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Description (From Amazon)
"Born and raised in Chicago, Detective John Lynch might just be about to die there too."
A pious old woman steps out of the Sacred Heart confessional and is shot through the heart by a sniper with what at first appears to be a miraculous and impossible shot.
Colonel Tech Weaver dispatches a team from Langley to put the shooter and anyone else who gets in the way in a body bag before a half-century of national secrets are revealed.
But soon the sniper strikes again. And Detective Lynch, the son of a murdered Chicago cop, finds himself cast into an underworld of political corruption, as he tries to discover the truth about what's really going on before another innocent citizen gets killed.
I really enjoyed this fast-paced thriller. The narration of this novel is very clipped and bare-bones and I found that this fit well with the personality of the main character as well as the fast pace of the story. There are plenty of twists and turns along the way and I never knew exactly how it would all turn out at the end, which is a big bonus point for me.
There are a lot of characters to keep track of in this book, namely because it is split between two time periods. Adding to the confusion is the fact that a lot of those in the past are relatives of those in the present, and being a crime novel most of them are referred to by their surnames. Thankfully the author included a list of characters for each time period, and their relation to each other, at the start of the book (if you read this novel in e-book format, bookmark the character list, you'll need it!).
There were a few sections that confused me, especially when referencing black ops events that had taken place in the past, and I had to re-read them. In these instances the clipped style frustrated me a little and I would have liked clearer explanations. This may just be a personal thing, but it was enough to pull me out of the story several times and for that reason I have had to knock one star off.
That said, I do highly recommend this book and I can see myself referring back to it for tips when I need to increase the pace in my own fiction.
I give Penance 4 out of 5.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.