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Monday, August 31, 2015

Back Home and The Cardinal's Sin

The N.O. trip was great fun.  I walked around or read or worked on a little embroidery while Amelia was in her conference sessions from 8:00 to 5:00.  The weather for August in N.O. was unbelievable and everyone was delighted--high 89 and lower humidity than usual. Such luck!  A little more about the trip (and good friends and delicious food) over at Bayou Quilts.  

The Cardinal's Sin by Robert Lane

Have you ever had a word that you've been familiar with most of your life, read repeatedly, and never used?  As I was reading and thinking about this novel, just such a word came to mind.  There were several times I found myself nonplussed.  A little baffled, perplexed.

Some plot background:  Jake Travis works for an undisclosed government agency and is assigned to assassinate an assassin (yep) who has been targeting the loved ones of other special ops agents.  Not the agents themselves, but parents, wives, girlfriends.  Jake is aware that the names of those he cares about could also be on the bad guy's list.  

When he confronts the assassin and kills him, something niggles at him.  His information about place and time is correct, yet something feels off.  As, indeed, it is off.  The man he kills is not the assassin masquerading as a Cardinal, but a genuine Cardinal of the Catholic Church.  Oops!  There is also a missing woman to be found, an accomplice to the assassin, and Jake's difficulties with the woman he loves.

What I liked:  I enjoyed all of the literary allusions.  The author is well-read and obviously took pleasure in inserting quotes and references to literature and the Bible.  The characters were interesting; Morgan and his dead father and their dream conversations intrigued me. Jake is also dealing with dreams of the dead Cardinal. (In fact, this is the third book in a row with a heavy emphasis on dreams and their implications. I wish I could say that my own dreams were Jungian and revelatory,, they are not.)  

What bothered me a bit:  I was often nonplussed by certain juxtapositions and references that interrupted my train of thought and felt like non sequiturs.  Maybe I was zoning out occasionally, but several times, my reading would come to an abrupt halt as I tried to fit things in.  Jake sometimes annoyed me, too, with his over eager questions to Cynthia that cut off her comments and thoughts.  

Overall, I found the novel entertaining with some aspects that really appealed to me, and although this is my first book by this author, I would certainly read more.

NetGalley/Mason Alley Publishing

Thriller/Suspense.  Aug. 4, 2015.  Print length:  368 pages.


  1. The premise sounds interesting. Imagine to assassinate an assassin! Plus, to have killed the wrong man!

    I'm gonna hop onto your other site to read about your trip after writing this! :)

    1. It was an interesting premise, there were several elements that I enjoyed. Lane has written 2 previous novels featuring PI Jake Travis (who also has some kind of governmental agency connection), but I haven't read them. I think reading those would help with some of the secondary characters like Morgan and Jake's partner Garret. They are all offered for free with Kindle Unlimited.

  2. Great review! I don't think I've ever used the word "nonplussed." :-) Perhaps I just haven't found the right opportunity. It fits perfectly here.

    1. As soon as the word came to mind while I was reading, I knew I wanted to actually use it. I had never used it before, although I'm often baffled by much in life. :)