Brain to Books Blog Tour
Just the Facts
Author: Benjamin Westbrook
Genre: Mystery/suspense/thriller with a Christian perspective.
Book: “Infringement”. The sequel to Infringement, titled “A Haunt for Jackals” will be released in early 2016.
I’ve been a writer and constant reader since about the age of 12 when I read S.E. Hinton’s “The Outsiders” on Christmas Day after getting all of her books as a gift. As I grew up, I worked as a cook, a photographer and finally went to law school, but always held tight to my desire to write novels. Strangely, it was actually graduating from law school (seeing the culmination of three years of hard work) which gave me the push and confidence to finally complete my first novel (which is now being reworked).
I began writing “Infringement” after reading about James Holmes and the Aurora theater shooting. My goal was to write a story about finding and keeping faith in the darkest of circumstances. As I was writing “Infringement”, my now 4-year-old son was diagnosed with leukemia, and began treatment. That experience changed my family’s life drastically, as well as my own faith, and I found myself experiencing exactly what I was trying to write about: faith in the darkest of circumstances. The forthcoming sequel, “A Haunt for Jackals”, continues that theme.
My son is now in remission and is doing wonderfully and our experience with cancer has prompted my wife and I to get more involved in the fight against cancer. I serve as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Gateway Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, in St. Louis. We’ve both appeared on the radio discussing our experience, cancer research and fundraisers. I will be riding 37.5 miles in September in Pedal The Cause, which raises money for cancer research and treatment at the St. Louis Childrens’ Hospital. So far, I’ve raised roughly $1,600 towards my goal of at least $2,500.
Still grappling with his loss of faith and anger towards God following the death of his father while a young boy, second-generation FBI Agent Declan Parker is called to investigate a simple complaint. Quickly discovering a dark undercurrent, Declan is unexpectedly drawn into the world of David Stanton, a man in the final stages of planning the bloodiest mass shooting in history. The lines between “the good guys and the bad guys” become irreconcilably blurred when, during the course of his investigation, Declan stumbles into the midst of a broad, sinister agenda, the aftermath of which will forever change not only his own life, but the lives of all Americans.
By David Carlyle on May 21, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The story is engrossing, but bloody for a Christian book. Mr. Westbrook would have to change the story to have less killing in it, and it’s hard to think how to change it without damage to it. The book definitely keeps the reader wanting to see what happens next, and it’s a top quality book. David Carlyle, “Billy Thomas: Forever Fearless.”
By Michelle Dry on February 8, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Could not put it down. Can’t wait for the continuation of the as story. No telling what will happen next.
Loved the book
By Ziply on January 31, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Loved the book. Easy to read. Could not put it down once I started. Can’t wait for the sequel. Al Matey
Infringement is an intriguing and fast paced book that reads…
By Lisa on January 20, 2015
Infringement is an intriguing and fast paced book that reads very quickly! I can’t wait to find out what happens in the next one!
Engrossing, built on today’s domestic and international headlines. Jim and Joan Costello
By Mary J. Costello on January 15, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
A crisply written adventure based on today’s news and old fashioned faith. Written in the
fast based styles of Baldacci, Vince Flynn, and Dan Silva.
A suspenseful, thought-provoking book!
By S. Middendorf on January 15, 2015
I thoroughly enjoyed Benjamin Westbrook’s book Infringement. It was a great combination of a suspenseful FBI story (like the TV drama “24”), an analysis of current events (unrest in the Middle East correlating to Biblical prophesy), and thought-provoking dialogue (honest questions about faith in God). As a Christian, I appreciated the author walking us through the main character’s journey to try to see God during the hardships of life.
I really appreciate that this book entertained me (several exciting scenes had me on the edge of my seat!) and made me think about the current state of the world. I look forward to reading Westbrook’s next book!
A Suspenseful Page-Turner!
By Kimberly Mitchell on January 15, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A fantastic page turner- I couldn’t put it down! In the midst of catastrophic events whether personal or global, this book addresses how we grapple with our faith when bad things happen. The main character, Declan is questioning his own faith after the death of his father at a young age but begins to believe that God is real and present in the midst of the horrible things happening in the world everyday. I love how Westbrook combined suspense with love and family and wove biblical references throughout the novel. I definitely learned a thing or two about the bible that I didn’t know before! If you like the Da Vinci code and the show 24, you will love this book! I can’t wait for Westbrook’s next novel!
Fast Paced Thriller
By E. McCarthy on January 10, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This novel is a psychological thriller and discusses historical events. The main character, Declan, plays a deadly cat and mouse game with a terrorist named Stanton in part one. Part two explores civil unrest because of governmental infringement of constitutional rights.
The ambitious approach of part two left me a bit confused over different characters’ relationships. I think this could be solved by moving some scenes around to part one in order to keep the characters’ lives juggled more evenly.
I liked the fast paced nature of the book. I would have liked to see more descriptions of the people however, and this would have made me empathize even more with them. I always loved how Charles Dickens described characters.
The action is exciting and kept me interested. I continued reading to find out what happened because I cared about the characters, especially Declan.
I loved the scary scenes inside the mind of a terrorist which were handled very well with a touch of explanation of why he was the way he was. I think this was the best part of the book and I liked the parallel between Stanton and Declan.
The writer has a lot of promise. I would recommend a few ideas: lose the few swear words (or use dashes), just say they went for a drink as some people don’t like alcohol references (and why turn off readers), let any physical intimacy be in the minds of the reader (although the scene wasn’t graphic), and cut any scenes of assaults on women entirely as they turn off female readers (it might be mentioned in passing or referred to in conversation. I was able to skim over the very few scenes).
The religious discussion fit the characters. I liked that the characters stayed true to their convictions. Declan’s journey to self-discovery was an interesting part of the novel.
I feel the writer has a talent for tender scenes especially between mother and son and Evan and Jessica who were lesser characters. I would have loved to see more scenes like these.
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a fast paced and entertaining Christian novel and I enjoyed reading it.
I highly recommend this book
By margaret Moellenberg on December 24, 2014
From beginning to end, “Infringement” keeps the reader engaged and enthralled. It is a fast-paced thriller that I could not put down. Benjamin Westbrook’s debut novel is a real page-turner and one you will want to read over and over again. It hooks you from the first chapter, scares you into thinking someone is always watching and makes you realize nothing is as it seems. I highly recommend this book.
He worked deliberately and meticulously atop the short ladder in the dark, quietly screwing into place the last of the four bright red “Exit” signs to be replaced. As far back as he could remember, he’d been a night person. He enjoyed working in the darkness, amid the silence and solitude one typically found during the late night hours when most were asleep. There were fewer distractions at night, no people to get in his way or take up his time with their generally meaningless chatter.
He turned the last screw firmly into place, quietly, one rotation after another until the metal screw squeaked against the metal bracket and it could go no further. After he’d finished, he scanned the sign to be certain it was perfectly even, gave each of the four screws another quick turn to verify they were tight, and gently nudged the “Exit” sign from each side to be absolutely sure it was securely in place. Satisfied with his work, he then turned the power switch to “On” and removed his night vision goggles to see the four red letters glowing in the darkness above the doorway. He stepped slowly and quietly down from the ladder, careful not to misstep, and walked to the center of the semi-circular sanctuary where he had a clear view of each of the four “Exit” signs he’d installed. As he’d planned, the new signs looked, in all respects, exactly like the four he’d replaced, except for the tiny HD video camera in each. The camera, located just to the right of the “T”, was totally indiscernible from a distance, unless someone knew to look for it.
Eager to test the new signs, he made his way toward the last row of pews nearest the main entrance of the sanctuary, where he’d left his laptop. He opened the laptop and deftly pulled up the admin page of his website, which was still under construction and hadn’t gone live yet. He clicked on the “Live Webcams” link, which took him to another page split into four window panes, one for each video camera in the “Exit” signs he’d installed. Three of the panes were completely dark, which was expected given the darkness of the sanctuary. The fourth pane, which showed the video feed from the camera in the sign above the main entrance, featured the dim light of his laptop. He couldn’t test the camera views completely until he could return during the day, but he knew, together, they should stream a full 360 degree live view of the sanctuary to his website.
Unable to wait until morning, he decided a small test was in order, so he took his iPad out of his backpack and pulled up his website there as well. Once he’d again accessed the page showing the live webcam feeds from the four “Exit” signs, he walked slowly to the center of the sanctuary, holding his iPad close to his face in order to illuminate it slightly. As he walked toward the main pulpit area, he watched each of the camera views on his iPad, to see when each camera picked up the dim light and his faint silhouette. Although not ideal, it was a sufficient test for the time being, and just seeing his dim silhouette from the cameras’ views gave him a distinct and very pleasing sense of excitement.
Once he arrived at the pulpit area in the center front of the sanctuary, he stepped up the few small marble steps to the main stage, and saw each camera feed had picked up the light from his iPad. From anywhere on the pulpit, he’d be perfectly visible to all four cameras in full light.
He shut down his iPad, leaving the sanctuary pitch black again but for the red light from the “Exit” signs, and slid his night vision goggles back on over his eyes. The pews fanned out in a semi-circle from the large stage, thirty rows deep. He stood in the center of the pulpit, where the preacher typically gave his sermon and prepared communion, and enjoyed an unobstructed view of the entire sanctuary. With his goggles on, he carefully scanned each section of the empty and otherwise dark pews, beginning with those on his left side, until he’d gone through them all one by one. Then, he again removed the goggles and closed his eyes, letting the perfect darkness clear his mind.
He stood facing the pews directly in front of him with his eyes closed tightly, his breath slow and measured. His mind began to focus, his imagination came alive, and one by one the pews were populated with faces. Soon, the faces, some familiar and others not, filled every corner of the almost bursting sanctuary. From the pulpit, he watched them talking to one another, greeting and hugging each other. He heard them chattering back and forth before services began, joking with one another, and laughing. He sensed their warmth, their excitement, their joy. His eyes still closed, he turned slowly and deliberately from his left to his right, watching them intently and letting their faces burn into his memory. He wanted to remember them, to know the joy on their faces down to the very smallest detail, so that when he finally raised his rifle and began spilling their blood onto the glittering marble sanctuary floor, he’d be able to recognize the precise instant when the careless joy in each face turned to horror and fear.