Book Review: Beyond A Reasonable Death


This was my first Ellsworth book to read and I must say its not a bad showing at all. Meet Thaddeus Murphy; young, charismatic lawyer who initially comes across as not so skilled until you meet him in his element.

Pursued by the boss of the Chicago mob, Robert Moltinari, he decides to do the unheard of and sue the mafia. I laughed when I first read that too. What follows is a rather thrilling, albeit at times unbelievable, ride running from the mobs killers while working from a Navajo reservation to file the biggest lawsuit of his career with the FBI cheering him on and providing support. Intertwined is a bit of a love story.

It’s a good read when you’re in the mood for a legal thriller. It’s not John Grisham material yet but it’s well on the way. My only gripe is the rushed ending. It felt like a whole other book summarized in a chapter or two. That watered it down for me a bit otherwise it’s s good effort. Looking forward to reading another book from him.
Find it on Amazon.


Book Review: I Am Raymond Washington 

Occasionally you encounter a book that leaves you with mixed feelings. This was one such book for me.

Raymond Lee Washington, the subject of this brief biography, was the founder & leader of the Crips, a fearsome American street gang. The author (a former police officer for 30 years interestingly enough) writes of Raymond from the stance of an individual with insight into & ideas about the street life. He does a very good job of staying impartial & viewing his subject as just a human being. This is of course difficult for the readers.

What stands out the most is that for better or worse, Raymond was a naturally gifted leader who has an innate insight into the human soul. He knew how to not only win people over to his set, but how to keep them loyal to him. He has a duality of character to him that is such a tarot of the human soul. He can be a savior or killer in an instant.

Perhaps the most telling of one side of his duality is what the caretaker of the grave yard in which he’s buried comments: 

“A lot of people come & sit, talk, and then leave. Raymond is one of the most visited graves in the cemetery. He must have been somethings special because people keep coming and he has been here a long, long time.”

This is a story of a life shaped by environment around it coupled with willful choices made. A study in how every choice has a consequence who’s impact can be felt long after we’re gone.

Book Review – Feels Like the First Time: A True Love Story

Feels Like the First Time

I didn’t want this book to end. It was such an emotional dose.

Shawn Inmon is a typical American sub-urban kid in Washington DC. When Dawn’s family moves in next door he doesn’t know that his whole life’s just changed. Dawn and Shawn (even the names rhyme) get close over time, becoming best friends. Shawn falls in love with Dawn gradually & they start dating.

Through a series of events mostly beyond their control, things get really hard before they’re separated. 30 (!) years later while at a random drive-in fast food place, Shawn sees Dawn. What follows is the most beautiful rekindling of a love pure & true.

This book is beguiling in that on the face if it it seems like just another story about puppy love, not so. This is a story about a love so innocent, so tender & yet so strong. It’s about the folly of finding what people spend their whole lives searching for, but being too young to know the treasure you’ve found. It’s a story about great joy & an accompanying degree of pain.

I read this book while doing a lot of highlighting, sighing & aaaaawwwing. Something kept getting in my eyes too 🙂 And at the end of it I was reminded of the preciousness of love & how much of a gift it is. I had to keep reminding myself that it’s not fiction but an actual true life story.

This is the story from Shawn’s perspective. Book 2 is about the same story but from Dawn’s perspective. I can’t wait to read that one too.

Find it on Amazon.

Book Review – The Color of Rain: How Two Families Found Hope, Faith & Love In The Midst of Tragedy

The Color of Rain




Sometimes you come to the end of a book & you sit and ponder over it long after you’re done. This was one such book for me.

Matt & Gina Kell are your typical suburban couple. So are Michael & Cathy Sphen. But their lives take an improbable turn when Matt’s diagnosed with cancer. For three years he & Gina fight it bravely, with Gina promising to take her lover’s hand and walk him to the edge of the water where only he can cross. After a long, grueling & emotionally taxing three year battle with cancer, Matt dies but not before blessing her with the gift of remarrying after he’s gone. Gina is devastated and tries to move on.

Michael and Cathy’s lives are changed when Cathy suddenly falls ill and in a span of fourteen days moves from heavy headaches to dying of stage four cancer. During her final moments she urges Michael to seek out her friend Gina Kell who can help him after she dies.

Michael struggles to come to terms with his new reality as he’s almost instantaneously become a widower. He eventually meets Gina, who helps him during his season of grief. In the process both Michael & Gina unexpectedly fall in love with each other & get married.

There’s no way to really convey the absolute and stunning way this story captures you as you read on. The eventual blending of two very different people and their kids, the way they’re brought together providentially & how they find each other is a story that will not only affirm your belief in love, but in a God who orders the affairs of man. This is a remarkable, poignant story that will get you to really think on what the important things are in your life. Quite recommended.

Find it on Amazon.