One of the books I read many years back while going through an intense Nora Roberts phase. I bought her books like others buy candy, borrowed them in piles from the library, and had just a fantastic time. This one is no exception. Somehow the author´s way to describe things, emotions, and scenes has made me want to read more. And maybe it is because her earlier novels show a certain tone she later changed a bit.

Sacred Sins
by Nora Roberts
Publisher Bantam on August 31, 2010
Genre Contemporary Romance
Pages 304
Format Paperback
Source Library

In the hot summer of Washington D.C., a young blonde woman is found murdered, strangled with a white priest's shawl. The press flocked to the story because the killer, now dubbed the "Priest," left a note next to the victim: "Her sins are forgiven." The police investigations, led by Sergeant Ben Paris, show little success. When more blondes are killed, the police enlist the help of attractive psychiatrist Tess Court. Because the perpetrator is convinced that he can redeem his victims through the act, she diagnoses him with a split personality. Ben Paris, however, doesn't give a damn about the killer's soul. He just wants to put the killer under lock and key. Ben is not so indifferent to the beautiful Tess. During the feverish search for the killer, a strong relationship develops between the two, who couldn't be more opposite. But not only Ben has his eye on the beautiful doctor. There's another one, and he wants to save her in his own special way...
Actually, Tess only had one favor to do for the mayor when she was doing the psychological profiling for the Washington D.C. Police Department. But she gets drawn into the case more than she initially likes and soon finds herself in the middle of a life-threatening case as the hitman, whom the press calls the "Priest," keeps killing and has his eye on Tess as well. Desperate to help the killer, Tess not only accepts confrontations with Sergeant Paris, but she also allows herself to become ever more deeply involved and almost risks losing her professional distance. And while Tess loses the fight to save a patient's life in a case, the killings to save the lost souls continue, and Tess finds herself fully targeted by the killer.

Nora Roberts is just amazing in her writing style. It doesn't matter whether you're reading a pure romance novel or the slightly bloodier variants as J.D. Robb writes she is always captivating and unmistakable. She uses her words clearly and effectively without using anything superfluous. Nevertheless, it perfectly expresses feeling and style. Not only does it offer the reader wonderful scenes, even if they are bloody and great locations, but the emotions it appeals to are also extremely effective. There is everything from abysmal despair, to protective love, and cold calculation.

You really immerse yourself in the world of the action and are still aware of the fact that something like this can happen at any time in reality. But it is precisely this possibility that makes this Nora Roberts novel lively and very convincing. The tension is systematically built up by the events in the plot and maintained until the end. Sometimes unexpected things happen, and the ending is more than surprising. I then closed the book with great enthusiasm and was completely overwhelmed.

From start to finish, Nora Robert's characters act believably and utterly compelling. They are profound, especially the character of Ben Paris, clearly and simply described and absolutely effective. The character of Sergeant Paris, in addition to his controlled, violent attitude, has a side that has shaped him more than anything else and determines his actions and thoughts. The author expresses these two sides brilliantly and shows with a sensitivity that something like Ben experienced is not insurmountable, but it is not easy for each individual affected and can be or already is a very explosive topic.

I was immensely impressed by the way Nora Roberts walked this tightrope without turning the character of Sergeant Paris into a hard-boiled oddball for the reader. He has remained an impressive man and the reader notices that with every word.

A gripping novel with a dash of thriller and even more passion. Gripping from the first to the last page. I can only recommend it.

Happy reading

Nora Roberts
Nora Roberts ©Bruce Wilder

Nora Roberts, born in Silver Spring, Maryland, is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than 200 novels. During the now-famous blizzard, she pulled out a pencil and notebook and began to write. It was there that a career was born. Several manuscripts and rejections later, her first book, Irish Thoroughbred, was published by Silhouette in 1981. Having spent her life surrounded by men, Ms. Roberts has a fairly good view of the workings of the male mind, which is a constant delight to her readers. It was, she’s been quoted as saying, a choice between figuring men out or running away screaming. Nora is a member of several writer’s groups and has won countless awards from her colleagues and the publishing industry. Recently The New Yorker called her “America’s favorite novelist.” She is also the author of the bestselling futuristic suspense series written under the pen name J. D. Robb. There are more than 500 million copies of her books in print.


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