Suffer Little Children

Thomas C. Davis, Author Walker & Company $19.95 (207p) ISBN 978-0-8027-3205-7
This absorbing first novel asks how much people should depend on God for guidance and protection during crises. San Jose private detective Dave Strickland, a lapsed Christian since his infant's crib death and his wife's suicide, is asked to find Billy, a Tourette's syndrome victim and the son of the Reverend Bauer. Strickland travels to Azalea, a small community where some of the church members view Billy's Tourette's-induced swearing fits as blasphemy rather than as the product of a mental disease. The detective cuts through the rife prejudice and ignorance to discover Billy's friends as well as Bauer's enemies. The reverend and his wife reluctantly help Strickland then shun him, saying that their faith should be enough to find Billy. But when they receive a ransom note, they allow him to coordinate the transfer of money. After Billy's body is found in a nearby lake, Strickland must track down the killer. Throughout, Davis traces the bond created between fundamentalists and nonbelievers by their love for their children. Mysterious Book Club alternate. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/04/1991
Release date: 11/01/1991
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