Dies Irae

Ruby Spinell, Author Permanent Press (NY) $22 (208p) ISBN 978-1-877946-00-4
Spinell is a poet, formerly a nun in a cloistered setting probably like the Catholic monastery in suburban New York where she sets her first novel. In the barrel that holds the monastery's mail, Sister Damian finds three severed hands and three severed feet. Left by an unknown visitor, the ``gift'' involves her with detective Eli Janah and his wife, Mir, during a protracted investigation. Although the discovery creates a visceral shock, it palls in some ways beside the actions of the lead actors in the drama. The many-talented Jewish detective, Eli grieves when his beloved Mir leaves him to pursue her career as a writer and an affair with Bishop Danley, an ex-Green Beret. Outdoing the prurience of this coupling, Eli's sadistic abuse of a woman he attracts contradicts the honorable character the author invests him with. Poetic imagery enriches but too often merely magnifies the horrors unfolding from the get-go right up to the predictable day of wrath. Mysterious Book club alternate; paperback rights to Knightsbridge/Polo. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/1990
Release date: 09/01/1990
Ebook - 208 pages - 978-1-5040-2848-6
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