Enmon, a veteran of the Houston PD and the Secret Service, debuts with a procedural about the kidnapping of a mayor’s daughter—among others.
Katrina Wallace isn’t close to her parents, and they might not have called the Dallas police at all when she went missing if her father hadn’t been looking to use the mayor’s office as a launch pad for Congress and didn’t want any distractions. Whatever their motives, the Wallaces make the right choice in doing an end run around Missing Persons and going to the Criminal Intelligence Unit. Sgt. Terry Andrews assigns his two best detectives, Franklin Pierce and Roberto Soliz, to the case, and they go at it hammer and tongs, noting the surprising appearance of a Bible among the vociferously atheist Katrina’s personal effects and following the trail of “Wormwood,” a single word highlighted in the book, to a group of men with identical tattoos who’ve gotten them at the behest of the prophet Brother John. Katrina, meanwhile, hasn’t been twiddling her thumbs. Bundled into a vehicle and driven through the night, she ends up drugged and disoriented at a compound where all the men are called Brother, most of the women are called Sister, and those who aren’t are raped and impregnated with the offspring Brother John and his followers are convinced will save the world. Katrina doesn’t intend to take this kind of treatment lying down. The premise of religious zealots victimizing innocent women is more overheated than original, and Enmon doesn’t develop his characters—cops, victims, or villains—enough to thicken the pot. But readers looking to kill a few hours wondering whether Frank and Rob will find Katrina before she’s consigned to the burial place of the cult’s earlier victims will find Enmon a foursquare conductor.
“Don’t have much of a personality, if you ask me,” a sheriff from another Texas town says of the criminal mastermind. Amen all around.