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Reviewed by Paul Johnson for Readers' Favorite
Monsignor Leland had been accused of molesting young boys many years before, though no charges were ever filed. Now the priest has been found dead. The police investigation by the LAPD will determine whether Monsignor Leland committed suicide or was murdered. Why would someone think it might be murder? Sometime back, a Los Angeles Times staff writer, Marco Vori, began writing an investigative series regarding priest sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Monsignor Leland learned of the series and contacted Vori to provide information regarding the investigative series. Did someone want to stop the priest before he could provide the information?
A few days after the death of the priest, Marco Vori goes missing. Shortly thereafter, Marco’s best friend, Elizabeth Pearson, begins receiving e-mails from the e-mail account of the dead priest asking her if she's received "the book." At first very confused, Elizabeth eventually stumbles upon the evidence the monsignor wanted to reveal to Vori. Suddenly Elizabeth has to run for her life from extremely powerful individuals who want nothing more than to ensure that the truth never comes to light.
For a first novel, Book of Redemption is very well written. The story quickly grabs the reader’s attention and holds it throughout. The cast of characters is strong and the plot is well defined. I would like to have seen the Vori character’s storyline in more detail. By adding the sequence of events up to and including his disappearance, the suspense could have been heightened. Overall, Ms. Smith did a very good job with this story, and I could see her heroine, Elizabeth Pearson, in future mystery stories. Well done.