Famed Boston-based private investigator Fina Ludlow takes on a controversial case, both morally and socially, in Ingrid Thoft’s latest mystery.
There’s a new church in town, and the pastoral staff is praising the Lord by parading around in fancy cars, living in big homes and extravagant beach houses, and enjoying many of life’s finer things. But where does the money come from, and what, exactly, is Covenant Rising Church teaching their congregation?
That’s what Ludlow intends to find out.
When Fina’s father requests she take on the case for one of his clients at the Ludlow Law Firm, she does so reluctantly. Her reluctance comes mostly because of the growing tension between her and her family, who holds it together professionally but are highly dysfunctional behind the scenes. Nonetheless, Fina takes the case and sets out to investigate the pastor of Covenant Rising, Greg Gatchell.
Initial findings indicate that the leader of the megachurch is more of a shady businessman than a man of God, and is worried far more about enjoying this life than preparing for his afterlife.
The plot, which feels a bit jumpy at times, moves into new territory when Fina heads off to meet with one of the church’s other leaders, who supposedly might have answers about Covenant’s financial dealings. Instead, Fina finds the woman dead on the floor after apparently being murdered in an effort to keep her from talking.
Or was that why she was killed?
Another theory surfaces that indicates the woman may have been killed for different reasons, but that entire plot line adds to the already hard-to-follow story, which thankfully recovers towards the end as the full picture eventually comes into view.
Thoft’s latest effort is a combination of equal parts family drama, examination of megachurches, and a mystery involving former lovers, all rolled into a crime novel. A strong beginning is met with faltering middle chapters and a so-so ending.
Fans of Thoft’s work might enjoy Duplicity, but newcomers will likely be left scratching their heads. Not a bad story, but the execution was lacking, and the ending fell short of the high expectations caused by a strong premise and opening few chapters.
Author: Ingrid Thoft
Series: Fina Ludlow #4
Pages: 448 (Hardcover)
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Release Date: January 10, 2017 (Order Now!)