Warner, May 2003, 5.99, 302 pp.
In the St. Simeon Parish in Tampa, Florida, the congregation prepares for a big event when a little girl points out that the statue of Jesus is bleeding. Father Brendan Quinlan prays that this is a miracle, but when he looks carefully he knows more mundane matters of murder have occurred. He relocates the participants to another part of the church and calls the police.
Detective Matthew Diel leads the investigation into the murder of twenty-two year old member Steve King. When Diel learns that the victim was gay, he wonders if the priest had an illicit affair with Steve. Former colleague and ex lover, but now an attorney Chloe Ryder warns Matthew to keep his mind open before they agree to share what they learn. As the duo digs deeper into the homicide, the evidence seems to point towards the parish priest as the culprit unless Chloe, a believer in the goodness of Brendan, can prove otherwise.
This is an exciting police procedural that builds tension by what happens to Brendan who seems like a good Christian, but may prove to be a wolf in sheep clothing. Chloe and Matthew, who were once an entry, provide romantic tension, as they remain combustible. The story line moves forward rather quickly though an extra conspiratorial twist seems unnecessary. Still fans will hold their breath to see who is the killer and why.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner