Mofina's third novel featuring rookie reporter Jason Wade deals well with the procedural aspects of the newsroom and the police precinct, and the Pacific Northwest setting is finely rendered. But there are too many peripheral characters that are brought on and then whisked away, never to be heard from again. Additionally, the way that all the characters are connected to the murder strains credulity at times, and occasionally Mofina's staccato narration grates. Nevertheless, you'll read till the end, just to learn who -- and why -- dunit.

When a nun is brutally slain, Seattle reporter Jason Wade is on the story. He needs a break to put him back in his editor's good graces, and it's an uphill battle: The nuns aren't talking, the police -- including a former flame -- stonewall him and he's saddled with a useless co-worker. Additionally, his alcoholic P.I. father is leaning on him heavily as he tries to stay sober. But Jason and the police begin to find some clues to the murder -- some of which paint this "community saint" in an unfavorable light. (Pinnacle, Sep., 362 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Liz French