The Sinner

Martyn Waites. Blackstone, $17.99 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-1-9825-4878-0
In British author Waites’s relentlessly tense if flawed sequel to 2020’s The Old Religion, the police persuade former undercover cop Tom Killgannon, who’s been in the witness protection program in rural Cornwall, to pose as a convict in a local prison. Killgannon’s mission is to befriend an infamous child murderer and get him to reveal the whereabouts of his final two victims’ bodies. The assignment turns deadly when Killgannon finds out a gangster he put behind bars for life is in the prison—and is obsessed with retribution. When Killgannon’s contact outside the prison is murdered, he realizes the people closest to him—Lila, a runaway teen living at his house he’s been helping, and love interest Pearl—are in mortal danger, and he’s powerless to help them. Waites’s analysis of the bleak histories and psyches of his diverse and deeply developed characters is spot on (“It’s not just the things you do. It’s the things that are done to you”), but some contrived situations near the end undermine credibility. This talented author has done better. Agent: Jane Gregory, David Higham Assoc. (U.K.). (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 11/19/2020
Release date: 02/01/2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
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