now read all this series and can't wait until next one comes out in October 2014. Hope there will be more to come.
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on 6 May 2014
Page turning series with a different sort of detective and storyline. Page turning and can't wait for the next book.
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