A fearless female private investigator in the South takes on a satanic cult that practices human sacrifice in this gripping Shamus Award–winning mystery.
Seven years ago Lena Padget’s life exploded when Jeff Hayes, her devil-worshipping brother-in-law, killed her sister and two-year-old nephew. The horrific double-murder hardened the once-gentle Kentucky native and compelled her to leave graduate school in order to help protect abused and endangered women from human monsters.
Now Hayes and his sadistic partner in satanism, Archie Valetta, have been inexplicably released on parole. Lena’s past has returned with a vengeance to haunt her—and to prey on yet another frightened mother and her helpless child. Approached by Valetta’s desperate ex-wife, Eloise, Lena will do everything in her power to prevent history from repeating itself. Otherwise, Eloise’s four-year-old son will be the next innocent victim.
Before Laura Lippman’s Tess Monaghan and Karin Slaughter’s Sara Linton, there was Lena Padget. The winner of the Shamus Award for Best First Private Eye Novel, Satan’s Lambs marked the acclaimed debut of author Lynn Hightower’s tough-as-nails, sexy, and smart female sleuth on a fictional PI scene long dominated by male mystery writers and established Hightower as a force to be reckoned with in crime fiction.
Satan’s Lambs is the 1st book in the Lena Padget Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
Woman's intuition takes on the power of Satan in this hokey but entertaining thriller set in Tennessee and Kentucky. Lena Padget's life changed drastically seven years ago, when her brother-in-law, fanatical Satanist Jeff Hayes, brutally murdered her pregnant sister and two-year-old nephew. Determined to protect other vulnerable women, Lena became a private eye, specializing in cases of abuse and endangerment. Jeff, now out on parole, harasses her with menacing phone calls and sinister trinkets left in her home. When his partner, Archie Valetta, is also released, Valetta's ex-wife Eloise fearfully enlists Lena's services; nonetheless, Archie manages to brutalize Eloise and kidnap her four-year-old son Charlie. Lena soon learns that the hardcore, Satanic cult to which Jeff and Archie both belong intends to use Charlie as a human sacrifice--unless she can find him first. Hightower ( Alien Blues ) brings off this improbable plot with more panache than one might expect. Her prose is clear and the pacing break-neck. The emphasis on maternal instinct and feminine intuition is unconvincing, as is the formulaic romantic element. Hightower also fails to bring Jeff to life and thus never makes Satan-worship or its evil practitioners a credible threat.