There are some authors who can write nearly anything with style and grace, it doesn’t matter which genre they pick, their literary elegance overshadows the sub-genre. Ann McMan has the style to carry of anything, the grace to deal with an extremely difficult subject, and the wit to make you laugh while reading it.
Galileo is the second book in her Evan Reed Mysteries, following on from the excellent “Dust”. Political investigator Evan is called upon to do a rush job researching the arch-conservative candidate the current incumbent of the White House has nominated for the supreme court. What she finds is a horrendous trail of child abuse in the Catholic Church and beyond; privileged and powerful white men using the local parish schools as a grooming ground for their unholy activities.
It sounds heavy – and it is, but while McMan treats the subject with both compassion and respect, she also writes witty banter and dialogue, has us laughing at the inter-relationships, especially with the one-night stand “ex” and her teenage daughter. We get to see the story from multiple viewpoints, adding poignancy and depth to the tale, and pulling in both the history of her partner and her best friend. Few writers can manage multiple POV, but McMan effortlessly blends them into a cohesive whole that brings us closer to the characters and engages us fully in their stories.
Add in the return of master sleuth cum controller cum assassin Maya Jindal and the cast is complete.. with the dastardly Marcus Goldman hovering off-screen, powerful PACs and vested interests trying to first stop the investigation and then wipe out the trail, we have a story that twists and turns, opens up deep dark secrets and exposes an alliance of power that will rock the church, political and corporate worlds.
It’s hard to say Ann McMan’s writing just gets better and better, I didn’t think she could match the style of “Beowulf for Cretins” in a political thriller, but she has. It touches the politics of the day, this historical wrongs we continue to uncover, while deepening and exploring the characters we came to know and love in “Dust” and binding them even more strongly together. Tough subject done with consummate empathy… highly recommended.
(publisher review copy received)
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