Beleaguered Truth Book Review

Messenger has created a truly sociopathic, monster of a character

Beleaguered Truth by William P. MessengerFollowing the aftermath of the murders, election results, and sinister revelation in 2012’s Shattered Triangle: A Consequential Murder, author William Messenger dives deeper into the psyche of his characters in book two of his trilogy, Beleaguered Truth. Each of his primary characters is beleaguered by their discoveries and actions from the first book — Giuseppe Lozano, in his self imposed isolation, is now a US Senator scheming his way up the political ladder; Giovanni Lozano, a Catholic priest whose struggle with the Seal of Confession is taking its physical and mental toll; and Tom Moran, who is piecing his life and career together after failing to apprehend the killer.

While the first novel was a traditional mystery novel as told from the detective’s perspective, Truth is more of a political drama told from the senator’s perspective with Machiavellian insights into Washington’s political intrigue and events leading up to 9/11 and the Iraq war. Switching narrators is a smart move on Messenger’s part as the first novel clearly established the Lozanos and Moran as having deeply interconnected lives. The narrative deftly weaves real life into these characters, from Giuseppe’s encounters with Dick Cheney and Senator Byrd to Giovanni’s involvement in the Los Angeles religious community (complete with fictional counterparts to real life people) and Tom’s recruitment with counter terrorism task force.

At times, the novel can be a little preachy, especially when it comes to discussing the justification for waging war on Iraq — Giuseppe discusses with his confidante and Giovanni debates with members of his religious circle — but, Messenger is well versed in the topic and it is smartly written.

Similar to the previous novel, Messenger gets caught up in many tiny details. Although it’s easy to skim over, it is in these meticulous details where Giuseppe’s villainy shines. Messenger has created a truly sociopathic, monster of a character, whose narration is completely unreliable. Am I being manipulated? What is this guy really up to? Does he really want to pursue the presidency? Why? Does he really miss his family? And we are left to speculate in the dark along with the other characters about a new set of suspicious murders.

I’m looking forward to seeing the priest’s perspective in Messenger’s upcoming third novel.

★★★★ 4.0 out of 5 stars

Beleaguered Truth is available from Black Rose Writing.