Harry Bentley's Second Chance by Dave Jackson
"What is a parallel novel?" you ask... Both books take place at the same time and have some of the same characters, but come from different point of views.
Back of the book summary:
Having retired from the Chicago Police Department, Harry Bentley was lying low with only one thing looming from his past: He’d blown the whistle on a gang of rogue cops and was awaiting the day when Internal Affairs would call him to testify and help put their leader, Lieutenant Matty Fagan, behind bars.
His cover was working as a simple doorman in a high rise luxury apartment building on Chicago’s lakefront. And then Gabby Fairbanks and her husband, Philip, moved into the building’s penthouse. Gabby brought home a dumpy old bag lady, got a job at the Manna House Women’s Shelter, found her life falling apart, and managed somehow to entangle Harry Bentley in the whole affair when she was faced with the dilemma of Where Do I Go? (Neta Jackson's parallel novel to this story.) But there was an upside. Through Gabby, Harry meets the classy Estelle Williams, a volunteer at the shelter, and envisions a second chance at romance.
Harry also gets involved with the Yada Yada brothers—Josh Baxter and his father Denny, Peter Douglas, Carl Hickman, Ben Garfield—who provide a new circle of friends to replace his old CPD cohorts. But when Harry discovers he has a grandson he didn’t know about, will he find the faith to take on the boy as a “second chance” to be the father he’d failed to be to his own son—even when the boy creates new dangers in Harry’s fight against corruption, and may derail his “second chance” at love?
I enjoyed this Yada Yada Brothers Novel as much as I enjoy the Yada Yada Prayer Group Series. Dave and Neta have written enough together over the years, that these two books pair together very well. It's fun to read about the men and their group from the eyes of a new character.
Harry has quite a lot to deal with for a guy that is supposed to be retired with a "boring" job in order to have something to do. Between dealing with the cop he turned in to Internal Affairs, finding himself framed for a crime, fighting to gain custoy of a grandson he didn't realize he had, worrying about his mother who needs additional care, and trying to woo a woman, who has time for retirement?
I really loved how Harry saw Gabby as a "firecracker" in contrast to how Gabby saw herself in Where Do I Go?. (Both Dave and Neta assure me that Gabby grows in the next book and addresses what I found to be her issues.)
As I have said with the last I don't know how many books that I have read, this book hit me with something I needed to work on personally. The one main lesson that Harry has to learn is trusting in God and waiting on His timing. And that's a tough lesson to learn.
Sometimes you just know that God wants something for you, but He doesn't want you to have it quite yet. And you can't make it happen on your own - you have to wait until He does it His way. I think that I realize this more than Harry did. Yet, like Harry, I have people telling me, "you have to wait", "you need to pray" or "you have to trust!" I know that, and I do trust, but as hard as I try to not be anxious, I get anxious even though I pray about it.
As Harry has to learn these lessons, it was a good reminder for me to do the same.
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." ~ Proverbs 3:5-6