While concluding a European vacation with his girlfriend, Kathleen, Jake Travis is given an assignment. Kill an international assassin who targets the loved ones of Special Ops personnel. The assassin is known to dress as a cardinal and take contemplative strolls in Kensington Gardens. Jake completes his task and he and Kathleen return to Florida where she learns that he "clipped the wrong bird." Jake had murdered a popular and progressive cardinal.
Jake must now track down a woman who can lead him to the real killer before he strikes again. Kathleen recoils from their relationship upon Jake's confession of his fateful act, leaving him to agonize whether or not he's lost her for good. Meanwhile, Jake is obsessed with his stuggle to answer the central question he desperately needs to resolve; why did the cardinal use Jake to end his life?
"A cinematic tale...the prose is confident and clear, and the pacing smooth and compelling...another entertaining mystery from Lane--possibly his best yet." Kirkus Reviews
|Publisher:||Mason Alley Publishing|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.82(d)|
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Reviewed by JJ Phillips for Readers' Favorite The Cardinal's Sin by Robert Lane is a thrilling mystery about hit men and known killers. Jake Travis is given an assignment to kill an assassin, known to dress as a cardinal, who targets Special Ops' family members. While on vacation with his girlfriend, Kathleen, Jake completes his mission. But when he returns home to Florida, he discovers he's made a mistake and killed the wrong man. Instead of the assassin, Jake killed a popular cardinal. He confesses to Kathleen, who distances herself from Jake when she learns what he really does for a living. Jake can't spend too much time worrying about what this means for his relationship with Kathleen because he has a job to finish -- killing the real assassin before he strikes again. Jake also contemplates what happened between him and the cardinal he did kill, and why he didn't put up more of a struggle if he wasn't the true assassin. The Cardinal's Sin is a fun thriller and espionage type story that fans of this genre will really enjoy. Robert Lane has good writing skills. His descriptive passages were very accurate and read authentically. The story's location was well described. You could feel the author is comfortable with the Florida setting. Robert Lane was also well researched on religious doctrine and the dirty secrets behind the life of a criminal. The storyline was unique and I thought quite engaging. I didn't want to put the book down!
The Cardinal's Sin is his third novel featuring Jake Travis, a Special Ops agent, whose assignment here is to kill an assassin who has been targeting the loved ones of other agents. Clearly, there is a leak in the agency, because not only are the agents known but someone has arranged for a substitute to be in the time and place where Jake's target is supposed to be, and he's dressed as a cardinal, something this particular assassin is known to use as a disguise from time to time. The twist is that this really is a cardinal, Cardinal Giovanni Antinori, and Jake has "clipped the wrong bird". About half-way through this book, I realized there wasn't really a lot of action and yet the plot was pulling me along at quite a clip. Travis is narrating his story in short, pithy jargon reminiscent of Sam Spade. He's quite the philosopher and he takes things in stride — well, mostly. Just as he's about to pull the trigger near the Peter Pan statue in London's Kensington Gardens, Jake thinks that, maybe, this is the wrong guy. He hesitates just a second, then pulls the trigger anyway. "Death, when it arrives with no escape clause, brings out strange spirits in people, but I expected something harder in his soul. His eyes were seeing the last of the world. Such eyes do not take in but allow everything out. Even in the waning dark, I didn't like the desperate pleading of his eyes . . . it didn't seem right." Travis has a girlfriend, Kathleen, works with a team, employs a couple of gutsy teenagers for surveillance work, and lives in Florida on the Gulf side. The characters are rather quirky, and Jake's lifestyle is pretty laid back all things considered: he still has an assassin to kill who is probably hunting not only him, but Kathleen, he's trying to track a lady, Renée, who has been seen with the real assassin, Paretsky, and might have a lead on his whereabouts, and he's haunted by the eyes of Cardinal Antinori when he goes to sleep at night. I didn't find this a story with much violence despite the fact that killers are on the loose. There are a couple of hand-to-hand fights, some gunshots, a fairly exciting boat chase across the Gulf, and a few deaths, but the narration and philosophy of our hero with his sometimes uneasy relationships and penchant for music from the 60s, were a lot of fun. Kathleen had her share of witty repartee as well. Jake, talking about the humid air in Florida: "there was little discernable difference between the outside and interior air. The legal profession calls it 'difference without distinction'." About something he said that surprised him: "It came out like a bad line in a bad movie, the kind they used to only show after midnight. I knew that I was trying to convince myself." Kathleen, when making up: "Blame rarely fits neatly on one set of shoulders." The story was full of surprises, sharp dialogue, and ended with redemption, and everything tied up in a neat package. It was a great mystery read and I'll definitely be looking at Lane's other books.
The Cardinal's Sin has a dry, sarcastic wit and humor, along with an admirably noble, and utterly human lead, that will draw you in and hold you captive. Lane is a master of prose & parables, his use of figurative language and paraphrasing of other literature throughout gives new depth and creates a literary experience rich in intelligence. As a reader, I appreciate that, thank-you! Don't blink, or you will miss an important detail, and even when you're reading attentively, you may miss what you're seeing anyway. Don't worry, that makes the journey all the more worth your while. Robert Lane has jettisoned himself to the top of my must read list with The Cardinal's Sin. *I received an arc for an honest review
This book captured me from the very beginning. I have to admit I did not see the ending coming. The action and suspense is powerful on every page. The characters are very distinctly drawn. While the story is a great mystery, it also is a powerful illuminator of human nature, the way people think, and the damage we can do to others. I was jealous of the waterside lifestyle and the easy camaraderie of the characters. Even minor characters pop up as good people to meet. You have to experience the entire book to understand the Cardinal's sin.