In Little Faith, readers get a chance to again travel the dark side of Austin, Texas with Homicide Detective Dan Reles, first introduced in Dirty Sally. Reles is an outsider on the Austin police force. First, he's from New York. It's not so much matter of where he is from, the point is he's not from Austin or at least Texas. Secondly, he's Jewish so he does not exactly mesh with the rank and file of the Austin Police Department filled with good 'ole boys. His only real friend on the force is a fellow detective James Torbett who is the only African American in the department.
While Reles is attending a dinner honoring the newest promotions within the Austin Police Department, the body of Faith Copeland, a former child TV star is found. Lieutenant Pete Marks, not wanting to leave the banquet, refuses to take the call, so the case eventually passes to Reles. At first it seems that the case might be Reles' ride to the promotion that has long eluded him. However, departmental politics and his own messy life complicate things for Reles. After the body of a known prostitute is found, Reles becomes the prime suspect. Torbett, who was promoted instead of Reles, and put in charge of Internal Investigations, won't tell Reles who told the department of his connection to the dead prostitute even though it's clear Reles is being set up. Then Reles' new partner, Cate Mora, catches a missing child case that suddenly becomes a political nightmare.
While taken back and forth between the three different crime threads, the reader also is following the meltdown of the personal life of a high ranking Texas official. While it's clear early on to the reader that all of these subplots are connected, figuring out the who and the why will keep even the most astute reader puzzled until the end. Little Faith is a fast paced book filled with local color allowing the reader to feel as though he is traveling the streets of Austin with Reles. The characters, though most are not particularly likable are certainly memorable. The plot, made up of several intertwined threads, speeds forward with twists and turns that makes the book very difficult to put down until the very last page.
REVIEWED BY CARYN ST. CLAIR
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