cover image Nazareth Child: A Del Shannon Novel

Nazareth Child: A Del Shannon Novel

Darrell James. Midnight Ink (, $14.95 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-0-7387-2369-3

The familiar theme of a religious cult leader fleecing his flock drives James's workmanlike first novel, which introduces Del Shannon, a field investigator for a private security company in Tucson, Ariz., who has the makings of a solid series character. Del has a knack for locating missing persons, but she has never been able to find her unknown mother, about whom her father, Roy Shannon, has refused to tell her anything. When Federal agents discover that Roy owns a property in Nazareth Church, Ky., near the compound of spiritual healer Silas Rule and his followers, they persuade Del to pose as the wife of undercover ATFE agent Frank Falconet. While Frank is primarily concerned with investigating the cult, Del winds up more concerned with pursuing leads about her missing mother. The vivid picture of Rule's charlatanism and sexual hijinks helps compensate for the less than original plot. (Sept.)