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3.95  ·  Rating details ·  132 ratings  ·  62 reviews
Are you one of the elect?

Dr. Helen Hope is a lecturer in eschatology – the study of death, judgement, and the destiny of humankind. She is also a Calvinist nun, her life devoted to atoning for a secret crime.

When a body is found crucified on a Liverpool beach, she forms an unlikely alliance with suspect Mikko Kristensen, lead guitarist in death metal band Total Depravi
Kindle Edition, 211 pages
Published October 16th 2018 by Crooked Cat Books
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Average rating 3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  132 ratings  ·  62 reviews

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Oct 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, blog-tour
This was a dark and gritty thriller with a bit of a different cast of characters...

A nun and a lead guitarist in a Death Metal band walk into a.... not a bad joke, they are two characters in this thriller.... when a body is discovered on the beach crucified and with a Bible quote? The authorities call on Sister Helen... sister Helen is convinced the guilty party is not Mikko lead guitarist in the Death Metal band Total Depravity...

This book was much darker than I was anti
Feb 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is SO COOL!!!

What do you get when an author decides to write a murder mystery which has a Calvinist nun, a heavy dead metal singer and a newly appointed young DI all working towards solving a series of murders which are somewhat entwined with the Calvinist doctrine of predestination (a doctrine which states that a person is already predestined to go either to hell or heaven irrespective of his deeds in this world) and a crazy geneticist's obsession with it? You get a story
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was not the book I expected.

So deep in the year it was a joy to read a debut author who has presented a novel of originality and unspeakable religious fervour.
To have a Calvinist Nun as a lead character was not only bold but quite brilliant. To place her in a sinister convert with a dark backstory allows her to both unravel and grow before the reader. Sister Helen Hope was an engaging character and one whose journey was both realistic and reflective of everyone’s struggle
Kirsty ❤️
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I do like an unusual plot and you can't get more unusual than a Calvinist nun and Norwegian heavy metal singer joining forces to solve crimes. Their investigation runs parallel with that of newly promoted DI Darren Swift on his first real case and feeling out of his depth. I really enjoyed following as both investigations took place alongside each other. 

I found the premise of removing original sin quite interesting and thought provoking. I'm quite comfortable being an agnostic so it
Ivonne Rovira
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ivonne by: NetGalley
Sister Helen Hope, a lecturer in eschatology (the study of death and the afterlife) at an unnamed university in Liverpool and a Calvinist nun (who knew there was such a thing?), finds herself drawn into the bizarre murder of a reformed penny-ante drug dealer. The murder victim has been killed and then literally crucified on a beach near Liverpool, accompanied by a Bible verse with special meaning for those who believe in the Calvinist tenet of predestination. Debut author Catherine Fearns’ novel ...more
Science and religion have a tenuous relationship in real life and it doesn’t get any better in fiction.

When a murdered young man is found tied to a cross, the suspect list is wide open. A religious fanatic? Crazed serial killer? Unpaid drug dealers?

DI Darren Swift—leading his first major case—and DC Colette Quinn are two sharp investigators that put together a stellar team and dig deep to break the case, but it’s the unlikely pairing of a conflicted, Calvinist nun and a j
Kath Middleton
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This unusual and very enjoyable book takes a look at Calvinist Christianity and its predestination doctrine, and entwines a bit of speculative genetics. The author comes up with a murder mystery very far out of the ordinary. I enjoyed the characters and their interaction, particularly Helen, the nun, and the death metal musician. The writing flows well and it was a joy to get my teeth into the story. It would be good to take some of the characters a bit further. Highly recommended.
LJ (On The Shelf Reviews)
A body is found on Crosby beach crucified with a quote from the Bible and a strange symbol carved into the victim. Sister Helen Hope, a Calvinist nun and lecturer of theology, is drawn into the mystery when the police consult her on the Bible quote.

The victim is linked to a disgrace geneticist who became convinced he found the genetic marker for those destined for heaven but he’s disappeared.

Even though she is warned repeatedly Helen can not leave it alone and with the help of foul mouthed lea
Donna Maguire

I thought that this book was great!

I loved that the main characters were not your normal police detectives but a nun and a death metal guitarist – and who would have thought they would work so well together – certainly not me – but they do, very well!

I loved the plot line and the setting for the book was great, I love books set in places where I have visited as I feel they come to life more for me so this one ticked a lot of boxes for me. The pace was good and I
Tabatha Stirling
Thank you @netgalley and @ crooked cat for an ARC

I am literally rubbing my hands with glee about the discovery of Catherin Fearns, a new author (for me) who writes dark, cross-genre fiction and illustrates perfectly that you can, with talent, write a story with many different parts making a glorious whole. I’m not going to talk too much about the plot because I’m a notorious unwitting plot spoiler - suffice to say that I may have found my next favorite female MC - up there with Nona Grey (Mark
Lel Budge
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read Consuming Fire recently by Catherine Fearns and thoroughly enjoyed it, so wanted to read the previous novel featuring Quinn and glad I did....

A young man is found tied to a cross, murdered..... so it begins...who would do such a thing, a crazy serial killer, a gang killing or a religious zealot...?

DI Darren Swift, on his first major case as DCI and his colleague, DC Colette Quinn are part of the team to investigate and hopefully solve this bizarre case.
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When a body is found crucified on a beach with a strange religious quotation, Darren Swift consults Sr Helen, a Calavanist nun. She is an expert in the end of days. This is Darren's first murder case and he is full of doubt. Sr Helen is intrigued by the case. She forms an unlikely partnership with a Death Metal musician to find out how a rogue geneticist is involved- not only in the murder but in a plot to change everything Helen believes in.

This is an unusual book with a real mix of
Katharine Johnson
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A bold, unpredictable, addictive read. From the blurb I had no idea what to make of this book but the first few pages pulled me in. I love that the author has avoided cliches and come up with refreshingly different main characters who I found plausible and likeable. Although this is a fast-paced thriller, it's also a thought-provoking book. I can't wait to read more by Catherine Fearns
Simon Bower
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Reprobation lures you in from the first pages. Featuring a nun and a death metal singer in the first pages, it was never going to be a run of the mill tale.
The plot is well crafted and the detail on Calvinism, metal and the study of death all well researched and integrated into the story.
It's a punchy novel - relatively short by comparison to some, which enabled a fast pace to be maintained right up to the final page.
Despite the creepy cover, you need have little interest in theology or
Heidi Catherine
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love a book that pulls me right in like this and entertains, yet at the same time opens my mind to ideas I'd never thought about before. With an unusual cast of characters, wonderful writing and a layered plot, this is a story that will stay with me for a very long time.
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews
When I first saw this book I was intrigued by the cover, then I saw it was a crime/thriller book and was like "How does the nun in the cover relates to this?". Of course I then read the blurb and thought "Hum... Okay, that's how! But now... How does this book going to work out?!" And that's how I ended up signing up to the blog tour and I had a blast reading this book.

Let me tell you some things I loved from the very beginning without even starting the book. First, like I said before
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Reprobation by Catherine Fearns is enticing as murder brings out the worst of people. Secrets are revealed and it open old wounds. Dr. Helen Hope is intrigued by the religious innuendoes in the murder of a local troubled man. Her search into the weapon at the crime scene leads her to Mikko Kristensen. His rock band focuses a lot on Calvinistic beliefs and his mixed messages brings Helen and Mikko together. On the other hand, DI Darren Swift is heading up his first murder. Trying to lead while st ...more
Subhajit Das
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
The title of the book was new for me I admit. The front cover of the book caught my attention and after reading the book, I can say that the story is actually a furnished and well woven from an in-depth plot to be specific. The engaging elements in the book won't make the reader get bored or lack the reader's attention, even for once, throughout the end. I liked the overall portrayal of the story and the way it is presented to the reader. Would love to recommend this book. Thank you.
Nov 15, 2018 rated it liked it
To be honest other than it being a book on a blog tour I was invited to join I have no recollection of what drew me to this book. I schedule months in advance so when it’s finally time to read the book I am due to review I sometimes wonder why I’m doing it. I can only imagine it is the cover image that piqued my interest, I had a mad moment when I was a child, I thought it would be fun to be a nun!!

Anyway, on opening the book and having a look at the blurb I was able to ascertain thi
Dec 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was an intriguing, beautifully written book full of original ideas! I loved the very intelligent mix of cutting-edge science, religion, mystery and romance. The author raises some fascinating spiritual and ethical questions that are becoming increasingly relevant. I highly recommend it!
Haley Renee The Caffeinated Reader
I hadn't heard of this book before and how much I regret not reading this sooner! I loved so much about this. Firstly, we have a Calvinist Nun and the lead singer of a Norwegian Metal band solving crimes together, it's like the metalhead version of Father Brown haha, and in the best ways.

We have a few characters at play and the way Fearns hints at the supernatural and otherworldly is perfect, she combines Christian mythology/theology with a police procedural to give you a spectacular murder mys
Linda Hill
Feb 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Calvinist nun Dr Helen Hope finds herself embroiled in a gruesome murder.

My goodness, Reprobation is a very different murder mystery. It is complex, intelligent and actually quite challenging at times, being none the worse for the effort I found I had to put in to grasp some of the theological elements and to define some of the language. I thought Reprobation was exciting and fascinating.

Firstly, I loved the character of Helen Hope; from her appropriate surname through he
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lel Budge
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I read Consuming Fire recently by Catherine Fearns and thoroughly enjoyed it, so wanted to read the previous novel featuring Quinn and glad I did....

A young man is found tied to a cross, murdered..... so it begins...who would do such a thing, a crazy serial killer, a gang killing or a religious zealot...?

DI Darren Swift, on his first major case as DCI and his colleague, DC Colette Quinn are part of the team to investigate and hopefully solve this bizarre case.
Anna Szabó
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of Reprobation by Catherine Fearns from Cameron Publicity & Marketing Ltd through NetGalley.

I didn’t know what to expect of this book. I’m an atheist so I don’t know about religions much and Calvinism is a new knowledge. Reprobation was my first book which revolves around religion.
The main character being a calvinist nun is original and just so imaginative that I had to read this book. And I wasn’t disappointed. The story kept me up well into the night which is always a g
Alyson Read
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a great debut novel which has so much going on at so many different levels. On the face of it, it is a police procedural involving the help of a civilian who becomes interested in trying to help the solve the case but it really is so much more. DI Darren Swift is newly promoted and back at the station where he worked years ago in Liverpool. Together with colleague DC Colette Quinn he is working his first murder, a strangled corpse found nailed to a cross with strange religious writing an ...more
alan l jarbeau
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great Novel ! Interesting subject matter to use as a basis for exploring the area of good& evil.

I assume this was Catherine Fern's first novel of so I can only hope there will be many more. I loved the whole premise of the gene manipulation in order to try and reverse the DNA in the gene which theoretically preordained one's going to heaven, or hell. Though some of the technical jargon ,and Andrew's and Matthew Clancy's theories were hard for me to follow at times. I realize this was no
Apr 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
"And don't ask me if I saw the hooded guy and the gate while I was under. Because I didn't see shit. Actually, I did, I saw you."

Oh wow. Early on I was getting major Michael Crichton vibes. This was so good, with so many characters I actually enjoyed reading about. I loved the forming relationship between two characters you'd never expect together and the events that caused them to even meet and grow closer. It was beautiful even amongst all the horrifying events. Human nature is a s
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Give this book a chance, you won't regret it

Very well written, scene is set in Liverpool and the picture is painted thoroughly. I like all the detail and efforts the author makes in getting facts right, even on death metal in early 90s Norway. The characters are very well presented, all with an adventurous past, and all fitting in nicely with each other. Finally, there is a lot of action and plot twists so you won't get bored. I hope the author's next book is as cool as this one.
Sue Blanchard
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thankyou to NetGalley, Cameron Publicity and Marketing and the author, Catherine Fearns, for the opportunity to read a digital copy of Reprobation in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion.
This book is certainly not just another murder mystery with religious overtones. I was intrigued with the premise of the story, and was certainly not left disappointed.
The plot was well thought out and original. I was sucked in by the engaging nature of the characters. I thought this book was a g
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