Book Review: The Sons of Jude

15 Oct

Saint Jude is the patron saint of lost causes – and police officers. When Chicago detectives Frank Campello and Andy Polanski are assigned to investigate the murder of Trina Martinez it seems like an ordinary homicide. An unfortunate young girl in the wrong place at the wrong time has been brutally murdered. But their investigation is halted by a wall of silence, a wall erected by powerful interests that will render their inquiry a lost cause. Then they enlist the support of reporter Christy Lee – and come under immediate fire. Polanski is arrested. Campello threatened. Christy is attacked. It’s the case that every cop gets. The one that changes his life. The one where justice is elusive and the hunter becomes the hunted. Frank Campello and Andy Polanski are The Sons of Jude.


Brandt Dodson comes from a long line of police officers dating back more than seventy years on both sides of his family. In addition, he was employed with the Indianapolis office of the FBI. He has lived in Chicago and travels to the city annually.

A note from Brandt Dodson:

The Sons of Jude was written as the first in a series featuring a fictional Chicago police district and a rotating a cast of characters. Major characters in one novel may return in minor supporting roles in other novels, if at all. Characters will marry, die, or get transferred to and from the district. In that sense, this series will be similar to the late Ed McBain’s 87th precinct novels, set in the fictional Isola, New York. But it will also be very different in that The Sons of Jude is set in a real police department in a real city. I’ve lived in the Chicago area and know it well.

I am the author of several previous novels and short stories, and I come from a long line of police officers on both sides of my family, going back as far as the 1930s. I was employed by the Indianapolis office of the FBI and I draw on that experience as well as my family background to lend authenticity to my work.

My Impressions:

Corruption at the highest levels of the police force and city hall, crime families wielding power over all, and a few individuals dedicated to uncovering the truth — that’s what you find in Brandt Dodson’s newest novel, The Sons of Jude. Dodson’s novel is a suspense-filled ride that takes you into the local police precincts and crime syndicates in the city of Chicago.

Chicago is rioting over the allegations of police corruption by one of their own. Driven by his past and his Christian faith, Andy Polanski is determined to see justice served. But when he is teamed with veteran detective Frank Campello, the two find more than meets the eye in a routine murder investigation. Also joining in the quest to uncover the truth is Christy Lee, a dogged journalist that soon gets under Frank’s skin and protective barriers.

If you like action packed police themed stories, you will like The Sons of Jude. Overall, I liked it too. The end seemed a little rushed and maybe a tad convenient, but there were plenty of twists and turns that kept me guessing. There is also a loose thread that is revealed on the last page pointing to more to come in the next book of the series, Chicago Knights. There is only one main character who is a Christian, and his witness is through actions rather than words. But that is enough to get his partner thinking. I expect more developments on that front in the coming books as well.


I received The Sons of Jude from Kregel in return for an honest review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

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