As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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Published by Allison and Busby, 16 February 2017. ISBN 978-0-7490-2078-1
Hunter is on sabbatical, supposedly writing a book. A few years earlier, before
he lost his faith, Matt had been an ordained minister and worked for an
evangelical church. Now an academic sociologist, Matt occasionally helps the
police with situations that have a religious connection. Matt is married to
Wren and has a sixteen-year-old stepdaughter, Lucy, with whom he has a
challenging relationship, and a seven-year-old daughter, Amelia.
Wren is an
architect, and when she is invited to tender for the contract to extend and
modernize a church in a village near Oxford the family is particularly
delighted - the invitation comes with the wonderful offer of a free holiday in
a local cottage. So, on a hot summers day the family pile into their car and
head for Oxfordshire. The village is idyllic, but slightly unusual for the
multiplicity of wooden crosses that adorn many of its houses and shops. And
despite the facts that there are no curtains at any of its windows, and it is
surrounded by woodland, the family thinks the cottage is just perfect.
Wren’s contact for the work she might do, and Ben, whom seems a pleasant lad,
welcome the family at the cottage.It
transpires that Ben is the son of the local pastor, Chris Kelly, an overly enthusiastic
Christian whom Matt had trained with and befriended when they’d been at
theological college together. The invitation to Wren and her family had not
been as straightforward as they had imagined! Chris believes that Matt is
heading for hell and has deliberately tracked Wren and Matt down in an effort
to reconcile Matt to God.
No sooner had
the family arrived in the village than a fourteen–year-old girl goes
missing.Was this the one whose
drowning/ baptism was described over eight pages in the first chapter of the
book and whose picture is mysteriously e-mailed to Matt?Another picture and another “holy” drowning
occurs against a background of much joyful praising of Jesus led by the ever
ardent Chris Kelly.The tension rises as
Matt, who has already sought help from a buddy, DS Larry Forbes, comes under
suspicion from the local bobby, and Lucy runs into danger.
People who like
“holy” combined with the macabre will love this book.There are relatively few characters so the plot
is easy to follow. But beware; there is a wicked twist at the end.All is definitely not what it seems in Purged.
Peter Laws is an ordained Baptist minister with a
taste for the macabre. He writes a monthly column in The Fortean Times and also
hosts the popular podcast and YouTube show The Flicks That Church Forgot which
reviews thriller and horror films from a theological perspective. He regularly
speaks and preaches at churches and events. He lives with his family in
a retired scientist. She has published many scientific papers but, as
yet, no crime fiction. In her spare time Angela belongs to a Handbell
Ringing group, goes country dancing and enjoys listening to music, particularly
the operas of Verdi and Wagner.