Mira, Mar 2004, 6.50, 384 pp.
In Revere, Massachusetts, sixteen years old Kit Connelly runs away from her warden of an Aunt Sarah because she feels the restrictions are too binding. Sarah worries about her niece when Kit fails to return home. She knows Kit is used to doing whatever she wants as the teen's father failed to discipline her once the kid's mom died twelve years ago. Unable to cope with raging hormones, Kit's wastrel dad dumped his daughter on his sister.
Josie Porter who works at Sarah's bookstore recommends her employer Father Clancy Donovan for help since the police are unable to provide manpower to search for a runaway. Clancy suffers a crisis of faith because he feels the antiquated church refuses to accept reality of life on the street. He runs a halfway house to help teen prostitutes start over. When Sarah asks for his help, he readily agrees but paints a pessimistic picture. As they search for the missing teen, Clancy suffers a more difficult crisis of faith as he and Sarah fall in love.
MORTAL SIN is an entertaining romantic suspense tale due predominately to the actions of Clancy who is frustrated with the Church's leadership and soon has an even deeper frustration hammering at his soul. He seems so very real though he also serves as a symbol of the priest crisis in America. Kit is a realistic teen unable to cope with rules and discipline after being allowed total freedom as a preadolescent. Sarah is a worried mother hen fearing her ward will make the mistakes she made as a teen including one particular unnecessary biological twist to a strong urban drama.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner