Homemade Sin

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Julia Garrity, the smart-mouthed co-owner of an Atlanta-based house cleaning service, has a sister but only in the biological sense. On the otherhand, her cousin Patti was Julia’s frequent and enthusiastic partner in crime for a number of years. When Patti is murdered, Julia is emotionally devastated. Yet what at first appears to be merely another instance of random urban violence does not ring true. There was no reason for her cousin to be in the area, despite her notorious sense of direction, and her husband’s conduct gives rise to suspicion. Once Julia realizes the evidence does not support the easy contention of a carjacking gone wrong, she is quick to seize the investigatory reins.

Nearly oblivious to the objections of friends, family, and the law enforcement community—city, county and federal—Julia turns over rocks and peers into the darkness of more than one family closet. In the process, she further alienates her sister, incurs the considerable wrath of her mother, and places several valued employees in mortal danger. In the end, she discovers the truth of old saw that there is nothing as ugly as HOMEMADE SIN.

Kathy Hogan Trocheck made an impressive start with this series, but time will tell is she can sustain the pace. The problem with a formula is that it must be altered on occasion to keep the brew fresh. A single character, no matter how engaging, can seldom carry a series for long. Trocheck must broaden that cast of characters allowed to relish the spot light.