by Shelley Bates

June 2006
ISBN: 0-446-69492-4
Reviewer Graphic Button Warner Faith
Trade Paperback

Claire Montoya has been brought up in an extremely strict church in Hamilton Falls, a small town in Washington State. Her church is extremely strict, believing that music drowns out the voice of God and that women should only wear black dresses with their hair done-up. The pastor of her church is under investigation for raping several members of the church and the board has brought in a controversial young speaker who suggests that the church might have been misinterpreting scripture.

With the investigation ongoing about the pastor of Claire’s church, and the media covering the group as a cult, Claire’s boss is concerned about Claire dressing the way she does. It is ruining business at the bank where Claire works. So her boss asks her to consider wearing her hair down in a modern cut, or changing the style of her clothes for work only. Claire refuses and is fired from her job. She is hired for another book keeping job right way, by Luke Fisher, DJ during the week, speaker at Claire’s church on Sunday.

Ray Harper is an investigator and he has his eye on Luke Fisher. Ray believes Luke is wanted for scamming women too. He hangs around the studio asking disturbing questions and making his own impression on Claire. Who is right? Luke Fisher or Ray Harper? And who will win Claire’s heart?

A Sounding Brass is about victims. The story is compelling, drawing the reader in, though some of the contents are difficult to swallow. A Sounding Brass is not a book that I found easily read in a day, but it does have important truths that the reader must dig to reach.

Claire and the other characters are realistically developed, and the reader will grow to care about what happens to them. A Sounding Brass is a great book for a rainy day. Study guides are included at the end, as is a preview to Ms. Bates next novel.

Reviewed in September 2006 by Laura.

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