Deep Rough: A Pastor Stephen Grant Novel – Book Review

Deep Rough: A Pastor Stephen Grant Novel
Ray Keating
423 pages
Available in paperback and on Kindel

Ho Chen is a pastor in Shanghai. His son, Xin, is the latest breakout phenom in the world of professional gold, and is on tour in the USA. The Chinese government is not pleased with either of them. In an effort to control these men, Pastor Chen is arrested and an attempt on Xin’s caddie’s life is made, putting the caddie in the hospital. Xin needs protection, but only a caddie can be with him as he walks famous gold courses like Augusta and Pebble Beach.

Pastor Grant, the former Navy SEAL and CIA operative turned Lutheran pastor, has been called on in the past when his unusual skill set made him the right choice. He is no pro golfer, but he has a good game, so he is called upon to step in as the substitute caddie and provide the protection needed.

This latest Stephen Grant thriller plays out on the backdrop of some of professional golf’s most famous courses and is written with a knowledge gained only by someone who not only plays the game himself but also has visited these prestigious courses. Familiar friends from former novels also return in these pages. As in all the Stephen Grant novels, Keating shines his literary light on more than a story. He is looking at religious persecution. Grant also struggles with the role of being a pastor as well as helping in government (and government adjacent) projects that end up with opponents dying. Finally, there is a struggle in his home church over his involvement.

While Deep Rough is only a novel, the persecution of the Church is not. Christians around the world face it, often giving their lives for the Lord. The latest addition to the Pastor Steven Grant series (9th full novel along with two short stories) is another fun read. I give it “two-thumbs-up.”

Pastor John Rickert