Sunday, July 4, 2010

White Heat-Brenda Novak

White Heat
Brenda Novak
Mira, Jul 27 2010, $7.99
ISBN 9780778327950

Several college students from wealthy families formed The Church of the Covenant. Over the years their little sect has grown until there are two hundred members in the flock. Ethan Wycliff is the Holy One leader with twelve Spiritual Guides. The unholy thirteen use their flock for sex and drugs. They are also righteous murderers defending what they believe is their divine right.

The Department 6 private security firm assigns Rachel Jessop and her supervisor Nate Ferrentino to go undercover as a married couple in order to infiltrate and expose this deadly cult. The pair, who shared a one night stand both never forgot, travels to Paradise, Arizona home of the Church of the Covenant with Rachel as a weak person seeking solace and Nate as her skeptical husband.

This is a fascinating romantic suspense thriller with its intimate look at the Cult’s activities especially sexual dominance and torture in the name of the Lord. Nate is euphoric with the assignment because he wanted a second to the nth trysts with the woman who seduced him that one time. On the other hand Rachel is much more complex, but too much so; she remains humiliated by what she did that one time and the Cult brings back better forgotten childhood memories of a strict by the bible rod using father. Readers will enjoy this glimpse into how few charismatic nasties can dictate in every sense over those in need desperate to belong to anyone.

Harriet Klausner

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