Souls of Angels
Sister Ria, a young nun who works with the poor in India, is abruptly called home to Los Angeles because her father, Don Maximiato Lugo, is accused of murdering a prostitute. She isn’t sure who called her home—when she fled her psychologically abusive father, she told no one where she was going—but she feels that it is her responsibility to determine exactly what happened.
When she returns to her home, Sister Ria finds her father in denial that anything happened, despite the fact that evidence of his responsibility was found at the crime scene. Don Maximiato has done so much for the local Mexican community that they treat him as a saint, even though his temper is volatile and his handle on reality is increasingly precarious. When Sister Ria begins to investigate what really happened the night Dorothy Regal was murdered, she sets a sinister chain of events in motion that threaten both her life and the lives of all living in her family’s villa.
The 1880s Los Angeles setting is less exotic than it sounds, and many of the tensions between the Anglo and Mexican communities that Eidson employs to build suspense are still active today, making Souls of Angels seem more timeless than bound to a particular historical period. As the story unfolds, Eidson provides glimpses of Sister Ria’s youth, illuminating the reasons why she fled her comfortable life to serve God as a nun. The mystery was intriguing and the ending was surprising, but the backstory of the troubled and volatile relationship between Maximiato and Sister Ria was what kept me interested.