Murphy Shepherd is a secretive man. He's the sole resident on a deserted island off the Florida coast and tends the grounds of an empty church, mostly keeping to himself. His mission is to rescue those who need rescuing: the victims of human trafficking, or modern-day slavery, shipped around the Caribbean and landing in desperation his own backyard. Despite his deep brokenness, with dark wounds no one could imagine, Murph is drawn to the people who need help and will do anything to fight the disgusting evils of the world around him. In fact, he's a little like Jesus: always willing to sacrifice himself to help others, to leave the 99 sheep in order to find the one most in need.
His story is told in the stunning trilogy by Charles Martin: The Water Keeper, The Letter Keeper, and with the recently released, The Record Keeper. Martin is a masterful writer, composing action-packed novels full of love and hope that will keep you turning pages into the night. These books contain stories about real characters of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds, and they all come together with grace and redemption at their core.
Murph is dedicated to his work saving the women and girls from human trafficking along the shores of Florida, and once secured, he sends them to a mountain town in Colorado—Freetown, for a little symbolism—so they can heal physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Murph's mantra is that love always shows up, and that's what guides him in his ceaseless journey for justice.
Of course, no heroic adventure story is complete without a canine sidekick, and the Labrador who keeps Murph company, Gunner, is a true star throughout the trilogy. He and Murph are joined by a colorful cast of characters with a different thing driving them for justice in each book.
Read on for more about each book of this amazing series that will have you wiping tears for the victims and pumping your fist for justice—sometimes both at the same time.
The Water Keeper by Charles Martin
Murphy Shepherd is mourning the loss of his mentor and close friend when he rescues a beautiful woman and finds himself falling for her. Summer stole a boat in a panic to save her daughter from the human trafficking ring she herself escaped, and Murph pulled her out of Florida's Intracoastal Waterway after she crashed said boat. Murph joins her on the desperate mission to find her daughter, but gets pulled deep into the shady world of human trafficking in his own backyard.
Along the way, Murph and Summer befriend a trusty dog, an ex-convict, and a girl who doesn't know her past. Each holds innumerable strengths on their journey for justice.
The Water Keeper is a thrilling novel about the search for freedom and desperation to save those in need, especially in a race against the clock—and against Murph's lingering demons. Add in a dash of romance for a fully well-rounded story that tugs at your heart-strings at every turn.
The Letter Keeper by Charles Martin
Murphy Shepherd is used to rescuing vulnerable women and girls from human trafficking, but when his new wife, her daughter, and two other teen girls are taken, it's too much to bear. When all is lost, how is it possible for love and hope to still persist? How can he possibly continue his regular mission of saving those in need, when he's the one in need of emotional saving?
The Letter Keeper is even more of a tear-jerker than the previous book in the series, with Murph coming to dead end after dead end in his search for those most precious to him. It's less action-packed, with much more focus on Murph's younger days, inner world, and philosophy, but that is no detriment to the story. It's a refreshing break from the action to learn more about our hero and what led him to this way of life.
The Record Keeper by Charles Martin
The events of The Letter Keeper nearly cost Murphy Shepherd his life. With his wife and daughters now safe and sound, he'd much rather stay home with them, but he knows the wheel of human trafficking keeps turning, and these victims need to know they're worth saving. So he marches onward.
This time, though, rather than leaving the 99 to find the one sheep who needs help, Murph and his crew decide to hunt the wolf behind the scenes.
The Record Keeper is a stunning conclusion to an incredible series about love and sacrifice.
The Murphy Shepherd Novel Series is something truly special. It has it all: thrilling action, emotional romance, devastating horror, hopeless despair. But those all are redeemed by the deep love and glory of God and people like Murphy Shepherd who want to eradicate evils from the world.