The twelfth in a series of clever crime novels featuring scary-smart Kathy Mallory (It Happens in the Dark, 2013, etc.).
On the streets of New York City, a nun and a 12-year-old boy go missing and may have been kidnapped. Sister Michael’s real name is Angela Quill, and—oh my!—she's a former prostitute, not your typical nun’s career path. The boy is Jonah Quill, who has been blind from birth. Also, four corpses are dumped on the mayor’s lawn at Gracie Mansion. The victims’ hearts have been surgically removed, prompting a cop to say that “the freak takes trophies.” Special Crimes Unit detectives Mallory and Riker think otherwise. Meanwhile, the hearts wind up in City Hall, and the mayor wants them quietly disposed of. An aide tosses them in the river, thinking “How buoyant could human hearts be?” Meanwhile, Iggy (don’t call him Ignatius) Conroy tries to decide whether to cut Jonah’s heart out. Captor and captive have interesting exchanges about the abilities of blind people. You must see something, Iggy insists to Jonah. You must dream about something. And Iggy explains the Catholic practice of confession—say so many Hail Marys for this or that sin, and bingo, you’re absolved. “How many Hail Marys for killing a nun?” Jonah wants to know. He is an intelligent, resourceful boy, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s going to survive. Hearts, corpses, and the mayor’s office connect somehow with Jonah’s disappearance, so Mallory and Riker had best hurry to find the lad alive. As in previous novels, Mallory’s quirky personality shows “just a hint of crazy,” and sometimes, to unnerve people, she drops “every pretense of being human.” She’s an entertaining, slightly over-the-top protagonist with brains and attitude.
Colorful and appealing (or appalling) characters make this one a winner for crime-fic fans.