DEATH IN THE COVENANT by D.A. Bartley

DEATH IN THE COVENANT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A late-night phone call forces a Utah detective into conflict with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Abish Taylor, the daughter of a deeply religious LDS family, has lost her faith. As the only police detective in Pleasant View (Blessed Be the Wicked, 2018), she’s called to the scene of a car accident that turns out to be murder. The only witness is Bryce Strong, a pot-smoking climber whose description of a white car on the wrong side of the road and the big, casually dressed man who calls to him that all is well rings true. Abbie is dismayed to learn that the dead man is President Heber Bentsen, a longtime family friend high in the church hierarchy, whose surviving members spring into action to shut down the investigation. Abbie’s father, a professor at Brigham Young, had recently talked to Bentsen about Brittany Thompson, a student headed for doctoral studies at Yale who had suddenly dropped out. It turns out that she was not the only woman who'd quit school, a fact that Bentsen found deeply disturbing but refused to discuss. Abbie tracks the missing students to an LDS compound in Mexico and discovers they’re part of a secret plot to restore polygamy. Brittany has taken her two children and fled back to Utah, with Abbie in pursuit. Finding her own home under surveillance, Abbie goes to Flynn, a family friend and maybe much more, to shelter her and, later, the heavily pregnant Brittany, who wants to live with the father of her children. All possible pressure is applied to stop Abbie’s investigation, including killing off witnesses. Her lifelong relationship with the church elders helps her understand their twisted motives, but she still has to run for her life.

A plausible exploration of obsession, immorality, and illegality willfully ignored.

Pub Date: Aug. 13th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-64385-119-8
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Crooked Lane
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2019