Thursday, October 6, 2022

ARC Review: Blind Faith by Alicia Beckman

Blind Faith

Alicia Beckman
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (October 11, 2022)

Description: Long-buried secrets come back with a vengeance in a cold case gone red-hot in Agatha Award-winning author Alicia Beckman’s second novel, perfect for fans of Laura Lippman and Greer Hendricks.

For decades, the unsolved murder of Father Michael Leary has haunted Billings, Montana, the community he served. Who summoned the priest late one autumn night, then left his body in a sandstone gully for the ravens and other wild scavengers?

And it’s haunted no one more than Lindsay Keller, who admired and confided in him as a teenager. Compelled by his example to work for justice, she became a prosecutor. But after a devastating case left her shattered, she fled the rough-and-tumble for the safety of a desk, handling real estate deals and historic preservation projects. Good work, but not what she’d dreamed of.

Now Lindsay finds herself in possession of the priest’s wallet, the photo of a young girl tucked inside. She’s sure she knows the girl, and that it’s tied to his death. But how?

Detective Brian Donovan, a hot-shot Boston transplant, would like nothing more than to solve the county’s coldest case. Probing the life and death of Father Leary takes Lindsay and Donovan deep into long-simmering tensions in this seemingly-peaceful place.

Then another woman far away digs up unexpected clues about her own family’s past—a history rooted in a shocking truth—and her questions bring her to Lindsay and the detective. But the dangerous answers could rock the community to its very core.

My Thoughts: This story tells about what happens when old crimes and old secrets come to light. Detective Brian Donovan, an East Coast transplant in Billings, would like to clear up some old cases when he takes his job. The one that is the most haunting is the murder of Father Mike Leary who took a call in the middle of the night and was never seen again. Father Leary disappeared in 1995 and his bones were discovered in 2004.

Lindsay Keller is a lawyer in Billings who works with real estate and historic preservation. One of her clients drops off a wallet he found while moving an old house to a new site. The wallet is Father Leary's. Lindsay brings it to the police, but she removes a photo from the wallet before she turns it in. 

Lindsay knew Father Leary. He taught religion at her Catholic School when she was a senior. He was very helpful to all the seniors when Mary Ellen Simonich died in a car accident early in their senior year. Lindsay and ME had been best friends until her dad got some money, moved them to the rich part of town, and ME turned mean. Lindsay has always felt guilty because she turned down the chance to be in the car that night. 

The story has a third thread too. Carrie West had just come to Billings and started her senior year and was befriended by Lindsay before the accident happened. Carrie, her little sister Ginger, and grandmother Irene came to be close to Father Leary who was their father's childhood friend. Something happens that causes them all to move to Portland just a few days later. 

Now, while Lindsay and Donovan are looking into Father Leary's murder, Carrie is doing her own research. Her four-year-old grandson has cystic fibrosis and needs a complete genealogy to be accepted into a drug trial. Carrie doesn't know anything about her family's past. She was told that her father died in Vietnam. She knows her mother died of cancer when she was only 32. Her grandmother never wanted to talk about her father's family and has now passed away. Her investigations into her own past will soon intersect with Lindsay and Donovan's investigations.

This story was very engaging. It is told from multiple viewpoints and takes place in a number of different time periods. Thank heavens for dated chapter titles! I was fascinated by the way the various parts of the story fit together and loved each new revelation. 

The story was well-written and filled with complex characters. I highly recommend it. 

Favorite Quote:
Tony had said Donovan didn't know anything about his life. But he did. He knew the difference between him and the criminals he put away was not the opportunities they'd had, but the choices they made.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. So glad you enjoyed the trip to Montana with me! Alicia, aka Leslie


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