Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sixteen: The Lord is My Shepherd - Debbie Viguie

Cindy, the church secretary at First Shepherd Presbyterian, walks into the church on Monday of Easter week only to trip over a body of a dead man. Hearing her scream Jeremiah, the rabbi from the neighboring synagogue, comes rushing over and helps calm her down. They call the police and suddenly are thrown into a murder investigation together.As the police review the crime scene at the church, they find a cross - which are only given to the Shepherds of the church. Their investigation turns towards those church members.

Cindy tries to go back to work and focus on the Easter week activities, but she finds it hard to concentrate with a killer loose. Her home is broken into later that day - forcing her to check into a hotel room. The killer strikes again - right across the street from the hotel - setting up the murder scene like Jesus throwing out the businessmen from the temple.

As the police start their investigation into this victim and other murders that occurred this week (that Sunday a man was killed on Palm street and put on a donkey), it becomes clear that there is a killer that is reenacting the Easter week events.

Cindy and Jeremiah begin to form their own theories about the week's murders. After searching the internet, Cindy finds out that the dead man's wife wife and daughter were killed during Easter week a few years ago in Raleigh. Could that same killer be terrorizing a new community?

As the week continues, the murders keep piling up and somehow link back to Cindy in a weird way. While dropping off an advertisement for the church at the local paper, Cindy is confronted by Oliver - a Shepherd at church & local journalist. He freely admits to the murders and is arrested. While he is being questioned - the killer strikes again. Much to everyone's chagrin, they realize the true killer is still out there.

After the killer poisons a whole family while they celebrate Seder the second night of Passover, the two churches decide to hold a vigil for the victims. At that vigil Oliver, Cindy, Jeremiah and the police are able to trap the true killer.

I picked up this book from a vendor's booth at the library conference I went to in January. I'm always a bit leery about Christian fiction since it can be hit or miss. Plus this book's title seemed a little cliche. I was pleasantly surprised when I finished the book in just over 24 hours. Debbie has a good voice and created some good sexual tension between Cindy and Jeremiah as well as just enough mystery around who the killer might be that kept me turning the pages. The Easter week events - which I'm familiar with - were predominant enough to help move along the plot - but weren't too focused on. This book is the first in a series and I'm curious to see how Debbie continues to intertwine the characters she introduced in this book.

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