By: Antonello Fiore
Format/Source: eBook at the request of the author
Father D’Angelo and Bakeman, two devoted priests were brutally murdered while going on one of their nightly walks. Detective Frank Rinelli is called to the case- not only due to his close friendship with the priests, but with his expertise of tracking psychotic killers. Rinelli suddenly discovers these murders were based on a scandal that occurred several years ago at the same Church where the two murdered priests preached. And it doesn’t stop there. The list of people being murdered in connection with the scandal continues to grow until the killer has his ultimate vengeance- and the truth released.
I received a free eBook copy of this novel as part of a promotion by the author and reviewed it at the request of the author. But for some reason, I never got around to posting the review, so oops, this is actually coming up pretty late (thank goodness I saved notes on my thoughts). Anyway, I thought the premise of the story sounded interesting, and rather timely given headlines in recent years regarding scandal cases emerging. As I also placed in a note, I was also coming off reading some rather hefty titles at the time taht this title popped up and was looking for a mystery novel for a shake-up.
Again, I thought the story was pretty in with the news given the scandals in recent memory that have affected the Catholic Church. I also thought it was interesting how Frank Rinelli had such a close-knit family; the reader learns a bit about the character’s background and upbringing over the course of the novel and the development of the mystery.
However, I did find it a bit difficult to get into the story despite having a first-person narrative and a fairly straightforward storyline. I wish there had been more depth to the characters and more reaction to the priests’ deaths, in particular how it is affecting Rinelli’s performance on the job. I expected him to be harder and more determined to solve the case; it might’ve just been a case of his narrative being a bit too casual for me, but I just expected a bit more edge from Rinelli after the deaths.
I also felt that the surprise twists and turns regarding the culprits behind the heinous crime was also tapered down because we got the perspective of the antagonists included in the story. Granted, there are a lot of novels out there that utilise this technique–Dan Brown comes to mind, Brad Thor did it to some degree when I read Hidden Order recently–but I think less chapters on the culprits would’ve preserved some air of mystery and menace on their part. It felt rather predictable, save for “The Solution”, who came off far more hardened and dangerous than the mastermind behind the crime.
Overall, it was a good introduction to Frank Rinelli and the series. Some details felt a little unnecessary and/or repetitive, and I could have used some more backstory to some of the other cases that Rinelli had worked on, but otherwise it was a pretty solid story from start to finish. Ultimately I don’t think it was for me, but readers of crime fiction and mysteries might want to check it out.