Hudson Ambrose is a reporter for a Las Vegas newspaper. He’s headed home in the wee hours of the morning when he sees a man slumped over in a bus shelter. He calls 911 and waits, but no police show up. Observation tells him that this is one of the city’s many homeless people. And then he does what no reporter should do – he checks the body for identification. He finds a safety deposit box key and a bank book.
A homeless man with almost $700,000 in his savings account.
Ambrose leaves, still holding the key and the bank book. And he knows he at least has the makings of a story – a homeless bum murdered, with hundreds of thousands in the bank. And Ambrose also knows he may have both a story and the money.
As Ambrose begins to pursue the identity of the murdered man and the story, he discovers a few problems. First, there’s no body – something of play on words here, with a double meaning – literally a missing body, and the body of a homeless man, and for many of us, the homeless are indeed nobodies. Second, the man has a story that stretches back to a legalistic church in Atlanta.
And third, someone clearly doesn’t want Ambrose doing what he’s doing, and is going out of his way, stopping at nothing, to make sure Ambrose is stopped.
There’s a fourth problem as well: Ambrose is being chased by God. The murder victim turns out to be a man beloved among the homeless and beloved by his church, which includes a young woman Ambrose finds himself becoming interested in.
Mapes is the author of several novels that fall into the “Christian fiction” category. These includes two books in the “Rock Star Chronicles” – Dark Star and Full Tilt – and three in “The Crittenden Files” series – Fear Has a Name, Poison Town, and Sky Zone. Nobody was first published in 2007, between the two series; an ebook version of the novel arrived in 2014.
I say these stories fall in to the Christian fiction genre, and they do, but there’s a considerable amount of realistic violence and themes one doesn’t find in Amish romances. Part of what Nobody is also about is to put a face and a name on society’s nobodies – the homeless. Interestingly enough, while the story is set in Las Vegas, it’s not about gambling.
Nobody is a story of finding out what happened to a murdered homeless man, and what happens when a reporter discovers he’s being dragged kicking and screaming into faith. And did I mention it’s a nail-biting thriller of a tale?
Photo of Las Vegas by Alex Grichenko via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission.