A Jenny Cooper Mystery
Simon & Schuster, Hardcover, 9781439157121, 400pp.
Publication Date: May 3, 2011
“DAD, WHAT HAPPENED TO COUSIN KATY?”
“YOU REMEMBER, SMILER. YOU KILLED HER.”
JENNY COOPER has a lot on her mind. Under fire from her superiors for exposing a high-level government cover-up of the disappearance of two Muslim youths, she is also haunted by the discovery that she may have been responsible for the death of one of her own family members. Her college-age son, her therapist, and her neighbor and sometimes lover all seem to be turning their backs on her, driving Jenny to increasingly give in to the temptation to escape through alcohol and pills.
The discovery of a dead man lying outside a Bristol church with the sign of the cross gouged into his flesh looks to her at first like another grisly suicide. But the unexpected arrival of an enigmatic Jesuit priest reveals deeper levels of mystery.
Father Lucas Starr, the chaplain of a nearby prison, has come to plead for Jenny’s intercession on behalf of one of his parishioners, who confessed to murdering Eva Donaldson, a former adult movie actress turned world-renowned anti-pornography campaigner. Persuaded by him to look at Eva’s death afresh, Jenny un-covers a sinister series of connections between Eva and the body at the church.
After another tragic death, Jenny’s suspicions turn toward a powerful new global phenomenon: the politically ambitious and intoxicatingly charismatic Mission Church of God.
Answering to no one but the dead, Jenny’s lone quest for justice takes her to the heart of the fight between good and evil, sex and the supernatural, and on a dark inner journey to confront ghosts that have haunted her for a lifetime.
M. R. Hall, a screenwriter, producer, and former criminal lawyer, is the author of The Disappeared. Educated at Hereford Cathedral School and Worcester College, Oxford, he lives in the U.K. with his wife and two sons.
"Readers of Patricia Cornwell will very much enjoy this psychological thriller. Jenny Cooper's character is flawed and unflinchingly real. Highly recommended.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“A chilling blend of religion and corruption.”—Publishers Weekly
“All the makings of a franchise heroine.”—Kirkus Reviews
"[Jenny Cooper] seeks the truth, whatever it takes, and with an apparent fearlessness that makes the reader's heart race. . . . This is a clever and complex novel.”—The Courier Mail (Australia)