Davis's debut novel is a morality play about despair and faith wrapped around the story of a kidnapping. The victim, young Billy Bauer, is afflicted by Tourette's syndrome, which provokes him to uncontrollable bouts of obscenity and blasphemy; his community, clustered around his father's fundamentalist church in Azalea, California, recoils from Billy despite their love for Rev. Bauer. Enter Dave Strickland, a private eye on the run from religious faith since the deaths of his wife and daughter two years ago. The mystery- -was Billy snatched by a rebellious local rocker, or an unusually sympathetic child molester, or someone closer to home?--takes a back seat to Dave's romance with Charlene Benton and his string of moral debates with Rev. Bauer. Simple, stark, and dramatically effective.