A brand-new, eBook original crime novel from bestselling author Walter Mosley, Parishioner is a portrait of a hardened criminal who regrets his past, but whose only hope for redemption is to sin again. In a small town situated between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, a simple church of white stone sits atop a hill on the coast. This nameless house of worship is a sanctuary for the worst kinds of sinners: the congregation and even the clergy have broken all ten Commandments and more. Now they have gathered to seek forgiveness. Xavier Rule—Ecks to his friends—didn’t come to California in search of salvation but, thanks to the grace of this church, he has begun to learn to forgive himself and others for past misdeeds. One day a woman arrives to seek absolution for the guilt she has carried for years over her role in a scheme to kidnap three children and sell them on the black market. As part of atoning for his past life on the wrong side of the law, Ecks is assigned to find out what happened to the abducted children. As he follows the thin trail of the twenty-three-year-old crime, he must struggle against his old, lethal instincts—and learn when to give in to them.
“The nameless church was a safe harbor were a sinner was free to brand himself. Rich men and even royalty resided inside Father Frank’s walls. But there, on the hillside of Seabreeze city, all congregants were equal under the Sun and Moon. They didn’t mention God because just the word was a weapon in the mouths of men.”
Egbert Noland who also goes by the name of Xavier also known as Ecks by most people, you may find him donned in attire of a chocolate shirt and lime jacket, cranberry socks and grapefruit shoes don’t let this mislead you a bit. He can be a cold blooded killer, he has crimes to his name in the past, killed and pimped but since meeting with Father Frank of the church of no name he has become a parishioner, he and any many others like him have had a new lease of life and a chance to turn around their lives through the help of Frank. He fixes a few things for Frank, some jobs aiding a few desperate souls who want to find missing people or remedy a wrong. At Frank’s behest one job is undertaken by Ecks, it uncovers all kinds of unspeakable crimes, mainly involving the kidnapping, killing and selling of children.
There is a warning here of adult content contained within, various women throw themselves at Ecks, and there are some very serious crimes discussed awakened and uncovered from the past of characters in this tale.
This is a gripping narrative with great dialogue, hypnotic reading. Mosley can write so well, with sentences with the right words that deliver the moment and pace efficiently, he keeps the reader in the unravelling of mysteries, the characters are felt and seen in your mind due to his well crafted writing. You will learn of characters from different walks of life and of their wanting to do right out of wrong and some just plain bad.
Walter Mosley has a great way of showing you the characters and the scene, read this passage describing a Parishioner:
“There were two skinny women with huge breasts and in impossibly small bikinis sunning themselves in beach chairs on the upper deck of Charlie Mother’s yacht; white girls with blond hair, red lips, and skinny legs that looked like they could crush walnuts the size of pillows. “Ecks!” A man shouted. He was at least a demigod. Six-six with bronze skin and yellow hair. His eyes were the colour of the ocean, and the muscles beneath the skin of his bare chest and arms undulated like huge snakes under a stain sheet. This defied man strode easily from the pilot’s dais onto the upper-deck. He wore dark blue sweatpants cinched tight to his thirty-inch waist, and his smile belonged to a presidential hopeful: white and contagious.”
Ecks is definitely a character I would love the author to take further and I am sure we will hear more from the parishioners. This is a read and an author that many may not know of but needs to be known of.