Some Rise by Sin by Philip Caputo

Let’s start with a summary of the story: Father Tim is a priest who has been posted to San Patricio, Mexico in the heart of cartel country. He is having a difficult time reconciling his religious principles with life on the ground, dictated as it is by the violence of the cartel.

Lisette Moreno is from a working class background and has spent her adult life pursuing and education and becoming a doctor. She got her education in Mexico and therefore has an obligation to put in part of the year working at a location determined by the Mexican government.

Lisette and Father Tim both feel responsibilities to the community they serve but they also both walk a fine line because they are forced to deal with the cartel, the politicians, the military and the police. Tim is also answerable to the church while Lisette has encouraged her lover, an art professor with mental health issues to join her in remote San Patricio.

It is said that the book is based on actual events. I enjoyed the book but as my regular readers know, I read Year of the Dog and The Cartel by Don Winslow recently (both 5+ star reads) and I had a very difficult time appreciating this book in the same way.

There were some striking similarities in the stories suggesting that both authors based their novels on the same events. I just felt Winslow did a better job of bringing the reader into the story and making the reader care about the people and events depicted.

Some Rise By Sin definitely spoke from the inner voice of Father Tim (and to a lesser extent Dr. Lisette) more than Winslow’s book, but I still felt the characters in the other book were deeper. This is the downside of reading two books based on the same subject matter so close together in time.
I can’t tell if my opinion about this book is entirely accurate or colored by how much I loved the other books. I wanted to love this book as much as the others but I just didn’t have the same feeling.

I know one of the things I did not like was the relationship between Lisette and her bi-polar art professor lover. It just didn’t feel genuine compared to Lisette’s devotion to her work and her down to earth attitude. I know people hook up with opposites but this went beyond that….it was simply unrealistic.

Please don’t be put off by my review. If the subject matter interests you, I encourage you to read all three books and make up your own mind. For me, this is a solid three star read. I just happened to love the other books about the same subject that much more.


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