Title: Reprobation by Catherine Fearns
Publisher: Crooked Cat Books
Date Published: 16th October
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 Depravity. Together, they go on the trail of a rogue geneticist who they believe holds the key – not just to the murder, but to something much darker.
Also on the trail is cynical Scouse detective Darren Swift. In his first murder case, he must confront his own lack of faith as a series of horrific crimes drag the city of two cathedrals to the gates of hell.
Science meets religious belief in this gripping murder mystery.
Purchase Link: mybook.to/reprobation
A body is found on Crosby beach crucified with a quote from the Bible and an upside down axe 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 lead singer of Total Depravity, Mikko Kristensen, she delves deeper into this gruesome mystery.
So this is definitely an unusual crime thriller with a nun as the main character. I have to be honest this book really surprised me, I don’t often say that! I was expecting some light hearted but it turn out to be quite dark and gritty, mixing the chilling tenets of Calvinism with quite brutal murders.
Now I’m not remotely religious but I found that aspect of it quite fascinating, especially the thought that even one is born with their fate decided, it doesn’t matter what you do on Earth, you’re already going to Heaven or Hell and you can do nothing to change it.
Sister Helen is a really compelling character. She’s obviously trying to atone for something in her past by locking herself away from the world but she has a bit of rebellion in her, sneaking off and investigating murder and listening to music (which is forbidden).
As a scouser myself, I appreciated the little touches, not only in the description of Merseyside but the bits of scouse slang that some of the characters use which gave it a real air of authenticity.
I did feel the story sort of slow down a little in middle. Also as someone who is not remotely musical, I did find when Mikko and Helen were discussing music, a lot of it went over my head which was a little frustrating.
Overall Reprobation is a dark and gritty debut with a real variety of characters but not for the faint of heart.
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About The Author:
Catherine Fearns is a writer from Liverpool, UK. Her first novel, a crime thriller called ‘Reprobation’, will be published by Crooked Cat Books in October 2018. As a music journalist Catherine is a regular contributor to Pure Grain Audio, and she has also published numerous pieces of short fiction and non-fiction.Catherine has a degree from Oxford University and a Masters from the London School of Economics. She began her career as a financial analyst, but after having four children she retrained as a breastfeeding counsellor. Having lived in several countries, she recently moved to Switzerland, where she discovered her love of writing and is a member of the Geneva Writers’ Group. She plays the piano very well but prefers to play the guitar very badly. Oh, and she likes metal music. A lot.
Social Media Links – Twitter: @metalmamawrites
Facebook: Catherine Fearns
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