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Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite
In For You Have Sinned by Clifford Edwards, when people start to go missing and bodies are found mutilated in Texas, a disturbing common thread is discovered. Someone seems to be taking revenge on the perpetrators of child abuse and violence against women. Detectives Donolla and Riders' search for the truth leads them into the company of flamboyant and charismatic Pastor Jacob Dryer. With only one hospitalized eye witness, the homicide detectives have to use every skill they have learned to track down the killer before he strikes again. They discover that everything they need to solve the crimes is available at a price but are they willing to pay that price? Someone is out there deciding whose actions are to be forgiven and those who must suffer for their sins.
From the torturous scene at the beginning of this story, I was completely hooked. The characters are so meticulously created with superb backstories and layers to their personalities that keep you guessing through every chapter. Pastor Dreyer has to be one of the vilest characters I have read in a long time, but even my opinion softened a little when I discovered the horrific details of his childhood. The cover-ups of child abuse in the church are handled delicately but honestly. The storyline really makes you question how an abused child can choose to hurt or heal others once they become adults. The plot has as many twists and turns as the characters' actions. Clifford Edwards is a master of storytelling and the darkness of For You Have Sinned reminded me of the great Jeffrey Deaver. The ending and particularly the final line were genius.