Laws of Depravity
by Eriq La Salle
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Pub Date 01 Nov 2022 | Archive Date 01 Nov 2022
Poisoned Pen Press, Ebony Magazine Publishing
From actor, director, producer and award-winning author Eriq La Salle comes the first in a heart-pounding crime thriller series that will leave you on the edge of your seat, frantically questioning the blurred lines between good and evil.
30 years. 36 priests butchered. His bloodiest masterpiece is yet to come.
Every ten years, for the past 30 years, a dozen clergymen are killed, brutally murdered in twisted scenes emulating the deaths of Jesus and his disciples. It is the work of a serial killer known as "The Martyr Maker." And in 2011, he set his mark on New York City.
NYPD detectives Quincy Cavanaugh and Phee Freeman, along with F.B.I. agent Janet Maclin know that they have very little time to catch this monster before he completes his final cycle of killing and disappears forever. But the investigation is made even more difficult when they discover that the seemingly unrelated clergymen are anything but the symbols of godliness they would have their community believe.
Praise for Laws of Depravity:
"Laws of Depravity may be the most engrossing book you read this year, bar none."—Lee Ashford, Reader's Favorites
"...an utterly compelling and riveting thriller with echoes of the dark master, Thomas Harris. Here, La Salle also adds a surprising twist by weaving in a spiritual component that raises the narrative to lofty and thought-provoking levels. It's a wonderful accomplishment."—Leonard Chang, author of Over the Shoulder and Crossings
"Actor and director Eriq La Salle's intense debut is a modern day parable cleverly masquerading as a crime novel. A muscular, gritty and spiritual thriller."—John Shors, bestselling author of Beneath a Marble Sky, Beside a Burning Sea, Dragon House, The Wishing Trees, and Cross Currents
"Laws of Depravity will take you on a heart-pounding ride of vengeance, murder and atonement, never letting you rest until you've reached the final page."—Neal Baer, co-author of Kill Switch and former Executive Producer of "Law and Order S.V.U."
"The surprises keep coming in La Salle's twisting debut thriller, in which good and evil aren't always black and white. In addition to the absorbing, fast-paced plot that will keep readers guessing until the end, each wonderfully sculpted character has a distinct, lifelike personality."—Kirkus Reviews, STARRED review
"A gritty crime thriller, spiritual quest, and love story all woven into one compelling tale."—Publishers Weekly
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 16 members
For the past thirty years, every ten years twelve clergymen of differing denominations are brutally and horrifically murdered. The murder travels from city to city.
When he arrives in New York, two NYPD detectives, Quincy Cavanaugh and Phee Freeman team up to capture the unknown killer. They are soon joined by FBI Agent Janet Maclin. The FBI has nicknamed the killer “The Martyr Maker.”
They work very long hours
There are several asides whereby the reader gets a chance to know the officers more intimately. This was a very well thought out manner in which to introduce the detectives. When I read a book, I always want to know more about the background of the protagonists. We even got to know The Martyr Maker very well.
I really appreciated the underlying discussion about the hypocrisy that some religious leaders display in their everyday lives. For The Martyr Maker does not kill “good” men, only those who make a mockery of society’s values and morals. The preacher who railes against homosexuality, but visits gay bars at night, the priest who who decries the abuse of children but is a pedophile himself and so on.
These issues also play out in the detectives’ lives. Phee, Quincy’s love interest, Elena’s and Janet all struggle with the issue, whether they are aware of it or not.
I enjoyed this book very much. I liked the three main protagonists very much and I completely understood The Martyr Maker’s reasons for his rampages. I certainly don’t condone the killings, but I understand. The book is extremely well written and plotted. The transitions are smooth. The killings are described in a matter of fact way. Mr. LaSalle does not get into the gore very much. Just the facts. I will certainly look into any more novels that this author chooses to write.
I want to thank NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press/Ebony Magazine Publishing for forwarding to me a copy of this great book for me to read, enjoy and review. The opinions expressed here are solely my own.
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