Book review: The First Rule of Ten

Spiritual mystery embodies great writing and even greater insight

First Rule of Ten Gay Hendricks new age fiction spiritual novel metaphysical fiction

Rating: 4 1/2  out of 5 stars

As the first book in a new mystery series, “The First Rule of Ten” is an engrossing page turner and well worth reading. As a work of spiritual fiction, however, Hendricks and Lindsay’s novel is exceptional. The narrator, a Buddhist monk turned L.A. cop turned novice investigator, strives to live according to his spiritual principles every day. His experiences offer a simple, flexible model that can encourage us us to live our own lives more deeply and successfully.

Story: Tenzing Norbu (“Ten” for short)—ex-monk and soon-to-be ex-cop—is a protagonist unique to our times. In The First Rule of Ten, the first installment in a three-book detective series, we meet this spiritual warrior who is singularly equipped, if not occasionally ill-equipped, as he takes on his first case as a private investigator in Los Angeles. Growing up in a Tibetan Monastery, Ten dreamed of becoming a modern-day Sherlock Holmes. So when he was sent to Los Angeles to teach meditation, he joined the LAPD instead. But as the Buddha says, change is inevitable; and ten years later, everything is about to change—big-time—for Ten. One resignation from the police force, two bullet-wounds, three suspicious deaths, and a beautiful woman later, he quickly learns that whenever he breaks his first rule, mayhem follows.  (From amazon.com)

Spiritual/metaphysical content: High. Ten spent half his life in a Buddhist monastery,  but the charm of this book is not the wisdom he can spout, but rather the challenge he faces in applying it to the stresses of  his own life. It’s easy for the reader to relate to Ten’s spiritual successes and failures because they parallel our own. We recognize when his actions come from a place other than spirituality, and see how that negativity plays out in his life. And we can rejoice in his small successes from day to day, such as holding his tongue when an ex-girlfriend calls to needle him, and be reminded to rejoice in our own daily triumphs.

My take: I am delighted that this novel is the first in a series. Ten has tremendous appeal as a protagonist; his “outsider” perspective adds great range to his character. Hendricks’  insights are clean and simple, adding just the right note of spiritual depth to what is primarily a mystery novel. Lindsay’s writing style is fast paced and a pleasure to read. I highly recommend this spiritual mystery to anyone who enjoys top-notch writing and inspirational fiction.

Details: The First Rule of Ten, by Gay Hendricks and Tinker Lindsay
Published by Hay House Visions, 2012
Paperback, 297 pages
Buy at Amazon

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