After a Sudanese businessman falls ten stories from his hotel-room balcony, Paz investigates and finds a most unlikely suspect - an otherworldly creature named Emmylou Dideroff who claims to commune with the holy saints. Her "Confessions", scribbled in a series of notebooks, tell a remarkable tale of a woman from the wrong side of the tracks - a ...
After a Sudanese businessman falls ten stories from his hotel-room balcony, Paz investigates and finds a most unlikely suspect - an otherworldly creature named Emmylou Dideroff who claims to commune with the holy saints. Her "Confessions", scribbled in a series of notebooks, tell a remarkable tale of a woman from the wrong side of the tracks - a thief, a drug dealer, a prostitute - who would be called into the service of God in a most unusual way. Might this "service" include the murder of the Sudanese businessman, whose knowledge of oil reserves may be contributing to African genocide? It is left to police psychologist Lorna Wise to determine whether Emmylou is legally insane. But, when people associated with the suspect start turning up dead, both Paz and Lorna begin to suspect that there's something much larger at stake than Emmylou's guilt or innocence - and that the search for justice might bring them up against an even more elemental force...
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Publishers Weekly, 2004-11-08 Gruber's new mystery/thriller more than fulfills the promise of his dazzling Tropic of Night (2003), a critical and commercial success and his first book published under his own name. The story emerges from three directions: the POV of Cuban-American Miami cop Jimmy Paz; pages from the book Faithful Unto Death: The Story of the Nursing Sisters of the Blood of Christ by Sr. Benedicta Cooley; and a series of handwritten notebooks, The Confessions of Emmylou Dideroff. Gruber brings back Paz ("a neatly built, caramel-colored man, in a beautifully cut gray-green silk and linen suit" and one of the smartest, coolest, most intriguing cops working the pages of American thrillers these days) from Tropic to investigate the death of Arab oil trader Jabir Akran al-Muwalid, who's been bonked on the head with a piston rod and thrown off the balcony of his hotel room. Inside al-Muwalid's room, Paz finds Emmylou Dideroff kneeling on the floor, having a one-sided conversation with St. Catherine of Siena. The rod belongs to Emmylou, so she's assumed to be the killer; she's put into a mental hospital under the care of Paz's new psychiatrist girlfriend. Emmylou's written confessions tell the horrifying but riveting tale of growing up with an insane mother and a stepfather who molested her, as well as her adventures as a whore, drug dealer and, after joining the Nursing Sisters of the Blood of Christ, a tribal leader in Africa. Readers will find each of the stories-Paz's, Emmylou's and that of the founder of the Nursing Sisters-equally fascinating. Evocative prose, an erudite author, spellbinding subject matter and totally original characters add up to make this one a knockout. Agent, Simon Lipskar. (Jan. 4) Forecast: A good marketing push and word of mouth should assure a position at the top of the charts for Gruber, who ghosted Robert K. Tanenbaum's bestselling Butch Karp legal thrillers for many years. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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