Wages of Sin
A sequel to Mortal Sins, Wages of Sin embroils New Orleans homicide cop Daman Rourke in two frightening investigations: the crucifixion of a beloved but controversial priest and the stalking of his lover, silent movie star Remy Lelourie. Teenage girls who are members of Remy’s fan club are brutally raped and murdered. Rourke’s investigations uncover the seamiest side of life in New Orleans: corruption in the Catholic Church; a father pitting his daughter against her mother; a secret kept by the dead priest; and a public execution of a black teenager attended by the Klan.
Williamson pulls out all the stops to make this a lurid, page-turning thriller. Both sex scenes and torture scenes are described in graphic detail. This book is the definition of over-the-top and is not for those easily offended. 1920s New Orleans is as much a character as anyone else, with its debauched atmosphere permeating the book. I can’t imagine it taking place in any other setting. While it’s difficult to deny the passion between Rourke and Remy, both they and other characters in the book are opaque and cold despite the book’s efforts to give off heat. Nevertheless, as Williamson sets up a cliffhanger at the end, I’ll be back for the third installment.