Under the Watchful Sky

Publisher: Tumblar House
Publication Date:
Format: Paperback
Pages: 360

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Assistant Medical Director Derek Stevens is called in to verify what seems to be a simple case of suicide, but on closer examination he realizes that the death was a very cleverly disguised murder. This discovery leads him into a concealed world where he finds love and acceptance side-by-side with dark secrets and veiled dangers. Meanwhile, his friend and colleague Janice Boyd is being lured into a mysterious organization with a hidden and lethal agenda of its own. As the two learn more about the worlds in which they are becoming more deeply involved, their converging paths take them through terrible discoveries and into deadly peril.

Read the First Chapter Now



Derek plays a virtual reality game where one woman character is seductive. There is brief sensual detail to let the reader know of Derek's intentions.

A girl is dressed immodestly and tries to seduce Derek.

Janice has a romantic encounter where she considers the possibility of sleeping with a man but it does not come to fruition.

Violence & Gore: Moderate

There is an explosion and many people die, but none of this is graphic.

A man is bound to a chair and killed via injection.


A man says "bitch" in frustration.

Alcohol/Drugs/Smoking: Mild

There is some drinking at social events.

Editorial Reviews

"The book is a great read—perfect to put into the hands of young people of high school and college age. The themes Mr. Thomas raises are vitally important, and the dystopia he creates seems all too possible." - Fr. Dwight Longenecker

"This is by far, the best 'Catholic' novel written since Michael O'Brien published FATHER ELIJAH 20 years ago. This is an absolute page turner, gripping the reader from beginning to end. Combine the intelligence of early Tom Clancy with the wit of Flannery O'Connor and the symbolism of Tolkien (there are Tolkien references throughout the book) and you'll come close to Roger Thomas. I was upset when I finished this, as I wanted to second in the series, NOW!" -  Dr. Brad Birzer of Hillsdale College.

Filled with people you know by the end, fraught with potential tears and harrowing moments, punctuated with plot lines that twist delightfully and unexpectedly...Under the Watchful Sky is a book that will own you for the first reading and beg you for a second. Engaging, suspenseful, and excellent...dystopian done right. - Sarah Reinhard, Bestselling Author and Award-Winning Blogger, Word By Word: Slowing Down with the Hail Mary and SnoringScholar.com 

With his novel Under the Watchful Sky, Roger Thomas skillfully draws together the strands of a story that feels altogether too real and possible. It builds into the kind of pacing one might anticipate from Dean Koontz. The conclusion is pulled together by one of the most memorable characters I've experienced in a long while, and leaves us a story that is both complete, and yet fertile ground for more exploration. - Michael Nicholas Richard, author of Tobit's Dog  

About the Author:
Roger Thomas

Roger Thomas is a self-employed computer consultant and corporate instructor who lives in Michigan with his wife Ellen. They have raised six children and are now helping those children raise their 14 (at last count) grandchildren. He loves reading, especially works by the Inklings, and baking bread to enjoy with homemade grape jam. From Afar is his third book.


Customer Reviews

Based on 9 reviews
Under the Watchful Sky

I enjoyed this book so much. It was scary in so far as knowing the reality of it. It will happen sooner rather than later. Fiction is
in fact based on reality. I hope the next book in the series will be out soon. I give it a 5 star for sure.

Under the Watchful Sky

Wow! This is an amazing book! I bought it for my husband who isn't much of a reader and usually doesn't manage to finish a book. He finished this one in record time. He would stay up after midnight reading, or I would find him up at 5:00 a.m. with the book in his hand. He's been talking about it ever since he finished it. Can't wait to start reading it myself.

Not finished yet

Even though I'm not finished with the book yet, I find the story very interesting and reflecting the "signs of the times."

Could Easily Happen Today

What makes "Under the Watchful Sky" so remarkable is that the events it describes could easily be happening in today's society. That little bit of realism makes the stakes much higher and the characters more relatable. It doesn't require much imagination to wonder how we would fare if we were faced with the same sort of decisions that Derek and Janice face. Would we have the strength to stand firm, or would we find ourselves caving in without putting up a fight?

Dystopian done right

Under the Watchful Sky, by Roger Thomas, is filled with characters who you know by the end, people you find yourself turning to and maybe even conversing with throughout the story. There are tears involved, and there are plot twists that may make you say strong language words out loud.

(These are elements that make a good book, in my world.)

This is a book that will own you for the first reading and then beg you for a second time through. (I'll be picking it up during my "week off" very soon. Because I'm taking my own advice and reading it a second time.)

It's not only engaging, but also suspenseful. You'll intend to stop reading and find yourself staying awake for one...more...chapter...and then another one...

Dare I say it's dystopian done right? Yes, yes I do.

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