Amy Lignor's Reviews > Absolution

Absolution by Susan Fleet
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Mar 15, 12

Read from March 12 to 14, 2012

Readers, it is SO nice to get a mystery/suspense that is actual suspense. You know what I mean - no ‘frilly’ edges or silly characters - just a dark, cool, riveting story that doesn’t pull any punches. It’s not surprising that I would have received this from Susan Fleet - the author of “Diva” (which I thoroughly enjoyed). She’s already proven to me that when her name is on the cover of a book that I’m actually going to get the gritty, unsolvable crime filled with memorable characters and red herrings galore. Ms. Fleet has definitely found a way of writing that makes it impossible to look away from the story.

With this offering we head into the dark, dangerous, and odd world of The Big Easy. A malicious killer called the ‘Sinner’ is stalking the streets of New Orleans, with his focus on discovering young women who have extremely low self-esteem and are just looking - no, craving - someone to talk to. His victims yearn for someone to come into their lives who will listen attentively and pass on advice on how to live comfortably and safely in the big city. (This truly proves that you should NEVR talk to strangers no matter how needful you happen to be).

The ‘Sinner’ killings are all alike; a young woman is strangled and mutilated with a note left on her mirror with the word “Sinner” written in lipstick. That’s it - no clues, no help, no nothing. So what do you do to stop a flagrant, in-your-face killer like this one? You place the case in the hands of the ‘best of the best’ - Frank Renzi.

Renzi is a homicide detective who will never give up. Like a dog with a bone he WILL get the ‘Sinner’ off the streets of New Orleans no matter what he has to do. Against his will, but knowing that it’s the only way to capture the killer, he hooks up with Rona Jefferson - a reporter who is not exactly in his circle of friends. Rona is a firm believer in the fact that too many African-American men are suspects in this particular case and that the police refuse to look at a white male for the crimes. The two of them are not on the same page most of the time, and focusing on their own agendas actually ends up resulting in a murder that never should have happened.

A tip from a potential victim who was the focus of the ‘Sinner’ a few years previously, leads the duo down a path of righteousness that they seriously never would’ve thought to follow. As Renzi begins to close in on the killer, the ‘Sinner’ gets to know a young and very culpable young girl that he persuades to run away with him. As they head out, the police follow in hot pursuit. I can’t tell you any more, because this is a story that you do NOT want spoiled before you open the cover for yourself!

It is extremely hard for me to believe that this book was Fleet’s first, as it is SO good for a debut novel. There are topics introduced that will make all readers stop and think, including everything from racial tension to religion, while still keeping the intriguing plot going at a fast, heart pounding pace. Enjoy!

Until Next Time,
Amy
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