Henry Holt & Company: The Eighth Detective by Alex Pavesi

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Wanted: A Spiritual Pursuit Through Jail, Among Outlaws, and Across Borders

In the introduction to his humbly powerful memoir, Chris Hoke says he is trying to "paint God" through a series of wanted posters. These posters share the vulnerable and human side of individuals written off by society--cast off to prisons, deportations, even locked Dumpsters.

Drawn to prayer early in life--but not in a way that was easy to define and pursue--Hoke tried formal college studies and informal conversations with church leaders, but it wasn't until he undertook a volunteer position with Tierra Nueva, a Christian ministry in Washington State, that he found the fulfillment he sought. There Hoke helped migrant workers navigate the legal system and served as chaplain in a men's correctional institution. He met with hardened criminals in Bible study groups and one-on-one prayer sessions, learning more about them than what was apparent from their tattoos and rap sheets.

Hoke's story is one of faith and hope, but also a compelling commentary on the U.S penal system and the callous disregard for the bodies and souls crushed by it. Hoke notes a parallel between his life and that of Saint Christopher, patron saint of safe travels, but readers are likely to see a different parallel with a famous shepherd--and wanted man. --Jen Forbus of Jen's Book Thoughts