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A Rose From The Executioner

A Rose from the Executioner by Edward Izzi is a fast-paced and gripping crime thriller that takes a deep and cynical look at the corruption that runs rampant within the Catholic church against the backdrop of Chicago and Italian-American mafia. As someone who grew up in the Catholic Church and since left it, in part to disillusionment with the clergy’s corruption and scandals, I am definitely the right demographic for Izzi’s novel, but it is one that can be enjoyed by Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

The novel follows Detective Phil Dorian, a police officer in the Chicago Police Department that’s looking for a serial killer who is targeting former priests in Chicago. As Dorian begins his work to uncover the murderer, he finds himself digging into the underworlds of the secretive Italian-American mafia, the shockingly corrupt Catholic clergy, and an ancient, secret brotherhood dedicated to pursuing an illicit mission. Dorian himself is a strong and likable protagonist – he is a well-seasoned detective, and I enjoyed the passages where he uses his detective powers to progress the case. He seems like someone you might really know in your own life, and Izzi does a good job of creating a complicated, multifaceted lead for this novel. The supporting characters of the novel are enjoyable too, and I particularly enjoyed the passages with the mysterious and often sinister Monsignor Kilbane, whose power and corruption seem to have no end. However, I felt that the lead female character, the stunning and intelligent Olivia Laurent, was not as developed as she should have been. Olivia is described with the same handful of adjectives throughout the novel, most of which focus on how good she looks in tight blue jeans.

A Rose from the Executioner succeeds in its creative plot and with its strong protagonist. The plot itself is interesting and progresses at a fast clip to keep readers engaged. I also enjoyed how Izzi played with time, throwing in flashback scenes throughout the novel to serve as a prelude for what was to come in later chapters. However, I didn’t like how some words were unnecessarily in air quotes, and I found it to be distracting.

All in all, I feel that A Rose from the Executioner is an entertaining read. I never felt bored while reading it, and the characters were unique but realistic, and I felt as if I knew some of them personally by the end of the book. I also appreciated that Izzi put the Catholic Church’s leadership under pressure and did not whitewash their crimes, acknowledging the ubiquity of the corruption and ill deeds that have been done over the centuries.

Pages: 422 | ASIN: B07N57FBML

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A Rose From The Executioner – Trailer

Detective Philip Dorian of the 16th Chicago Precinct is called to investigate the serial killing and mutilation of retired, former pedophile priests in the Chicagoland area. It becomes later discovered that Monsignor Joseph Kilbane, chief of staff to the Cardinal, had previously approached his childhood friend, Anthony ‘Little Tony’ DiMatteo to lend him a “hit man’ to commit the murders of these pedophile ex-priests for their insurance money. Although the plot sounds interesting, Little Tony isn’t interested, and the Monsignor abandons the idea. During the reigns of prior Chicago bishops and cardinals over the last fifty years, many of these former pedophile priests were allegedly, forced to resign and sheltered away from criminal prosecution, with the caveat that they allow the Archdiocese of Chicago to be the beneficiary of their large life insurances policies. These policies were taken out on these former priests ‘as a form of penance for their lives of being sexual predators’. With the innumerate sexual child abuse lawsuits that have been currently filed and settled by the Archdiocese, they are now on the brink of bankruptcy. A serial killer is now out there, and Monsignor Kilbane has no idea who is perpetrating these gruesome homicides, essentially framing him and the Archdiocese for these “Pedophile Priest Murders”.

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