A Matter of Honor


Fiction - Mystery - Murder
276 Pages
Reviewed on 09/24/2019
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite

A Matter of Honor by George R. Hopkins is a great read for fans of murder, mystery, and thrillers and it is exciting how this author melds three genres into a single story. A priest discovers a victim of murder in his church but does nothing about it. Instead, he is pressed in traveling to Colombia in search of a missing boy, and this alone makes him a prime suspect in the murder. He is a target of a sex trafficking and drug cartel that will stop at nothing to see him go down. But how does he explain the murder in his church and why it happened just as he travels? It is left to Fr. Jack Bennis’ brother, Tom Cavanaugh, a former NYC homicide detective, to prove the priest’s innocence. But he is getting himself into murky waters and it is not long before he discovers that they are involved in far more than they ever imagined and that the danger is too real.

A Matter of Honor is a suspenseful narrative that is cunningly developed. The fact that a priest leaves a murder victim in his church and heads out for a missing boy makes the story somewhat unbelievable, but as the reader gets acquainted with the protagonist, they begin to understand his frame of mind and inner tension. The pathos is strong and readers quickly learn to care for the characters. George R. Hopkins has a unique gift for storytelling, one that is enriched by the clear narrative voice and the gorgeous prose. The conflict is strong, pitting a religious man against ruthless hooligans and I enjoyed the moral implications of the story. It is real. It is filled with humanity. It is utterly delightful.

Deborah Lloyd

As Father Jack Bennis was locking the doors for the night in his parish church on Staten Island, New York, he saw a man sitting in a pew. He told him it was time to leave but the man did not move. Fr. Jack soon discovered the man was dead. This was the first of a series of murders on the island. Both he and his brother, private investigator Tom Cavanaugh, became entangled in the serial killer’s web. At the same time, Fr. Jack had received word that young Chico in Cartagena, Colombia had disappeared. He felt responsible for the wellbeing of the young boy, as he had left him in another’s charge during an earlier trip. While in Colombia, he followed Chico’s trail and extricated him from dangerous criminals. Upon his return to Staten Island, the killings continued, with Fr. Jack and Tom playing major roles in the quest to stop them. In A Matter of Honor, written by George R. Hopkins, an exciting adventure unfolds.

The story engages the reader from the first page to the last. The story is fast-paced and has many heart-stopping moments. The author develops the two main characters, Fr. Jack and Tom, well; he shows the emotional sides of both. Fr. Jack’s love and commitment to several people illustrate the human qualities of a priest. Likewise, Tom adores his wife Fran and their baby Stephen. As the author moves the story back and forth from New York to Colombia, the reader can follow along easily, as his writing is clear and concise. Author George R. Hopkins has packed many exciting moments into A Matter of Honor. All mystery readers will love it!

K.C. Finn

A Matter of Honor is a work of murder mystery fiction and intrigue and was penned by author George R. Hopkins. Set across different countries with a clash of cultures and influences, this intriguing drama examines the nature of honor and the difficulties that follow after the discovery of a violent crime. A pair of brothers, one a priest and the other a former homicide detective, both discover how far they are willing to go when one of them is accused of murder. As the accused Father Jack Bennis battles with cartels in Colombia to find a child and a woman who mean a great deal to him, his brother Tom tries to clear his name, which only leads to more trouble.

Author George R. Hopkins writes in an accessible style which is easy to get into immediately. I particularly liked his skills with dialogue, which instantly characterized many of the harsh figures from the church, and then the even harsher ones that appear when Jack arrives in Colombia. The novel is very much a tale of two halves, written simply and without frills. Whilst I personally might have liked a little more flourish to build atmosphere, fans of strait-laced mystery and crime dramas are certain to love the tense pacing of the tale and the tightly packed plot that reveals its many secrets and surprises well. Overall, A Matter of Honor is a really enjoyable novel with instantly vivid characters and a solid yet unexpected series of plot events.

Lit Amri

In A Matter of Honor by George R. Hopkins, Father Jack Bennis discovers the body of a man in a pew while locking up the church for the night. The man's eyes were gouged out-they were later found in his pocket. Soon the place is swarming with police and detectives. Jack calls his brother, Tom Cavanaugh, a former NYC homicide detective, to deliver the news. Despite his brother's advice, the priest travels to Colombia to find a missing boy called Chico. His abrupt departure makes him the main suspect in the murder case and he finds himself facing dangerous sex traffickers as well as a drug cartel. Back on Staten Island, private investigator Tom is working on the murder case which is starting to point to a serial killer. He’s finding valuable leads but they could cost him his life and his family.

The narrative is clear-cut and engaging in true Hopkins's style of murder, hard crimes, suspense and a bit of romance. Tom’s investigation into the grisly murders and Jack Bennis’s mission to find Chico provides some intense action against a serial killer, drug dealers, traffickers, and the mafia. Several crimes, especially the ones that involved young kids and torture, were upsetting and hard to read but they gave credibility and depth to the storyline. The characterization and the settings are commendable and the plotting is tight. I was more intrigued by Tom’s part of the story as his investigation kept leading him dangerously to the truth. His feud with Detective Perez, his effort to clear Jack’s name plus dealing with a persistent, ambitious reporter easily amplified the tension. Overall, Hopkins’s A Matter of Honor is a gripping read and long-time fans of Hopkins's Bennis-Cavanaugh series won't be disappointed.