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Nazareth Child (A Del Shannon Novel) by [James, Darrell]
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Nazareth Child (A Del Shannon Novel) Kindle Edition

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Length: 362 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product description

Product Description

A smart and determined field operative in Tucson, Del Shannon has earned a reputation for being nearly invincible in tracking down missing persons. Ironically, the only person Del has not been able to locate is the mother she's never known. Deep in the Appalachian hills of Kentucky, the Feds are investigating Nazareth Church, an isolated religious compound led by faith healer Silas Rule. People desperate for salvation are giving up everything they own—and are never heard from again.

Del is recruited when the FBI discovers that her father owns an abandoned house in the clannish community. Hoping to locate her mother, she goes undercover with ATFE agent Frank Falconet, a New Yorker who is battling his own demons. Caught in a deadly web of lies, scheming, and righteous threats of damnation, Del risks everything to find the truth. What secrets is Nazareth Church hiding? And could Silas Rule hold the key to her mother's past?

Winner of the Left Coast Crime Eureka Award for Best First Novel

A finalist for the Anthony Award in the category of Best First Novel

A finalist for the Macavity Award in the category of Best First Mystery Novel


"While Nazareth certainly delivers all the thrills and chills expected of a good suspense novel, its real power lies in its gripping illustration of how a religious charlatan can use his followers' emotional dependence for his own evil ends. A cautionary tale, and a damned good one."—Mystery Scene

"James makes a smooth debut. Nazareth Child successfully captures and sustains interest."—Tucson Weekly

"The fast-flowing story line will engage readers. It's nice to see James present a woman in control in the leading role."—Kirkus Reviews

"A great debut novel that will hold you spell bound to its dynamite conclusion."—Suspense Magazine

"James cranks up the tension while spinning a classic tale of good versus evil. Here's hoping for lots more from this powerful new voice on the thriller scene."—Paul Levine, author of Lassiter

"A compelling, psychological journey and powerful debut. Filled with strong, realistic characters, biting dialogue and tense, turbulent action. Nazareth Child proves that Darrell James is a unique new voice, and he's here to stay."—Stephen Jay Schwartz, Los Angeles Times Bestselling Author of Boulevard and Beat

About the Author

Darrell James’ short stories have appeared in numerous mystery magazines and book anthologies, and have garnered a number of awards, including finalist in the 2009 Derringer Awards. Nazareth Child won the 2012 Left Coast Crime Eureka Award for Best First Novel, and is a finalist for the 2012 Anthony Awards for Best First Novel and for the 2012 Macavity Awards for Best First Mystery Novel. In addition, his personal odyssey to publication appears in the Writer’s Digest book How I Got Published, along with J.A. Jance, David Morrell, Clive Cussler, and many other notable authors. James splits his time between Pasadena, California, and Tucson, Arizona. Visit him online at

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2585 KB
  • Print Length: 362 pages
  • Publisher: Midnight Ink; Original edition (Sept. 8 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005LHO7MY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #983,598 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars 63 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping June 13 2012
By Jeremy Colton - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The plot of "Nazareth Child" is similar to "The Righteous" by Michael Wallace, which I just read recently. As far as the themes of the books I'm not sure; Wallace is, I think, much more sympathetic to the religious impulse and in that way perhaps more balanced. In every other way I found "Nazareth" superior. I adored the protagonists, found the writing gripping and entertaining, and the story credible. The naivete of the victims is partly responsible for their victimhood, and just when I was thinking, "what is with these people? Doesn't anyone notice what jerks they are"? Someone in the novel would notice what jerks they are... it felt almost like a conversation between myself and the author. I recommend this work highly as entertainment and perhaps even a bit of real-life caution.
3.0 out of 5 stars I wanted more depth to the characters, especially bad guys and victims. Things were not special or different enough. Dec 31 2013
By Jane - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really liked Del. She was a private investigator who always got her target. She was tough and smart. The first few chapters were excellent, setting up the mystery, showing how Del got her first PI job, her interaction with her father, and the mystery about her mother. The end where Del shows her stuff in the final conflict was good.

But the middle and most of the book felt ordinary, things I’ve heard before. Silas is the preacher-leader. His son Cullen is the spoiled rich kid doing nothing impressive and beating up others. Nigel the dwarf-yes-man carrying out Silas’ orders. All three of these characters left me with questions. It would have been better to see inside them, to see flaws, strengths, push, pull, and conflicts within. Instead they just do predictably bad things to others. It felt like TV show quality - ok but not special.

Frank Falconet is a government agent assigned to go undercover to investigate the religious group. Del is asked to be his pretend wife since her parents had a connection to the group. There is a romantic pull between Del and Falconet. Not much is done with that. I would have liked more interesting development between them.

There are a few sex scenes in this book. They are vaguely referred to or described without much detail.

I really enjoyed this author’s short story “Even a Blind Man” which appeared in Mystery Writers of America Presents Vengeance. And I’ve been waiting for him to do a full length novel. I believe Nazareth Child is his first.

Narrative mode: 3rd person. Story length: 350 pages. Swearing language: strong including religious swear words. Sexual language: none. Number of sex scenes: about four. Setting: 1981 and 2011 Kentucky and Arizona. Copyright: 2011. Genre: mystery suspense.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth the Read June 10 2012
By ***STARR*** - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
While I enjoyed this book, I can't agree about the originality of the plot. There were some interesting twists, but all told this is a familiar story to anyone who reads a lot. However, the characters were, for the most part, well developed and compelling. As for those reviewers who complained about punctuation and the standard reply of "right" by one of the main characters, I find it difficult to believe they read the entire book. I am extremely fussy about punctuation, and the cited example occurred only once - at the beginning of the book - and in context was appropriate. At any rate, this was a quick and enjoyable read. I think action/thriller readers will be glad they read it. I hope the two main characters get together again.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nazareth Child Sept. 9 2011
By Susan - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read the book and loved it! Darrell masterfully brought the characters to life and I really got involved in the story. The descriptions of the setting are so exact, it is easy to picture the area. Looking forward to the next Del Shannon adventure.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So good I read it in one day April 6 2013
By jacqueline - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great characters - Del is a kick-ass chick who makes good decisions, searching for the mother she never knew. This causes her to agree to go undercover into a cult compound. The search for her mother, along with the mysterious disappearance of an FBI agent, bring Del and Frank to pose undercover at a small cult location. The story introduces several other interesting characters, and there are many twists and turns. I finished the book feeling satisfied with the ending but also hoping that the author would write more books with these characters.