||Feb 6, 2008
A Big Easy heatwave, religious controversy, racial tensions, and a serial killer on the loose.
A twisted killer terrorizes New Orleans. An NOPD detective teams up with a woman journalist to stop him.
Official site of Susan Fleet
A twisted killer terrorizes New Orleans, murdering young women and taking their tongues as trophies. Hell-bent on stopping him, NOPD detective Frank Renzi teams up with African-American journalist Rona Jefferson, who believes police unfairly target black male suspects.
A tip from a prostitute leads them to believe the killer may be a young white priest, an allegation that enrages the Catholic community. The murders continue. After Rona Jefferson publishes the prostitute's story, the prostitute is found murdered.
As the police close in, the killer meets an emotionally fragile teenager and persuades her to run away with him. They hit the road and the chase is on.
A cop hunts a serial killer in New Orleans.
In spite of his checkered past, Frank Renzi is a good cop. He’s hardworking, conscientious, dedicated,
honorable—just the sort of person any city would want out on the streets hunting criminals. But this time Renzi
may have met his match in “the sinner.”
The serial killer is a Catholic priest, warped by a dark childhood of torture and humiliation at the hands of a cruel nanny, unable to resist a compulsion to inflict his inner pain on innocent women. The sinner commits a series of ritualistic murders he refers to as “absolutions,” which always end with the post-mortem removal of his victim’s tongue. But he covers his tracks thoroughly, leaving the police with few clues.
That doesn’t stop Burke Norris, the overbearing and publicity-hungry FBI agent in charge of the investigation, from looking for an African-American suspect. The city’s seething divisions rise to the surface when reporter Rona
Jefferson insists the search for a black suspect is racially motivated. For reasons of her own, she repeatedly and confrontationally uses her column
to urge the police to look for a white priest, putting the Catholic community on edge. Into these treacherous waters steps Renzi, a dedicated cop with dark secrets in his past. Throw in a wisted serial killer who suffered psycho-sexual abuse as a child, opportunistic reporters and cops more interested in advancing their own agendas than getting to the truth for a clichéd plot line and stereotyped characters.
But the book manages to hold its own even in this crowded genre, thanks to its relentless tempo and Fleet’s sharp writing. Tight pacing and no-nonsense prose save an otherwise cookie-cutter thriller.
Lulu (264 pp.)
February 6, 2008
Kirkus Discoveries, Nielsen Business Media, 770 Broadway, New York, NY 10003 646-654-7277 fax 646-654-4706
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