cover image Sin No More

Sin No More

Kimberla Lawson Roby, . . Morrow, $23.95 (277pp) ISBN 978-0-06-089250-0

Flawed Rev. Curtis Black returns in Roby’s latest melodrama (following Love and Lies). The repentant, 46-year-old Curtis has finally made amends with his 31-year-old wife, Charlotte: she’s forgiven him for his five-year affair with Tabitha, but forbids him from seeing Tabitha or the infant daughter he fathered with her. An enraged Tabitha harasses Curtis, stalks Charlotte around their hometown of Mitchell, Ill., and threatens to go public. Haunted by her own daughter’s death and determined to keep her husband’s secrets, Charlotte decides to take matters into her own hands. Meanwhile, interim pastor Rev. Tolson, who knows a thing or two about Curtis’s business, is smarting from his loss of power now that Curtis has returned to the pulpit from a book tour and speaking engagements. And Curtis and Charlotte risk losing their 13-year-old son, Matthew, after David, the man they believe is Matthew’s biological dad, decides to seek full custody. Roby has got smalltown church politics down, but spends more time on stiffly repeated backstory and hollow finger-wagging than on plot, leading to a hurried, undermotivated denouement. (Jan.)