The Shepherd’s Calculus – C.S. Farrelly

More political thrillers for October!

A big thanks to the publisher and author for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.

THE SHEPHERD’S CALCULUS – C.S. Farrelly (released October 3rd, 2017)


My Thoughts: 4/5 stars!

As many of you know, I’m a sucker for a political thriller. So when I read the synopsis for THE SHEPHERD’S CALCULUS by C.S. Farrelly, I was instantly intrigued. Normally I’m not a huge fan of religion being tied into books, but this one had a great balance as politics and religion become intertwined.

When Peter Merrick discovers his mentor has passed away, he is asked to write the eulogy for James Ingram – a Jesuit Priest. While he is already struggling with his faith, he begins to uncover mysterious things the Church has done – including ties to abuse and questionable dealings – and he is determined to get to the bottom of it. His digging brings him to discovering that there is a massive political tie to the current Presidential election.

Incumbent Arthur Wyncott is losing ground amount the religious voters and needs to find a way to turn that around. The head of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Owen Feeney, finds himself facing close to a billion dollars in payments that need to be distributed to victims of sexual abuse, but when he finds a solution, it could also fix Wyncott’s problems. Meanwhile, Wyncott’s campaign aide, Ally Larkin, begins to put the pieces together about what is really going on. “As the election draws closer and the stakes get higher, each choice becomes a calculation”

I loved the characters. They were well-developed and complex, especially considering this was a shorter novel (average for a thriller). I enjoyed the internal and moral debates/struggles of if you should trust your faith or your candidates/people of the Church. Farrelly does a great job of blurring that line between right and wrong for these characters. It was fun being brought to Wisconsin for some of the novel, I’m from Minnesota and have traveled through where Farrelly was describing!

Overall, if you want a very well-written and fast paced political thriller, then don’t hesitate to pick this one up! The ending was satisfying and tied everything together and the characters were believable. Both good and bad were just people acting on what they thought was right, or what would benefit them. It was an enjoyable read and I will be looking for more from C.S. Farrelly.


Do you like the political or religious thrillers? I feel like they’re topics that aren’t widely written about in this genre.


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