'Wages Of Sin'
By: Penelope Williamson
(Hardcover / 432 Pages / Warner Books / ISBN: 0446528412 / $19.95)
Description:In an abandoned waterfront warehouse in New Orleans, the body of a local priest has been discovered. The cause of death: crucifixion. Now, Damon Rourke, the hard-nosed detective introduced in Mortal Sins, again finds himself combing the seedy back streets of his city in an attempt to catch a killer even as a shocking mystery is revealed. The dead priest was in reality a woman, whose longstanding masquerade may have contributed to her murder.
Verdict: In 1927, there are few events, including murder, that would shock the residents of New Orleans. Even the recent deaths of teenage fans of silent screen queen Remy LeLourie hardly dent the demeanor of the citizens. However, the crucifix torture killing of Father Patrick Walsh, perhaps the most popular priest in the city, stuns even the most decadent individual.
Homicide Detective Damon Rourke leads the inquiries into the murder of Father Walsh. He believes a link exists between that homicide and the rash of female teen deaths who cult worship his lover Remy. He also feels that a connection exists to another crime that has divided the city. He never sleeps as he searches for the thread that will tie these seemingly three different situations together and lead to the culprit(s). Damon finds clue after clue, but the clock ticks with little progress.
'WAGES OF SIN' is a superb historical police procedural that brings alive the 1920s in New Orleans. The story line is no stop action as the workaholic Damon ignores his lover, his daughter, and his health to find the blood line that runs through each case like beads on a necklace. Read very carefully this tale as Penelope Williamson reveals all the clues. However, if not closely followed, the final twist will surprise the audience who will realize that the author hid nothing yet succeeded with a delightful sleight of the hand early twentieth century who-done-it.
Reviewed By Sarah Hickson