cover image The Whispering of Bones

The Whispering of Bones

Judith Rock. Berkley, $16 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-425-25366-3

Rock delivers another polished performance in her fourth Charles de Luc mystery set in late-17th-century Paris (after 2012’s A Plague of Lies). When priest-in-training Charles and his confessor, Père Dainville, leave their Jesuit community to pray in a nearby church, the discovery of a murdered man hidden in the church’s crypt causes the elderly Dainville to suffer a fatal stroke. The victim is identified as a young man who had planned to enter the Jesuit novitiate; soon, Charles himself is attacked, another member of the order disappears, and scurrilous propaganda about the Jesuits begins to circulate. Charles’s desire to protect his community meets opposition from superiors uncomfortable with the unseemly visibility of his previous murder investigations, while his inner life is thrown into turmoil by painful reminders of his past as a soldier. Scrupulous historical research, psychological nuance, and colorful period depictions enrich this solidly plotted tale. Agent: Damaris Rowland, Damaris Rowland Agency. (Nov.)