Synopses & Reviews
Whether gunning down a warthog, raising the beams he'd hewn himself for a new church, or standing up for landless refugees and abused girls, Father John Kaiser was a figure larger than life. He was fierce in his commitments, devoted to the poor and displaced, and fearless--what some would call reckless--in the pursuit of justice. For this he was beloved by his parishioners, seen as a loose cannon by his superiors in the church, and despised by Kenya's strongmen under the tyrannical leadership of Daniel arap Moi. When Kaiser was discovered dead on a remote roadside in the bush, the FBI ruled it a suicide. Kenyans were sure he'd been murdered. In a new Kenya, post-Moi, it would fall to Charles Mbuthi Gathenji, a prominent dissident and the son of a man himself murdered for his beliefs, to find out what really happened to Father John Kaiser.
"With the support of extensive government documents, interviews, and candid photos, Goffard, a writer for the Los Angeles Times, examines the life and death of a true Roman Catholic warrior priest, Father John Kaiser, an advocate of the poor and abused Kenyans in the bush. Collecting facts of the brutality of the tyrant Daniel Arap Moi's henchmen in journals and affidavits, Kaiser, a missionary labeled uncontrollable by his church superiors, boldly confronted the ruthless rule of a local strongman on his own turf and testified before a commission to expose the atrocities against the townspeople. Goffard's eye for detail and political complexity lends authenticity to the rebel priest's long commitment to the Kenyans, fighting for justice and stability since his early days in the country in the 1960s, and leading to his execution style slaying on a dirt road in 2000. After an FBI investigation concluded Kaiser had committed suicide (with a bullet shot to the back of his head), the author uncovers a later ruling based on evidence neglected in the earlier hearing. Startling revelations, government miscues, and one brave man's crusade to seek the truth make this political mystery exceptional and informative reading. 8 pages of photos." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
In a new Kenya, post-Moi, it would fall to Charles Mbuthi Gathenji, a prominent dissident and the son of a man himself murdered for his beliefs, to find out what really happened to Father John Kaiser.
A nonfiction mystery dwelling on timeless themes: an individual's stand against corruption, the complexity of the human heart.
About the Author
Christopher Goffard writes for the Los Angeles Times and lives in Southern California.