sinner's song
Memrie Austin works for Andrew’s House, a social services agency located in the heart of downtown Wichita, Kansas. As an administrative assistant whose job keeps her behind a desk, she wonders what it would be like to be on the front lines, working directly with the homeless. When someone starts killing street people, she is pulled out of her comfortable office and placed directly into the path of a psychopath who calls himself “The Deliverer.”
As Memrie’s faith and strength are tested by a mad man, she takes in a homeless girl who has lost all hope in ever finding any kind of existence beyond the streets. In “Sinner’s Song,” Memrie’s past, present, and future will collide with a surprising twist that will leave her dangling precariously between life and death.
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Memrie Austin is a shy administrative assistant employed by Andrew's House in Wichita, founded by Anson and Emma Harper in their dead son's name. Like every Social Services organization, Andrew's House struggles financially to keep its doors open and to assist the endless stream of unfortunate homeless people needing their help. In the midst of funding difficulties, the staff of Andrew's House faces a troubling complication. Someone is murdering their homeless clients. Readers meet this unknown killer early on, a self appointed "deliverer" of street people. Before each "deliverance," one question is asked: "If you died tonight, do you know where you'd go?"
Memrie is a woman of great compassion and a soft heart. Despite warnings from co-workers, she takes in an abused street urchin named Micki. Reese Duncan, Memrie's supervisor, and Ben Robinson, Financial Director of Andrew's House, admire the shy redhead from a distance. She's oblivious to male admirers, and wary of men in general. Even the rugged manager of the Downtown Rescue Mission, Jake Coltrain, sets her nerves on edge despite his tireless, selfless humanitarian efforts. Jake feeds one hot meal a day to Wichita's homeless. He ends his sermon before each meal by saying, "If you died tonight, do you know where you'd go?"
Who is the killer? Memrie suspects Jake, or some other Social Services insider. First Micki is attacked, then both their lives are threatened. Who would want them dead, and why?
I won't give away any more of the plot. You'll have to read Sinner's Song to find out who the killer is. If you like mystery-suspense chillers, Nancy Mehl is an author you need to discover.
Laurel Johnson, Midwest Book Review