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Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite
Author Robert E. Hirsch creates a mixture of paranormal, crime drama, dark fantasy, horror, and suspense in his book Contrition. The setting is a small town in Mississippi, close to the Gulf Coast; the culture is French and Slavic. Brother Placidus was filled with fear each time he returned to the house of the Brothers of the Holy Cross (a school). He found the body of Amanda LeFleur lying mutilated below a crucifix in the attic. Detective Peter Toche is assigned the case. The detective is still haunted by his last case, the murder of a child. As more bodies pile up, the detective must face his fears if he is to stop the evil attacking his town.
Contrition is a very dark story steeped in strong Catholic undercurrents. The underlying theme is confession and atonement. As you might imagine this is a good vs. evil plot. The reader will find him/herself questioning who is evil and who is not for sometimes it is difficult to decide. Robert E. Hirsch is a talented writer; he manages to transport the reader into the pages of the text where they will see the scenes played out. Readers will swear they hear the creaking of a floorboard and the seagulls calling as the waves crash against the shore. Each of the characters is well developed and has their own story and flaws. If I had to describe this book in a few words, it would be creepy, frightening, and well done.