The Broken Saint by Mike Markel
Published April 2013 by BooksForABuck.com
Description from Goodreads.com:
“When Maricel Salizar, an exchange student from the Philippines, is murdered, Detectives Karen Seagate and Ryan Miner interview the university provost, Al Gerson, who was hosting Maricel. The detectives later discover that Gerson, a devout member of the LDS church, served his mission in the Philippines when Maricel was born. But Maricel was involved with a gang member with a violent past, and Gerson’s own son, a schizophrenic who routinely goes off his meds, has fallen hard for Maricel.
The case leads to a collision between Detective Seagate, who knows that everyone who breathes lies, and her partner. Ryan Miner, a devout Mormon, seems unable to put aside his disgust with Gerson, convinced he is not only a hypocrite but also a killer.
“In this third book in the Seagate and Miner series, I wanted to set up a serious conflict between my two detectives, and a fellow parishioner who goes astray tests Ryan Miner’s ability to do his job,” Markel explains. “I also wanted to convey some aspects of actual police work not covered in TV police procedurals or in most cop novels. I hope that readers will be gripped by the dramatic parts and be forced to think about the disturbing parts.”
“I like mysteries with real-world content and realistic characters, rather than perfect cops who are the best at everything. Karen Seagate, an intermittently recovering alcoholic who has lost her family, is recognizably human and deeply flawed. Now her only relationship, with her young Mormon partner, is in serious jeopardy.”
The Broken Saint is the third book in the Detectives Seagate and Miner Mystery series. In this installment, Detectives Seagate and Miner must solve a murder of a young co-ed exchange student from the Philippines. The investigation hits close to home for Miner, a devout Mormon, when one of the key suspects turns out to be a devout member of the Church of Latter Day Saints. Miner’s objectivity is compromised, and his squeaky clean persona gets a little tarnished. Ironically, it is Seagate that has to maintain a level head as things progress.
Detective Karen Seagate is a good cop, but she will win no awards for mother of the year and likes to lose herself at the bottom of a bottle. At this juncture, however, she seems to be on the straight and narrow. Surprisingly, it is Ryan Miner that struggles to maintain his composure during this investigation. Contrary to his by-the-book mentality, he struggles with the deceit and hypocrisy of a fellow parishioner. At times it gets the best of him and causes conflict with Karen. But ultimately, they are partners and see each other through the rough patches.
As the evidence unfolds, it keeps the reader guessing. There are several viable suspects, and it is difficult to figure out whom the killer really is. The book moves along at a good pace keeps the reader engaged.