Review – Bulletproof Vestments: A Father Jay Book 0 by Jane Lebak

And we have another review, readers! I may have managed to get my reading hat firmly back in place. We shall see, but it is not looking too shabby at the moment.

You may recall that I reviewed Jane Lebak’s The Boys Upstairs last year, just in time for Christmas. In that review I said I planned to read the other book and prequel short story in the series at some point in the future. Well, the future has arrived. Though I only managed to read Bulletproof Vestments: A Father Jay Book 0* recently, it was well and truly worth the wait. Here is the blurb, readers:

Bulletproof Vestments: Father Jay Book 0 by [Jane Lebak]

A former gang member has tracked down the man who ratted out his brother 10 years ago. It’s time for some good old-fashioned revenge, except the man in question is disabled. And he’s a priest. And no one’s going to let him go down without a fight.

In this first novelette of the Father Jay series, Jane Lebak introduces the world of a man who’s lived through the worst life has to offer, and yet somehow after losing his heart and losing his body, struggles to offer hope to others.

The story takes place about a year before The Boys Upstairs*. However, it does not take us that far back in Father Jay’s past. The three-chapter short story begins from the point of view of Eric Murphy, a man who used to run with the same gang in which Father Jay was a member. When they were in the gang, Eric’s older brother Toby stole a car. Jay was an accomplice, and the police caught him.

The reader and Eric learn that this is why Jay joined the military. He ratted out Toby to the police and, fearing retribution, enlisted in the army to escape the gang. While in combat, Jay drove over a landmine and was severely wounded. That led to his conversion and entrance into the priesthood.

Eric came to Fr. Jay’s church to kill him. But it’s a sin to kill a priest, right? Even one whom you have hated for ten years. Right?

Jay knows Eric is only the first of his old gang acquaintances to come for him. The idea of his own murder is frightening, but what worries him more is the potential for his parishioners to be harmed. If the men come in shooting or with knives, Father Jay’s congregation will step up to defend him. What if one of them is killed in the process?

More than that, though, what will happen to his would-be killers? Prison might not be permanent, but Hell is. Father Jay doesn’t want anyone to die if he can avoid it.

What if he can’t?

If you liked The Boys Upstairs, then Bulletproof Vestments should be on your reading itinerary. A short, quick story that draws the titular character in bold strokes, this is a perfect November read. You will find plenty to consider when you reach the finale.

Enjoy Bulletproof Vestments, readers. I will read the third book and review it, too. For now, though, I will leave you to pick up these two installments in the series and read them at your leisure. 😉

*These are Amazon affiliate links. When you purchase something through them, this author receives a commission from Amazon at no extra charge to you, the buyer.

If you liked this article, friend Caroline Furlong on Facebook or follow her here at Her stories have been published in Cirsova’s Summer Special and Unbound III: Goodbye, Earth. She has also had stories published in the Planetary Anthology Series. Another story was released in Cirsova Magazine’s Summer Issue in 2020, and she had a story published in Storyhack Magazine’s 7th Issue, Cirsova Magazine’s 2021 Summer Issue, and another may be read over at Ember Journal. Her first anthology – The Guardian Cycle – is available in paperback and ebook as well. Order them today!

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