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ABSOLUTION (Frank Renzi Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Susan A Fleet
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (250 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A serial killer preys on young women in New Orleans. Best Mystery/Suspense/Thriller--2009 Premier Book Awards.

THEIR WORST NIGHTMARE ... gets WORSE. Vulnerable young women let a serial killer into their homes because they trust him. The killer tortures them and kills them.

IS THE KILLER A PRIEST? Everyone has something to hide. Some of the darkest secrets reside in a parish church. A tip leads NOPD Detective Frank Renzi to believe the killer
may be a priest. With Renzi on his trail, the killer persuades a teenage girl to help him escape. Will Renzi be able to save her? Who would YOU trust? A police officer or a priest?

Praise for ABSOLUTION: "A killer thriller!" Jan Herman, Arts Journal
"Relentless tempo ... sharp writing." Kirkus Discovery
"Creole-flavored suspense!" The Sun Chronicle

Editorial Reviews


"Relentless tempo ... sharp writing." Kirkus Discoveries

"Intertwining relevant 21st century issues with captivating character development and suspenseful action, Fleet's thriller is set in pre-Katrina New Orleans 2005. A serial killer is on the loose [and] detective Frank Renzi [must catch him] before he claims his next victim. A wholehearted "Bravo!" -- K. G. Hunt Florida Times-Union

"Creole-flavored suspense!" The Sun Chronicle

From the Author

When I moved to New Orleans in 2001, a serial killer was terrorizing young women in Baton Rouge, LA. An FBI profiler predicted the killer would be a white man in his thirties, an unattractive man who lived alone and had problems interacting with women. After several more women were murdered, police finally in 2001 arrested Derek Todd Lee, a black man who was married with children and a known womanizer. Lee was convicted of several of the murders and remains on death row in a Louisiana prison. You can read about the case on my blog: DARK DEEDS: serial killers, stalkers and domestic homicides. 

This was my inspiration for ABSOLUTION. My serial killer is quite different from the Baton Rouge Serial Killer, but the book does include racial profiling as an incendiary element that arouses passions on both sides in New Orleans. Equally contentious is the tipster's accusation that the serial killer is a young white priest. Who is the killer? Will he keep on delivering his twisted idea of "absolution" or will NOPD Detective Frank Renzi stop him?

Product Details

  • File Size: 3374 KB
  • Print Length: 283 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Music and Mayhem Press (February 16, 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003MNH7JY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,788 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
62 of 64 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pursuit of a serial killer in New Orleans January 1, 2011
This brutal, dark and explicit novel has a compelling drive to the third-person narrative that makes it difficult to look away. In part, I suspect, readers may be drawn on by an almost irresistible desire to learn how much farther the author is willing to go.
Set in one of the most suggestive cities on the continent, New Orleans, the author has created a nasty killer of similar proportions. The Sinner stalks his victims with a relentless attention to detail until one begins to wonder if he'll get away with his crimes. At times the suspense is extremely intense.

It reveals nothing to mention that he does meet an appropriate eventual end, because the mystery is in his identity, carefully concealed through most of the narrative. As the title suggests the psycho-sexual aberration at the heart of this killer's impetus is rooted in an intense religiosity and the issues that raises. The sweaty pre-Katrina summer season in New Orleans only enhances the often oppressive feelings of many of the scenes.
The novel combines a multiplicity of viewpoints with several elements of subgenres of this kind of commercial fiction, relentless if sometimes mis-directed police procedures, multiple murders, obscure and difficult motives and complicated relationships between members of a pretty large cast. The tension between the detectives and a local reporter, for example, is very well explored, as are certain racial elements.
If there are a few lapses in logic, an occasional unexplained coincidence, and some dialogue gaffes, overall, Absolution stands out as a highly credible effort.
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ABSOLUTION by Susan Fleet March 29, 2009
Intertwining relevant 21st century issues with captivating character development, suspenseful action and a little twist of humor now and then, Susan Fleet has created a crime drama that stands in a league of its own, far above the ordinary whodunit murder mystery. Fleet's pre-Katrina New Orleans 2005 has a serial killer on the loose, targeting vulnerable women; nerves are tighter than the strings on a jazz piano, while racial tensions and religious controversy play into the frantic efforts of rogue detective Frank Renzi to find the killer before he claims his next victim.

"Absolution" author Susan Fleet is well known in the music world as a trumpeter, music historian and champion of women's pioneering contributions to jazz and classical music; her website [...] contains an ever-growing wealth of information on these fascinating women. The website also provides another convenient venue for ordering ABSOLUTION, Ms. Fleet's first foray into fiction. This reader gives her newest endeavor a wholehearted "Bravo!"
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First Class Writing by Susan Fleet October 21, 2010
'Absolution', Susan Fleet; 2008, Self-Published
In New Orleans, a psychotic killer is murdering women and removing trophies from them. New Orleans Police Department homicide detective Frank Renzi joins up with Rona Jefferson, an African-American journalist in his determination to apprehend this monster. Rona believes that too many black males are immediate suspects of the police department. A tip leads them down an unusual and surprising road. When the police begin to close in on the murderer, he gets to know an emotionally broken and weak teenage girl whom he convinces to run away with him. So now they're on the run with the police in pursuit when things really heat up.

For me, it is hard to believe that 'Absolution' is a first novel for Susan Fleet. Her story pulses with the experience of a career author who has written many mysteries. In 'Absolution', Fleet skillfullly introduces topics of corruption in the NOPD, racial tensions and religious conflicts while still maintaining a solid, concise and fascinating plot. She goes inside the head of the killer with a rare talent. 'Absolution' has characters that are engrossing and diversified; Fleet has done an excellent job of writing an 'I couldn't put it down' thriller.

First class writing! Hope there will be more from Susan Fleet.

FTC: Book provided by author
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Terrific July 9, 2010
Susan Fleet's thriller, "Absolution," can make the most disciplined reader totally ignore his usual bedtime in pursuit of "What happens next." It's the story of a serial killer with a tortured past who is intent on making his victims experience his pain. Fleet paints those scenes with a masterful stroke, conveying the horror without elongating graphic description to the degree that it would turn off traditional mystery readers.

The characters are all built on a solid foundation. Their motivations and actions are all consistent and believable. As tensions build, the characters reveal and adapt to their flaws in a way that enhances the plot and keeps the reader guessing about how it will play out. I hope the author intends to make her detective the central character in a series, and releases another one soon.

RJ McDonnell
Rock & Roll Mystery Series
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great noir suspense! August 9, 2010
If you like good suspense writing, you will love Absolution. Not only were there great characters and a colorful setting, but the book's well-crafted plot was full of surprises. Fleet kept me guessing about the killer's true identity right up to the end. A real page-turner!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Kind of predictable but an easy read.
Published 1 month ago by Ralph Hahn
4.0 out of 5 stars VERY Good Read!
As a New Orleans native, I found this book a VERY good read! I would recommend and HAVE to others to read.
Published 3 months ago by Veronica
4.0 out of 5 stars Absolution
I'm glad it ended the way it did. Frank definitely deserved to be happy. I really wanted him th o n.a. HAPPY. And I'm glad that he didn't say anything about Sean to Norris.
Published 3 months ago by Bonnie
4.0 out of 5 stars Good reading
I really liked the author's way of keeping you interested and anxious to find out what would happen next. Recommend this book to those who enjoy a good murder mystery.
Published 3 months ago by Paula Hanks
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting concept!
Knowing the killer, from almost the beginning, made for a challenging read. I liked the back and forth, between the police and the killer's thoughts. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Loula44
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
I really liked this book,didn't want to put it down.
Published 4 months ago by susan rostorfer
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolution is a great book. Reading all the books in this series
Absolution is a great book . Reading all the books in this series , On #4 now . Good story line , couldn not put down .
Published 4 months ago by Kathy A Cooper
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read
This was a well written story enabling the reader to connect with all the characters. A suspense filled page turner.
Published 4 months ago by Maggy Mae
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 5 months ago by Donna Beasley
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
this did drag on a bit, otherwise was well written and interesting
Published 5 months ago by P. Matelski
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More About the Author

Midway through her successful career as a professional trumpeter, Susan Fleet discovered her dark side and began writing crime fiction. New Orleans is the setting for her award-winning Frank Renzi crime thrillers: Absolution, Diva, Natalie's Revenge, Jackpot and most recently, Natalie's Art.

Premier Book Awards named Absolution Best Mystery-Suspense-Thriller of 2009. Feathered Quill Book Awards named Natalie's Revenge Best Mystery 2014. Now there's a sequel! Natalie's Art.

Susan lived in New Orleans for nine years and now divides her time between the Big Easy and Boston. Visit her website and send her an email. She'd love to hear from you!

Her other passion is promoting talented women musicians. While teaching at Brown University and Berklee College of Music, she created a course about female musicians, jazz and classical. Read about them at

Susan also blogs about crime on DARK DEEDS: serial killers, stalkers and domestic homicides.
And don't miss RENZI'S RANTS! NOPD Detective Frank Renzi rants about whatever is on his mind!

Some of her favorite authors are: Lisa Gardner, Lee Child, Patricia Cornwell, John Sandford, Elmore Leonard, Thomas Perry and Martin Cruz Smith.

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