Some Rise by Sin: A Novel by Philip Caputo

Some Rise by Sin: A Novel

New York Times bestselling author Philip Caputo tells the story of a Franciscan priest struggling to walk a moral path through the shifting and fatal realities of an isolated Mexican villageThe Mexican village of San Patricio is being menaced by a bizarre, cultish drug cartel infamous for its brutality. As the townspeople try to defend themselves by forming a vigilante gro...

Title:Some Rise by Sin: A Novel
Author:
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ISBN:1627794743
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:352 pages

Some Rise by Sin: A Novel Reviews

  • Sam Sattler
    Feb 10, 2017

    Over the years, Philip Caputo has earned a reputation as a master storyteller. Caputo’s novels are as character-driven as they are plot-driven, and that finely tuned balance seldom fails to make them memorable and moving reads. Regular Caputo readers have come to expect nothing less from the author by now, and Some Rise by Sin, his latest novel, will not disappoint them.

    Father Timothy Riordan, a Harley-riding Franciscan friar, has been exiled by his Order to the small, isolated town of San Patr

    Over the years, Philip Caputo has earned a reputation as a master storyteller. Caputo’s novels are as character-driven as they are plot-driven, and that finely tuned balance seldom fails to make them memorable and moving reads. Regular Caputo readers have come to expect nothing less from the author by now, and Some Rise by Sin, his latest novel, will not disappoint them.

    Father Timothy Riordan, a Harley-riding Franciscan friar, has been exiled by his Order to the small, isolated town of San Patricio, Mexico, where he maintains a church and lives with two other priests. The only other American expat in the town is Dr. Lisette Moreno, a divorcee who studied medicine in Mexico and wants to work where she can make a real difference in the lives of her patients and their families. By now, Riordan and Lisette have settled into the slower pace of life they expected to find in San Patricio, but all of that changes when a local vigilante group and a ruthless drug lord, La Mariposa, go to war.

    For Lisette, other than making travel to remote Indian villages in the area more difficult and more dangerous than before, life continues to go on much as it always has from her base clinic in San Patricio. She remains determined to bring medical treatment to as many of the country’s poor, especially the children, as possible, and she readily accepts the new travel risks that come with the territory. It would not, however, be nearly so simple for Riordan.

    Because the local economy that has supported the region for generations is a failing one, San Patricio is ripe recruiting territory for a drug lord needing young men to sustain and expand his operation. The area is a predominately Catholic one, and because even the young men now beating and killing for the drug king fear spending an eternity in hell, they tell Riordan things in the confessional box that they dare tell no one else. The young men believe that the sanctity of the confessional will protect them from the law, and Riordan is determined not to violate their trust in him and the church.

    But when San Patricio begins to tear itself apart as brutal murder follows brutal murder, Father Riordan is faced with the moral dilemma of his life. By maintaining the sanctity of the confessional, has he become a mere accomplice in the murders of his own parishioners, making it even more likely that more and more of them will suffer and die? When the local police and the army team up to demand that Riordan reveal the secrets he learns in the confessional, the priest finds that the decision he has to make is not as easy as he had expected it would be.

    Some Rise by Sin is a story of good versus evil, but as Father Riordan learns for himself, it is not always easy to tell the two apart.

  • Gary
    Mar 19, 2017

    There are echoes here of Graham Greene's The Power and the Glory: a gringo priest struggling with a crisis of faith and conscience in a dangerous Latin-American setting. But Some Rise By Sin tells its own story.

    Tim Riordan is a middle-aged American Franciscan priest who has come to share the responsibilities of a small village parish in Mexico. There is continual tension due to the power of the local drug gangs; the one currently holding sway over the area is known as The Brotherhood, led by a

    There are echoes here of Graham Greene's The Power and the Glory: a gringo priest struggling with a crisis of faith and conscience in a dangerous Latin-American setting. But Some Rise By Sin tells its own story.

    Tim Riordan is a middle-aged American Franciscan priest who has come to share the responsibilities of a small village parish in Mexico. There is continual tension due to the power of the local drug gangs; the one currently holding sway over the area is known as The Brotherhood, led by a mysterious figure who runs his operation much like a religious cult. Determined to track down the The Brotherhood's leadership and destroy it, the army and federal police have established a strong presence. Riordan sees his calling as doing what he must to protect his sheep from the ruthless wolves who can be found on both sides.

    But if he had illusions of somehow remaining completely virtuous and unstained in his mediation, they are quickly shattered when the military/federales pressure him into become their informant and pawn.

    The characters in Some Rise By Sin are well-drawn, and the storyline and moral dilemmas compelling. I was eager each time I picked up the book to see how things developed.

    I just have a couple of quibbles. A subplot involves a gringa doctor who runs the only medical clinic in town. She is in a same-sex relationship with a younger artist, also American, who has mental health issues, and they use her occasional visits to sort out what the future of their relationship might be. But while the doctor herself proves integral to the plot, the time spent on the relationship between the two really doesn't contribute much at all. At times, they enjoy each other's company, at others they feel at odds. Well, so does everyone in everyone in every relationship. When the artist meets Fr. Riordan and learns some paintings in the church in need retouching, she offers her skills. But that ends up not amounting to anything either. No relationship of any substance is established between him and her. It almost feels like the author originally had plans to develop a more intricate plot line involving the artist, but for whatever reason decided to cut it back, and it just fizzles.

    Secondly, as a former member of the clergy myself I can be very critical of clerical portrayals in literature. Overall, Fr. Riordan is portrayed very authentically and very well. He seems like a real priest. But I have to say he seems pretty naive for his age in the spiritual dilemmas he is wrestling with. From his experiences, I would have expected him to have had been familiar with such dilemmas--though, of course, he may not have completely figured them our--at an earlier age (maybe a decade earlier). Furthermore, a Franciscan owning a chrome-accented Harley? I wonder how he got that past the head of his order.

  • RMazin
    Apr 05, 2017

    San Patricio is a small Mexican town besieged by drug cartels, corrupt police and poverty. Two Americans, one by choice the other by church decree are there to make a difference. Lisette Moreno is a doctor who could easily have a practice stateside but chooses to bring medical care to those least likely to receive it – the poor and rural areas of San Patricio. Father Timothy Riordan has been sent to San Patricio because of his actions involving a church matter back in the states. Along with the

    San Patricio is a small Mexican town besieged by drug cartels, corrupt police and poverty. Two Americans, one by choice the other by church decree are there to make a difference. Lisette Moreno is a doctor who could easily have a practice stateside but chooses to bring medical care to those least likely to receive it – the poor and rural areas of San Patricio. Father Timothy Riordan has been sent to San Patricio because of his actions involving a church matter back in the states. Along with the local clergy, he finds a never-ending stream of parishioners victimized by sex, family, lack of opportunity, poverty, gangs, police and cartels. He sees little chance to meaningfully console them or to improve their lives.

    As bad as things are in San Patricio, they soon become worse with the escalation of violence stoked by La Mariposa, the cartel leader and a vengeful police force. With both sides seeking retribution the stakes get higher for Moreno, who administers to whoever is in need and Riordan, through his position as confessor. Riordan is also haunted by a past moral failing that propels him to be both reckless and cautious in his relationships with all sides. Moreno’s life is further complicated because not only is she a woman doctor in a paternalistic world, but she is also in a relationship with an enigmatic woman, an American artist.

    Caputo takes this village and pries the lid off so the dark underside is revealed. Characters must make choices from several options that do not have any good outcomes….only seemingly lesser evils. This is a book about seeking justice, wanting to do right, and putting others first – but not without a terrible inward struggle. It is for the reader to discover what courage may accomplish or if faith can achieve a moment of grace. Highly recommended.

  • Nancy
    May 04, 2017

    "...I damned myself by cooperating, and now I wish to make up for it and save my soul."

    "If I were you, I'd be thinking about saving my fucking life, not my soul."

    Father Riordan, a Franciscan priest, has been sent to the Sonoran Desert in Mexico where he has learned that things can always get worse. The police chief of his parish, San Patricio, has been assassinated and the village is caught in the war between a corrupt police department and a drug cartel gang hiding in the Sierra Madre mountains

    "...I damned myself by cooperating, and now I wish to make up for it and save my soul."

    "If I were you, I'd be thinking about saving my fucking life, not my soul."

    Father Riordan, a Franciscan priest, has been sent to the Sonoran Desert in Mexico where he has learned that things can always get worse. The police chief of his parish, San Patricio, has been assassinated and the village is caught in the war between a corrupt police department and a drug cartel gang hiding in the Sierra Madre mountains.

    The age-old question has always been: If God is good, why is there suffering and evil? 60,000 murders in six years have brought Riordan past doubt; he is losing his faith altogether.

    As a young priest in Guatemala, Riordan preached liberation theology. He had faced guns in the hands of corrupt authorities before. Now a Mexican Federal agent insists he cooperates as an informer, sharing what he hears in the confessional booth to identify drug gang members.

    Riordan must decide if breaking his vows is justified, even to identify rapists and murderers. It would mean being defrocked. And if he still believes, committing his eternal soul to damnation. Can doing the wrong thing for the right reason help his people? How best can he provide safety for his sheep?

    Some Rise By Sin by Philip Caputo made me very thoughtful. His portrait of Mexico, a beautiful country that has become a "moral wilderness" is vivid.

    In Caputo's Mexico NAFTA has ruined small orchard owners. Migrants heading north are kidnapped, then executed if the ransoms are unpaid. Young people get sucked into the drug mafia for easy money and luxuries, unable to ever get out--alive.

    "Love does a lot, money everything. Making it is like eating nachos. Once you start, you can't stop until the bowl is empty. And then you order more."

    The novel begins slow paced, focused on Riordan's internal life and thoughts, but rises to an action climax worthy of a thriller. The resolution comes suddenly and may leave readers unsatisfied. I found it profound, but then I am coming from a background familiar with theology and faith issues, and the symbolism of Riordan's choice resonates with me.

    I received a free ebook from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

  • Chaya Nebel
    May 06, 2017

    This very interesting novel centers on Father Timothy Riordan, an American Fransiscan friar with a Harley, and the challenges he faces while living in San Patricio, Mexico. One of these challenges is dealing with a vigilante group in the town, as well as staving off and dealing with the effects of a ruthless drug lord. Both factions go to war, with Riordan in the middle.

    Lisette Moreno is another American expat who works in the town as a doctor, brining much-needed medical care to the poor. She f

    This very interesting novel centers on Father Timothy Riordan, an American Fransiscan friar with a Harley, and the challenges he faces while living in San Patricio, Mexico. One of these challenges is dealing with a vigilante group in the town, as well as staving off and dealing with the effects of a ruthless drug lord. Both factions go to war, with Riordan in the middle.

    Lisette Moreno is another American expat who works in the town as a doctor, brining much-needed medical care to the poor. She faces her own challenges.

    This is a story of good vs evil, and one man's spiritual challenges in the face of many physical ones. It's also a story of the challenges of sometimes not being able to distinguish between good and evil, and also learning how and when to fight. Riordan finds himself caught between the two factions, and the frightening challenges of trying to protect the town from both sides.

    The characters are well-drawn, with dilemmas and storylines that interesting and realistic.

    Thank you to the author and publisher for a review copy.

  • Sharlene
    May 21, 2017

    San Patricio is a small Mexican village so typical of the situation in that country today. It is menaced by a cultish drug cartel, & as the people try to defend themselves, the Mexican army appears becoming another problem for them. Tim Riordan is an American priest who loves the people but life is not easy for him. He must decide whose side he'll be on. Lisette Moreno is a doctor with a free clinic making house calls to impoverished areas around the town. This novel is based on actual event

    San Patricio is a small Mexican village so typical of the situation in that country today. It is menaced by a cultish drug cartel, & as the people try to defend themselves, the Mexican army appears becoming another problem for them. Tim Riordan is an American priest who loves the people but life is not easy for him. He must decide whose side he'll be on. Lisette Moreno is a doctor with a free clinic making house calls to impoverished areas around the town. This novel is based on actual events & will take the reader into a world that is hard to imagine from our easy lives here. Caputo's characters all have find out who they are. Journey along side them.

  • Glenn Roberts
    Jun 07, 2017

    I have enjoyed Caputo's books for years. The first war he wrote of was my war and so

    and

    are part of the canon. Some of Caputo's other books deal with warfare in Africa and the Middle East. I see now he's written another a new one,

    , about Vietnam which I now have on reserve at the library. One of my favorites of his is

    about African lions without the huge mane. Interesting non-fiction.

    is about the dru

    I have enjoyed Caputo's books for years. The first war he wrote of was my war and so

    and

    are part of the canon. Some of Caputo's other books deal with warfare in Africa and the Middle East. I see now he's written another a new one,

    , about Vietnam which I now have on reserve at the library. One of my favorites of his is

    about African lions without the huge mane. Interesting non-fiction.

    is about the drug war in Mexico and a priest's war with his religion. Enjoy.

  • Rick
    Jun 16, 2017

    A very solid novel about violence and redemption in a rural narcotics infested Mexican village. Caputo is a very solid novelist and his depiction of a village under siege from drug dealers, corrupt policeman and a brutal military reads true to me and that makes it pretty horrifying. Two American expatriates a troubled Catholic priest and a female doctor(who happens to be a lesbian) struggle to bring some level of relief to the residents of a small Mexican village. Somewhat by the numbers but the

    A very solid novel about violence and redemption in a rural narcotics infested Mexican village. Caputo is a very solid novelist and his depiction of a village under siege from drug dealers, corrupt policeman and a brutal military reads true to me and that makes it pretty horrifying. Two American expatriates a troubled Catholic priest and a female doctor(who happens to be a lesbian) struggle to bring some level of relief to the residents of a small Mexican village. Somewhat by the numbers but the book still worked for me.

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