I really, really like Faith Morgan.
A cop-turned-vicar, she's got the essence of both her past profession and her current ministry inside of her. Sometimes they seem to be polar opposites, and she questions whether she is made to be either. And then their are times she can see Christianity and police-work meshing together.
This mystery, the first in very promising series, is just the right length with just the right plot intensity and fine character building.
The author strikes the balance between unfolding a serious mystery and letting us peek into small town politics and private relationships.
Faith is sensitive- to fine details in a crime scene and to a breaking human heart. She's also tough without being hard- she can deal with a terrible scene and yet remember the humanity that exists within it.
And that's what sets her apart from her former partner, Inspector Ben Shorter. Ben is a good cop, but his worldview sees only criminals and victims. He sees tragedy, with no real redemption possible- only justice and punishment. And that is where Faith disagrees with him.
She sees the Image of God- broken and tarnished and horribly disfigured, but she still sees it.
Read this one, and then go get The Advent of Murder, and continue your friendship with Faith Morgan.
Thank you Kregel for my review copy!