The Wicked and the Whipped by Amy Gray is a novel about crime—many kinds of crime. You will meet many characters in this richly complex story, and you may begin to wonder before you have finished it is any of these people completely innocent. In the beginning, its true, Lucille Bryson and her husband, the Reverend Doctor Paul Bryson, seem to be about as free from the taint of sin as any human beings living in todays guilt-riddled world can possibly be. In fact, they seem almost too good to be true. Then, gradually, you will see that the pain and frustration they cause each other and members of Pauls congregation to suffer are in fact crimes of the worst sort—crimes that are committed in the name and under the guise of good rather than evil. Lucille is a dutiful wife who fails to realize her own attractiveness and potential for sexuality—and her failure is a well-nigh fatal flaw. This, of course, is a kind of negative evil, and there is positive evil in the novel as well. Most of this stems from the person of Wade Sampson, a man sworn to uphold the law, but a man who is inherently savage, brutal and greedy. Lucille first incurs his wrath almost by accident, but he becomes determined to wreak vengeance upon her, and that vengeance alters the courses of many lives. Amy Gray is a new writer, but in The Wicked and the Whipped she has written one of the most aptly titled novels of all time, and one that probes to the very heart of human passions, ambitions, wants and needs. It is a story that will remind you inevitably of todays crime headlines, and that hopefully will make you better able to understand them.