Camille "Cammie" Renard has always been a troubled soul. An outgoing flirt in high school, she has delighted in flaunting her sexuality and living on the edge. After causing a break-up between her older sister Valerie (Val) and her husband Slade, she reassesses her life by retreating to St. Marguerite's convent in her hometown of New Orleans in search of forgiveness and redemption. Old habits die hard, and Cammie finds it impossible to give up her wild ways.
"Jackson measures out the right dose of mystery, suspense and romance to create a captivating story of jealousy, lust, murder, redemption and revenge."
While at St. Marguerite's, Cammie gets pregnant. She plans to leave, but a twisted killer viciously murders her and her unborn child before she can escape. Cammie's body is found --- dressed in a yellowed bridal gown --- in a chapel at St. Marguerite's by Sister Lucia, a young nun with an unusual gift.
Cammie's older sister, Val, has always been the serious one. Studious and outspoken in high school, and always protective of her younger sister, Val is an insomniac and a worrier. Cammie and Val have parted ways after Cammie got overly friendly with Slade while living with them in East Texas. After Cammie leaves, Val files for divorce and returns to New Orleans, where she opens a bed and breakfast. But Cammie is murdered as the sisters work to repair their strained relationship. Meanwhile, Slade arrives in New Orleans to try to salvage his marriage.
Father Frank O'Toole is at the top of the list of suspects in Cammie's death. Val and Detective Rick Bentz are sure he's the culprit. Father Frank is handsome, strong and athletic. While serving as a priest at St. Marguerite's, impressionable young novice nuns are vulnerable to his arresting good looks.
Detective Reuben Montoya is getting weird vibes while investigating. In his younger years, he dated Cammie, was a friend of Frank's, and his brother dated Lucia in high school. Complicating the investigation, Sister Charity, the 60-year-old mother superior at St. Marguerite's, withholds evidence and is secretive concerning what she knows about Cammie and the other sisters. The investigation heats up after another nun is found murdered in the same perverted fashion as Cammie, two more nuns go missing, and Val's life is threatened.
DEVIOUS is yet another spellbinding thriller from New York Times bestselling author Lisa Jackson that takes readers on a journey into the isolated world of a cloistered New Orleans convent filled with deadly secrets. Jackson measures out the right dose of mystery, suspense and romance to create a captivating story of jealousy, lust, murder, redemption and revenge.
Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt on April 4, 2011