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Praise for The Last Con

“The Last Con spans centuries of mystery surrounding the relics of the Knights of Malta. It is rich in legend, deceit and thievery, alongside a story of family, grace and forgiveness. The struggle between doing what is right and doing what you want resonates. The characters are both lovable and frustrating, and always highly relatable. And of course, Bartels throws in a twist at the end that will leave readers stunned.”

“Bartels interweaves the story of an ex-grifter trying to go straight with the historic tale of a man and a group seeking ultimate power. I was quickly drawn in and kept turning pages.”

RICHARD L. MABRY, Bestselling Author of
Miracle Drug and Code Blue

“With the same intense intrigue as The DaVinci Code, The Last Con is a novel that spans the globe and leaves the reader hungry for the next twist in the story. From Italy to Detroit and even France, Zachary Bartels’ latest suspense includes artifacts, museums, security guards all wrapped up a puzzle that no one will see the answer to until it is far too late. Dig into Fletcher’s story and get lost in the details of The Last Con.”


“A tightly written page turner!”

CARRIE STUART PARK, Award-Winning Author of
The Bones Will Speak and A Cry from the Dust

“Zachary Bartels is the King of Snark, the Emperor of Twists, the Caesar of the Page-Turning Story. The Last Con had me neglecting housework, ignoring emails, and staying up well past my bedtime. I simply had to find out how the whole thing would play out. Life is short, reading time is precious. Still, The Last Con is a novel I plan to read again.”

SUSIE FINKBEINER, Author of Cup of Dust

Praise for Playing Saint

“A thought-provoking exploration into the power of faith and the reality of evil. Filled with memorable characters and tight writing, Playing Saint is an impressive debut from an author to watch.”
-STEVEN JAMES, bestselling author of Placebo and The Queen

“Bartels’ debut novel is a page-turner from the very beginning.  His excellent use of foreshadowing and his glimpses into the past create a story that readers can’t put down.  In the vein of Ted Dekker and Frank Peretti, Bartels weaves the supernatural into the natural in ways that are gripping and realistic, adding a shocking surprise that will leave readers stunned. ★★★★½”


“This is an exciting step forward for thrillers. Playing Saint grapples with complex themes as well as being richly suspenseful. Highly recommended.”

CLIFF GRAHAM, NYT bestselling author of Day of War
and Shadow of the Mountain: Exodus

“Bartels holds readers’ interest in this intrigue-filled thriller . . . Saint's character is particularly well developed as he changes from a self-absorbed TV personality into a true man of faith. This book will be enjoyed by those who love a mystery combined with supernatural elements.”


“Zachary Bartels is a new name to watch in the mystery/suspense genre. His debut Playing Saint is everything I love in a novel: great characters, edge-of-the-seat plot, and great twists and turns. I’m ready for his next book already. Highly recommended!”

COLLEEN COBLE, bestselling author of Seagrass Pier
and the Hope Beach series

“A page-turning supernatural experience . . . Speaks volumes about present Christian culture and ancient Christian history, tradition, and spirituality.”


“Zachary Bartels has redeemed Christian fiction for me. I can’t remember the last time I couldn’t put a book down, and I can’t remember the last time I’d read a Christian novel. And I really can’t remember the last time those two were one. To my pure delight, I discovered not only a well-written, entertaining read, but other fun things like this: Zachary Bartels is not afraid of head-on collisions with complicated issues. I loved Playing Saint for the recognizable reality, and the humor, and the way I felt when I finished the book—entertained, satisfied, and looking for more.”

TRACY GROOT, award-winning author of Mad Man
and Flame of Resistance

“Fueled by an encyclopedic knowledge of action movies and popular culture, and a reverence for scripture born of seminary study and faithful service as a pastor, Zachary Bartels is uniquely equipped to write the kind of novel that will make you think differently about Christian novels. Playing Saint is a reflection of its author—risky, fast-paced, sarcastic, clever, and ultimately hopeful. What happens when an author’s influences are Frank Perretti, The Boondock Saints, and the Apostle Paul? A book as current, engaging and believable as Playing Saint. We need more novels, and more authors, like this!”

TED KLUCK, award-winning author of
Why We’re Not Emergent and Facing Tyson

“I loved this from the first chapter because of the characters and dialogue. But as the story progressed, I loved it even more,not just for the way it kept me turning the pages, but for the way it demonstrated the danger and foolishness of dismissing our desperate need for Christ . . . Playing Saint is a riveting suspense novel, but even better than that, it packs a powerful theological punch without ever coming across as preachy.”

JOCELYN GREEN, award-winning author of
Spy of Richmond and Wedded to War

Praise for 42 Months Dry

“After starting with a literal bang, it was a non-stop adrenaline rush to the finish. I found myself living in the moment with the characters. I gripped my seat, gnashed my teeth, slow-clapped, and even shed a tear . . . To say I enjoyed it is an understatement.”

HU-ANN MULIA, comic book artist;
author of Paladin and Thy Word

“Well-written . . . a great blend of biblical history and modern urban violence. The action movie-style scenes make this a story that is . . . applicable in today’s world, a way to re-imagine this ancient prophet and make him come alive. Recommended for people who like their Bible stories in shades of blood and dust.”

J.F. PENN, Bestselling Author of Pentecost and Prophecy

“A postmodern thriller with a powerfully relevant and biblical message. It may seem sacrilegious to cast Elijah as a Jason Bourne character, but as the plot thickens you realize how much it fits. It takes a brilliantly twisted mind to remake 1 Kings 16-22 as a shoot-em-up action movie, and Bartels is up to the task. His novel dares us to re-imagine the Elijah story as if it were happening today. Why? Because it’s fun, and because it’s a shortcut to understanding—and deeply feeling—the showdown between Elijah and Queen Jezebel. I expected 42 Months Dry to be an exciting, fictional romp. I didn’t know it would open my eyes to the real world of Elijah—and my own.”

MIKE WITTMER, author of Don’t Stop Believing
and Heaven Is a Place On Earth

42 Months Dry is a classic of pulp fiction and needs to be made into a movie . . . the best in-flight read I've had in 10 years.”

FRANK TURK, speaker, blogger at TeamPyro