Plain Heathen Mischief

Front Cover
Vintage Books, 2005 - Fiction - 416 pages
3 Reviews
'Plain Heathen Mischief' ups the existential ante, as Joel King, a defrocked Baptist minister, finds life even more bedeviling once heís served six months for a career-ending crime he might not even have committed. Now his incommunicado wife wants a divorce, the teenage vixen of his disgrace is suing him for a cool $5 million, a fresh start in Montana offers no hope for ex-cons of any religious persuasion, and the refuge provided by his sister turns as nasty as his parole officer. Talk about a crisis of faith. On the upside, a solicitous member of Joelís former congregation invites him into a scam that could yield some desperately needed cash, and soon the down-on-his-luck preacher is involved with a flock of charming con men, crooked lawyers, and conniving youth. In a feat of bravura storytelling, Martin Clark ranges from the cross to the double cross, from Virginia to Las Vegas, from jail cells to trout streams, as he follows his Job-like hero through dubious choices and high-dollar insurance hustles to a redemption that no reader could possibly predict. Wildly imaginative, at times comic, at times profoundly sobering, and even more audacious than his wonderfully idiosyncratic debut, 'Plain Heathen Mischief' is a spiritual revelation of the first order.

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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Big, boisterous and hugely enjoyable, Clark's second tracks the wild ride of a disgraced preacher across an American heartland pockmarked by scams and rackets.Two lousy kisses. That's all it took ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MarthaHuntley - LibraryThing

Not since Bonfire of the Vanities, has the hero of a book taken a wrong turn and gotten into such a world of trouble. Good characters, convoluted but satisfying plot, guilt and sin abound in this book about Joel King, a Baptist preacher, fallen, defrocked, encarcerated, and redeemed. Read full review

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About the author (2005)

Martin Clark, a circuit court judge, lives in Stuart, Virginia. His first novel, The Many Aspects of Mobile Home Living, was a New York Times Notable Book, a selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club, a finalist for the Stephen Crane First Fiction Award, and appeared on several bestseller lists. His Web site is  

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