As a direct descendant of the 19th century vigilante gang, the Bald Knobbers, Ezekiel Woods, Jr. has been indoctrinated into a world ruled by violence and a literal interpretation of the bible his entire life. Now, over a hundred years later, Zeke continues his ancestors’ crusade, spending his days camouflaged as an aloof middle-aged grocery store sacker and his nights in a farmhouse cellar, preparing captives’ souls for their ultimate destiny: redemption or death. His latest abductee, an indomitable Texan working her way through a third-life crisis, chooses another option: escape. Zeke must recapture this lost sheep or face a consequence far worse than any worldly fate: that God has forsaken him.
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I have somewhat mixed feelings about Sinner. On the one hand, the premise behind the story is a good one and interesting. On the other hand, it doesn’t feel like it was completely cohesive. There were parts of the story that felt like they just would never end and others where there wasn’t nearly enough information. For instance, the Bald Knobbers are mentioned, but the author really doesn’t tell much about who they are, so unless you take the time to look them up yourself, you have minimal details on them.
Zeke is an easily detestable character. He is a religious fanatic, which creates an interesting premise for his crimes, but it is hard to believe he has been able to function in a normal society with his behaviors. He has obviously suffered extensive trauma in his life and while some of it is explained to a degree, I don’t think the author went far enough into explaining why his mother was as abusive as she was towards him. Sylvia seems like she will be a somewhat likable character until after we find out what is going on with Zeke. We go from her wedding day to her being an abusive mother in a flash. There was no transition there.
Dani has a fun sense of humor and is obviously meant to be a strong woman, which is good, but I swear it felt like her situation went on forever. I just wanted it to be over with already. Either die or don’t but at least get on with it. I liked her as a character though.
I wasn’t entirely happy with the ending. I felt it didn’t give closure to the story but instead opened it up for a potential second book, which I’m not sure I would read.
Overall, I can’t say Sinner was a bad book. I mean, I voluntarily finished it without having to force myself. I really did want to find out what would happen next. I can’t say I loved it though either. It may appeal to others more than it did to me.