Nazareth Child (Paperback)

By Darrell James

Midnight Ink, 9780738723693, 350pp.

Publication Date: September 8, 2011



A smart and determined field operative in Tucson, Del Shannon has earned a reputation for being nearly invincible in tracking down missing persons. Ironically, the only person Del has not been able to locate is the mother she's never known. Deep in the Appalachian hills of Kentucky, the Feds are investigating Nazareth Church, an isolated religious compound led by faith healer Silas Rule. People desperate for salvation are giving up everything they own—and are never heard from again.

Del is recruited when the FBI discovers that her father owns an abandoned house in the clannish community. Hoping to locate her mother, she goes undercover with ATFE agent Frank Falconet, a New Yorker who is battling his own demons. Caught in a deadly web of lies, scheming, and righteous threats of damnation, Del risks everything to find the truth. What secrets is Nazareth Church hiding? And could Silas Rule hold the key to her mother's past?

Winner of the Left Coast Crime Eureka Award for Best First Novel

A finalist for the Anthony Award in the category of Best First Novel

A finalist for the Macavity Award in the category of Best First Mystery Novel


"While Nazareth certainly delivers all the thrills and chills expected of a good suspense novel, its real power lies in its gripping illustration of how a religious charlatan can use his followers' emotional dependence for his own evil ends. A cautionary tale, and a damned good one."—Mystery Scene

"James makes a smooth debut. Nazareth Child successfully captures and sustains interest."—Tucson Weekly

"The fast-flowing story line will engage readers. It's nice to see James present a woman in control in the leading role."—Kirkus Reviews

"A great debut novel that will hold you spell bound to its dynamite conclusion."—Suspense Magazine

"James cranks up the tension while spinning a classic tale of good versus evil. Here's hoping for lots more from this powerful new voice on the thriller scene."—Paul Levine, author of Lassiter

"A compelling, psychological journey and powerful debut. Filled with strong, realistic characters, biting dialogue and tense, turbulent action. Nazareth Child proves that Darrell James is a unique new voice, and he's here to stay."—Stephen Jay Schwartz, Los Angeles Times Bestselling Author of Boulevard and Beat

About the Author

Darrell James’ short stories have appeared in numerous mystery magazines and book anthologies, and have garnered a number of awards, including finalist in the 2009 Derringer Awards. Nazareth Child won the 2012 Left Coast Crime Eureka Award for Best First Novel, and is a finalist for the 2012 Anthony Awards for Best First Novel and for the 2012 Macavity Awards for Best First Mystery Novel. In addition, his personal odyssey to publication appears in the Writer’s Digest book How I Got Published, along with J.A. Jance, David Morrell, Clive Cussler, and many other notable authors. James splits his time between Pasadena, California, and Tucson, Arizona. Visit him online at