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A young John Jordan confronts the Atlanta Child Murderer and meets one of the greatest detectives to ever carry a badge. Go back to the very beginning with one of crime fiction's most fascinating and unique detectives. INNOCENT BLOOD -- the 7th in the popular, award-winning, and critically-acclaimed John Jordan mystery series. With a Special Introduction by Michael Connell A young John Jordan confronts the Atlanta Child Murderer and meets one of the greatest detectives to ever carry a badge. Go back to the very beginning with one of crime fiction's most fascinating and unique detectives. INNOCENT BLOOD -- the 7th in the popular, award-winning, and critically-acclaimed John Jordan mystery series. With a Special Introduction by Michael Connelly Every great character has a past. Few are as entertaining, as thrilling, or as tragic as that of ex-cop turned prison chaplain John Jordan. When he was twelve years old he came face to face with the man who would be convicted of the Atlanta Child Murders. Six years later, John returned to Atlanta determined to discover who was truly responsible for all the slaughtered innocents. But first he must ascertain whether or not LaMarcus Williams belongs on the infamous list of missing and murdered children. The questions in the case are many, the answers few. Who Killed LaMarcus Williams? How was he abducted from his own backyard while his mom and sister watched him? Is he a victim of the Atlanta Child Murderer that didn't make the list or is his killer still out there, still operating with impunity? Experience the events that shaped one of the most unique characters in all of crime fiction. Accompany John during his first spiritual awakenings, his first battles with alcoholism, his first forays and fallings into love, and his very first murder investigation. Get answers and gain insight into the investigator, the minister, the man. See how John Jordan took his first faltering steps toward becoming the man he is today. Every great character has a past, but it's not often you're allowed to witness it the way you will John Jordan's in the portrait of a detective as a young man that is Innocent Blood. "Michael Lister is a giant talent with a unique vision. His landmark John Jordan Mystery series is a treasure of contemporary literature." Florida Weekly


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A young John Jordan confronts the Atlanta Child Murderer and meets one of the greatest detectives to ever carry a badge. Go back to the very beginning with one of crime fiction's most fascinating and unique detectives. INNOCENT BLOOD -- the 7th in the popular, award-winning, and critically-acclaimed John Jordan mystery series. With a Special Introduction by Michael Connell A young John Jordan confronts the Atlanta Child Murderer and meets one of the greatest detectives to ever carry a badge. Go back to the very beginning with one of crime fiction's most fascinating and unique detectives. INNOCENT BLOOD -- the 7th in the popular, award-winning, and critically-acclaimed John Jordan mystery series. With a Special Introduction by Michael Connelly Every great character has a past. Few are as entertaining, as thrilling, or as tragic as that of ex-cop turned prison chaplain John Jordan. When he was twelve years old he came face to face with the man who would be convicted of the Atlanta Child Murders. Six years later, John returned to Atlanta determined to discover who was truly responsible for all the slaughtered innocents. But first he must ascertain whether or not LaMarcus Williams belongs on the infamous list of missing and murdered children. The questions in the case are many, the answers few. Who Killed LaMarcus Williams? How was he abducted from his own backyard while his mom and sister watched him? Is he a victim of the Atlanta Child Murderer that didn't make the list or is his killer still out there, still operating with impunity? Experience the events that shaped one of the most unique characters in all of crime fiction. Accompany John during his first spiritual awakenings, his first battles with alcoholism, his first forays and fallings into love, and his very first murder investigation. Get answers and gain insight into the investigator, the minister, the man. See how John Jordan took his first faltering steps toward becoming the man he is today. Every great character has a past, but it's not often you're allowed to witness it the way you will John Jordan's in the portrait of a detective as a young man that is Innocent Blood. "Michael Lister is a giant talent with a unique vision. His landmark John Jordan Mystery series is a treasure of contemporary literature." Florida Weekly

30 review for Innocent Blood

  1. 5 out of 5

    Monnie

    Ever since the first book I read in the John Jordan series by Michael Lister, I've been a huge fan. Admittedly, I've read only three prior to this one, but I'm far from done. This one, which is the seventh in the series, easily gets 5 stars from me once again - and it also has the distinction of being one of the saddest books I've ever read. Although the author says it's best to read them all in order (a piece of advice with which I always agree), he adds that each can stand alone (I agree with t Ever since the first book I read in the John Jordan series by Michael Lister, I've been a huge fan. Admittedly, I've read only three prior to this one, but I'm far from done. This one, which is the seventh in the series, easily gets 5 stars from me once again - and it also has the distinction of being one of the saddest books I've ever read. Although the author says it's best to read them all in order (a piece of advice with which I always agree), he adds that each can stand alone (I agree with this as well). That's perhaps even more true of this one; it's written as a prequel that takes readers back to Jordan's very first investigation - one that had a profound impact on the who and what he was to become. We see Jordan as a young man trying to sort out his intense interest in becoming a chaplain or a law enforcement officer and exploring whether combining the two would be a possibility. For the time being, he's left home for Atlanta - in the progress ignoring his police officer father's wishes for the first time in his life - to enroll in a church-run school for ministers. Actually, the story began when John was 12, when he bumped heads with a man who was convicted of murdering some children in Atlanta. Never quite certain of the man's guilt, when John returned to Atlanta for school, he vowed to investigate further. As he gets started, he gets a call and a bit of advice from none other than Harry Bosch, a friend of his father (and, for those who might not know, the character in a best-selling series by Michael Connelly). In Atlanta, he befriends a couple of disadvantaged boys as well as the owner of a local daycare center whose young son was snatched from her back yard and murdered several years earlier. Her daughter, the boy's older stepsister, also works at the center; all I'll say about that is that the course of true love never runs smooth. As he learns more about the situation - including a suspicion that all the murders may be somehow connected - John vows to keep investigating until he finds the murderer. The course of that, too, is far from smooth, putting him at odds with some nasty characters and taking his mind to some very dark places. The ending is both surprising and definitely not pleasant for readers and disturbing, to say the least, to John. All in all, the book is a crucial part of the series and one that shouldn't be missed.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dee Arr

    Truthfully, I was a little put off with the Front Matter of this book (“How to read the John Jordan Blood Series”). I hadn’t read my first word of any of author Michael Lister’s books, and the introductory explanation seemed presumptuous. I couldn’t have been more wrong with my initial reaction. The initial item that grabbed my attention was the author’s use of words to make the reader think past what was written. On the first page, the discovery of a child’s murder site is enhanced with “It was s Truthfully, I was a little put off with the Front Matter of this book (“How to read the John Jordan Blood Series”). I hadn’t read my first word of any of author Michael Lister’s books, and the introductory explanation seemed presumptuous. I couldn’t have been more wrong with my initial reaction. The initial item that grabbed my attention was the author’s use of words to make the reader think past what was written. On the first page, the discovery of a child’s murder site is enhanced with “It was said that by the time his body was discovered, a vine from a nearby tree had already wrapped itself around the boy’s lifeless neck.” Whether true or not, this description of what is probably the beginning of an urban legend paints a horrific picture and provides another layer of story with only a few words. Mr. Lister demonstrates this talent in other areas of his book. One of the most powerful elements is the character portrait of John Jordan. He is not a modern-day Sherlock Holmes. While the author demonstrates Jordan’s great promise, this is an eighteen-year-old who is also prone to making youthful mistakes. Mr. Lister never forgets this, presenting a description of Jordan’s accomplishments as well as his failures. Although this book was my introduction to Michael Lister and his detective John Jordan, the author has been writing this series for twenty years. “Innocent Blood” is a prequal to the series, offering a view of Jordan’s early life to long-term fans and a starting point for new readers like myself. The story contains all the elements necessary to a great book: deep characterizations, a number of realistic twists, and the chance for readers to follow along and attempt to deduce where the guilt will eventually fall. One scene in particular became the most chilling scene I have read in a long time. If you are a fan of mysteries, this is an entertaining book and a good introduction for new Michael Lister fans. Five stars.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Kindle version. John Jordan finishes high school with a choice to make. His father was a cop and has always guided him in that direction, but he is debating studying the ministry. As a young man in Atlanta, he came face to face with the serial killer who was eventually charged with murdering several black children. He spent years studying that case. As a young man attending bible college, he puts his investigative talents to work. He convinces local authorities that there may have been more than Kindle version. John Jordan finishes high school with a choice to make. His father was a cop and has always guided him in that direction, but he is debating studying the ministry. As a young man in Atlanta, he came face to face with the serial killer who was eventually charged with murdering several black children. He spent years studying that case. As a young man attending bible college, he puts his investigative talents to work. He convinces local authorities that there may have been more than one killer involved, and concentrates on a specific local murder. The pattern of the serial killer is not there. After many suspects, a budding romance, and several brushes with death, the ending is a shocking surprise.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Joyce

    John Jordan, as a youngster, met Wayne Williams, the Atlanta serial killer. As a result of that meeting, his father’s being a Police Officer, and his own personal curiosity about the series of child murders, he became somewhat obsessed with the crimes. He, after graduating from High School, goes to Atlanta to study for the ministry under a Preacher who had been contacted by someone believed to be a participant in the murders. He also begins his own investigation into the murders and others that John Jordan, as a youngster, met Wayne Williams, the Atlanta serial killer. As a result of that meeting, his father’s being a Police Officer, and his own personal curiosity about the series of child murders, he became somewhat obsessed with the crimes. He, after graduating from High School, goes to Atlanta to study for the ministry under a Preacher who had been contacted by someone believed to be a participant in the murders. He also begins his own investigation into the murders and others that he believes may have been committed by another killer. The plot is complex and the characters relatively well developed. John Jordan is the major protagonist in a series of novels from the same author and this was written as a background explanation for the way Jordan evolved. It is a solid 3.5 stars raised to a 4. Thanks to the author and publisher for an ARC for an honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    Falsely advertised I bought this book based on a notice that it was co-written by Michael Connelly, which as shown here, just ain't so! The only writing he did was an introduction, and even that was essentially an ad. Harry Bosch appears in the book, but it's such a minor role as to be ignorable. Overall, I found the book to be engaging, although all the focus on the "ministry" was off-putting to me. It fit into the book okay, it just seemed like a sidetrack. You have to admire John, tortured as Falsely advertised I bought this book based on a notice that it was co-written by Michael Connelly, which as shown here, just ain't so! The only writing he did was an introduction, and even that was essentially an ad. Harry Bosch appears in the book, but it's such a minor role as to be ignorable. Overall, I found the book to be engaging, although all the focus on the "ministry" was off-putting to me. It fit into the book okay, it just seemed like a sidetrack. You have to admire John, tortured as he is over so many issues. It's a reasonable read for the "special" price I paid. For me it's going to be back to Connelly.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

    Not the worst police procedural I've ever read but close to it. I appreciated the background on the Wayne Williams case and the nod to Michael Connelly's wonderful Bosch novels, but other than that this book was one huge waste of time, with cardboard characters, a saccharine hero (actually compared to Jesus at one point, in case the dim reader misses how super he is), and a solution of unparalleled silliness.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Gloria Feit

    The sub-title of this novel by Michael Lister is Book #7 and A John Jordan Mystery, to which description is added The Atlanta Years, Volume One. It is basically a prequel to the six earlier books in the series, and a fascinating look into what made the protagonist into the man he became, to wit: an ex-cop turned prison chaplain. From the publisher: When he was twelve years old he came face to face with the man who would be convicted of the Atlanta Child Murders. Six years later, John returned to The sub-title of this novel by Michael Lister is Book #7 and A John Jordan Mystery, to which description is added The Atlanta Years, Volume One. It is basically a prequel to the six earlier books in the series, and a fascinating look into what made the protagonist into the man he became, to wit: an ex-cop turned prison chaplain. From the publisher: When he was twelve years old he came face to face with the man who would be convicted of the Atlanta Child Murders. Six years later, John returned to Atlanta determined to discover who was truly responsible for all the slaughtered innocents. But first he must ascertain whether or not LaMarcus Williams belongs on the infamous list of missing and murdered children. The questions in the case are many, the answers few. Who killed LaMarcus Williams? How was he abducted from his own backyard, while his mom and sister watched him? Is he a victim of the Atlanta Child Murdered that didn’t make the list or is his killer still out there, still operating with impunity? Opening with a brief Introduction by Michael Connelly, whose own iconic creation, Harry Bosch, assists John and gives him all the impetus he needs to devote the next several years of his life to becoming a cop like Bosch [whose telephone conversation has the background of jazz saxophone that Bosch fans will immediately recognize]. Although Bertram Williams was found guilty of both of the murders with which he was charged, one of them of a 27-year-old and the second a 21-year-old, John is not convinced that he committed all or any of the other murders mostly of young black children who had been victims of the Atlanta Child Murderer, not all of whom were young or black. His commitment is made at age 17; as he is told, “the empathy you feel with the victims, the unquenchable thirst burning inside you for justice . . . for restoring some kind of order . . . the rage you feel at the murderer . . . your obsession with knowing, with uncovering, with finding the truth . . . they are the very things that make you perfect for this kind of work.” And John himself feels “That’s what I’m called to do - - help people damaged by violent crime, salve the suffering of the living while searching for some kind of justice for the dead. As both a minister and an investigator I’d be in a unique position to do both.” John Jordan’s dedication to the task he has set for himself results in a well-plotted, well-written mystery, the resolution of which is stunning, and one which I for one did not see coming, and the novel is recommended.

  8. 4 out of 5

    John Shearer

    Innocent Blood (7) This was a very hard book to follow , the story jumped around way too much thus making it very hard t times to tell what's what.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Alan Marston

    Why start with number seven in the series? Although the series is numbered, they are not consecutive, but can be read in any order, although the author suggests in his introduction what order that should be. This book is the one that is set earliest in John Jordan's career, before he becomes a policeman, and detailing his first foray into developing his faith as well as looking at a cold case that has fascinated him from a very early age, and which is set in a real case, that of Wayne Williams, Why start with number seven in the series? Although the series is numbered, they are not consecutive, but can be read in any order, although the author suggests in his introduction what order that should be. This book is the one that is set earliest in John Jordan's career, before he becomes a policeman, and detailing his first foray into developing his faith as well as looking at a cold case that has fascinated him from a very early age, and which is set in a real case, that of Wayne Williams, convicted as the Atlanta Child Murderer, but which did not account for all the deaths at the time, particularly that of Lamarcus Williams, a fact that led Jordan to change his whole life. Not only that, but the introduction is by Michael Connolly, who appreciates previously published novels by Michael Lister, so much so that he allows the author to involve a conversation between John Jordan and Harry Bosch very early in the novel. The development of the story is good, with many characters being introduced, but one of the main features is that the young John (only eighteen or so) is able to understand and point out elements that experienced detectives have either missed or ignored. Firstly just reviewing the discovery of Lamarcus' body leads John to suggest things that the local police departments had not considered before, and this throws the whole case wide open. There are a number of people who could be considered suspects, including the afore mentioned Wayne Williams, but when the final light suddenly shines on John's discoveries, the killer does come as something of a surprise. A well constructed novel, and I may look at others in the series when time allows.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Terri

    Not believable The entire premise that an untrained, unlicensed teenager could access official police reports is just not possible. Furthermore, the main character's dual purpose of ministry and law enforcement while having an affair with a married older woman isn't believable. This is the first book by Lister that I read and I won't attempt any other featuring John Jordon. The entire plot seems contrived.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Charles G. Hiscock

    I read this based on some positive reviews, and almost immediately found myself asking "what were they thinking?" The characters are unrealistic, particularly the protagonist, which makes it very difficult to connect with them. Lots of cliches. The writing is plodding, and the resolution was laughable. Very disappointing.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Doreen Rast

    Not good Horrible. Could not finish it. I can say that bit I'd not like me not to finish some book. This one is that bad.

  13. 4 out of 5

    D.F. Bailey

    Sorry, Couldn't finish this one.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lillie

    This book kept me reading and guessing how it would turn out. The ending was actually a shock--nothing like I expected. The hero was attending Bible school, but he had a relationship with a married woman. He told her he wouldn't violate his morals by having sex with her, but he developed emotional ties to her. Near the end, they told each other "I love you." I believe an emotional relationship is as immoral as a sexual relationship. While the ending was satisfactory in that the mystery was solved This book kept me reading and guessing how it would turn out. The ending was actually a shock--nothing like I expected. The hero was attending Bible school, but he had a relationship with a married woman. He told her he wouldn't violate his morals by having sex with her, but he developed emotional ties to her. Near the end, they told each other "I love you." I believe an emotional relationship is as immoral as a sexual relationship. While the ending was satisfactory in that the mystery was solved, it was sad. I didn't want it to end the way it did, but I have to give the author credit for keeping me engaged throughout the story.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Bernice Danielson

    Michael Lister you did it again. If you are looking for a book to read I’ll tell you this book kept me glued to my kobo reader. I always enjoy a book when it keeps me guessing on whodunit and this book did that. This book for me was like a beginning of who John Jordan wanted to be a cop or a chaplain. Michael Lister’s John Jordan books could easily be the next big tv hit. I give this book 5 stars because Michael Lister keeps his writing interesting and page turner. Love it. Bernice From Alberta Ca Michael Lister you did it again. If you are looking for a book to read I’ll tell you this book kept me glued to my kobo reader. I always enjoy a book when it keeps me guessing on whodunit and this book did that. This book for me was like a beginning of who John Jordan wanted to be a cop or a chaplain. Michael Lister’s John Jordan books could easily be the next big tv hit. I give this book 5 stars because Michael Lister keeps his writing interesting and page turner. Love it. Bernice From Alberta Canada

  16. 4 out of 5

    David Huelsmann

    A very different and intriguing book. You meet John Jordan while he is still in high school obsessing over the Atlanta Child Murders and their possible serial killer. At such a young age and with a cop as a father he thinks he wants to be a detective yet at some point in his senior year he is blessed with insight provided from above that he should be in the ministry. Does he reconcile the two career paths? Does he solve multiple child killings? Read the book to find out./

  17. 4 out of 5

    Don Gorman

    (2 1/2). This is the second book in this series that I have read. they are engaging and mildly irritating all at the same time. John Jordan is a very interesting protagonist, but he is so inquisitive that he comes off as unbelievable in some instances and then he is so human and fallible in others. That contrast is what keeps this book spinning, along with a story that Lister skillfully peels away layers on. Very reasonable stuff, I will revisit the franchise every now and then.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dirk

    The story is believable, has a good plot, which is full of twists and turns. Great introduction by Michael Connelly, my favorite crime writer. The well-known detective Bosch makes an appearance in this book, but only once and it does not have much of an impact. I wonder why he was written into the story. This writer keeps you on the edge of your seat! I love this book.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Troy Martinie

    John Jordan Series I came across Michael Lister's John Jordan through a review by Michael Connelly He was spot on excellent series just like Michael Connelly books I want to keep reading them can't put them down l hope Michael Lister keeps writing John Jordan series for quite some time

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mary Pummill

    Innocent Blood: a John Jordon Mystery Book 7 A true mystery story that has an ending that you would never suspect. After he goes through all the different people who seem like they would be the likely killer or killers to have the stepdaughter do it and then have it ends like was unexpected.

  21. 5 out of 5

    H. Bryant Blake

    Did not think this book as good a later ones One thing this book did was tie together some gaps o In John’s past that are pretty confusing if you do not read the books in sequence, which I did not do. While this was a good book in my opinion it is not as good as the later books in the series. Still a good read that will have you guessing whodunnit right up to the end

  22. 5 out of 5

    Brenda Treddle

    Great start for this series. Love Michael Lister ,John Jordan books.A young man trying to decide how to find himself and the real killer of the Atlanta's kids.He takes on one case ,falls in love with the victim stepsister.And from there it take a thrilling ride till the unexpected end.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Victor Catano

    Interesting but unsatisfying The main character is intriguing - a young man trying to balance his faith in God and desire to help others with his desire to become a policeman and his burning need to solve an old murder. However the narrative takes a long time to ramp up and I found a lot of the dialogue to be stilted and not at all like something a person would say.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Linda Look

    John Jordan is a prison chaplain and former police detective. This shows his obsession with the murder of young black children when he was only 12 years old and how he evolved over time into the chaplain who helps everyone he can. This is 7th In the series and I haven't read any of the prior books. I rate this a 4.5.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Philip A. Guercio

    Old story with some great twists Stories about serial killers can get tired with so much focus on them, in the news. This is especially true when children are involved. Our protagonist us an intelligent young man with a natural ability to empathize with the victims and see things beyond the obvious. Many twists lead you deep into the plot. Enjoyable to the end.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Murrel Lowry

    Headline (required) Very nicely done by author Michael Lister. I remember those days of the Atlanta murders and still have to wonder how someone could be so callous as to murder innocent kids. I’ll never understand! Haven’t read one of Michaels works in a while, but glad to be back.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    For some reason I have always been curious about these murders, don't know if it is because of the Atlanta connection or just in general. I found this account interesting while also relating. I would not hesitate to recommend and the ending blew me away.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

    Got slow at times but the story held my interest. This is the first John Jordan Mystery I have read. I may go back at start at #1. After reading reviews, it sounds like this might have been a good place to start - apparently #7 is a prequel written "out of order."

  29. 4 out of 5

    Phyllis Stinson

    Wow, Fantastic Best book I have read in a long long time. The scene was about Atlanta and the black boy murders. This was awesome. I couldn't put it down. I will be reading more of this, my new favorite, author!

  30. 5 out of 5

    kenneth h. robinson

    Murder and Mortality A conflicted high school graduate goes to a different city for his college studies. Furthermore, he's trying to solve a mysterious series of killings of children.

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