For Her Sins
by Maynard Sims
Review by Mario Guslandi
Joffe Books Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9781911021704
Date: 01 August 2016 List Price $6.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
At first, they were authors of supernatural and ghostly fiction, now Len Maynard and Mick Sims have gradually branched out as writers of action thrillers and mysteries as well. Having recently enlarged my own interests as a reader and a reviewer by adding crime to my long lasting devotion to dark and horror fiction, here I am meeting once again the British duo as mystery authors. I trust them so much that, in spite of my usual lukewarm attitude toward long fiction (I'm a short story lover), I started reading their novel without any reservation.
And I've been rewarded. The book is so enticing that I forgot to check my watch and spent a whole insomniac night reading it from first page to last. For Her Sins is a real a page-turner exactly as the blurb on the back cover promises.
The story revolves around the tragic death of a young nun, Sister Bernadette, violated and brutally murdered in the chapel of an orphanage. The investigation takes place within a narrow time frame (only twelve days), but is full of unexpected events and amazing discoveries that I won't disclose here to avoid spoilers.
Suffice to say that the character of the murdered girl turns out to be more complex and mundane than one could have supposed in the beginning. Her life appearing full of dark shades apt to amaze the main investigator on the case, detective Jack Callum, let alone the readers.
Another murder, that of a young priest, will make matters even more complicated and the ambiguity of some characters--such as that of an old Canon--will add more difficulties to the quest for the truth.
In the end, of course, after a good number of twists, the case will be solved and the culprit will get the well deserved punishment.
The novel is quite enjoyable from beginning to end, confirming once again the ability of Maynard and Sims as skilled storytellers. The pace of the narrative is breathtaking and the portraits of the various characters (policemen, policewomen, other nuns, innocent bystanders, etc.) are masterfully crafted.
The book is highly recommended, provided you avoid starting to read it in the evening. If you do, that's at your own risk: a sleepless night is awaiting.