Lawrence Sanders was a nice old chap who wrote great books. Most of which I have read. I really thought I knew the guy. But after reading The First Deadly Sin, I am not so sure.
The teaser quote on the back of the book calls this a "psycho-sexual thriller." That ain't the half of it.
As The First Deadly Sin opens, we meet successful New Yorker Daniel Blank. He works for a publication company and climbs mountains in his spare time. Daniel is a cold man who likes order. He also owns the best in clothes, furniture and cars.
Daniel Blank has a couple of strange, sexually liberal friends named Florence and Samuel Morton, who introduce him to Celia Montfort. Dan begins dating Celia, who lives with a strange butler named Valenter and a homosexual 12 year-old named Tony that she claims is her brother.
Got all that? I hope so. It took Mr. Sanders 100 pages to explain it.
Part II of The First Deadly Sin introduces us to Edward X. Delaney. He is in charge of the 251st precinct in New York City. Currently, his wife is very ill in the hospital, so he takes a leave of absence from the department to be with her.
Shortly thereafter, there is a murder. For various reasons, Delaney secretly investigates this murder.
I'm not giving anything away by saying that Daniel Blank is the killer. He begins killing men for some sort of sexual gratification.
This book is kind of weird. There are all kinds of sex going on between Daniel, Celia and Tony. Maybe all this sex is necessary, but not to the degree in which Mr. Sanders describes it. I had no idea he was such a dirty old man! :)
I did like the book, but it was too long. I feel the characters were overdeveloped. There were several sub-plots that made the book busy. I have found that this is not the case with the other books in Mr. Sander's Edward X. Delaney series.
If you do choose to read The First Deadly Sin, keep in mind the publication date of 1973. This was before computerized crime records and DNA identification. Don't let the outdated technology hamper your enjoyment of the story.
Lawrence Sanders writes good books. I was just surprised at the graphic sexuality in The First Deadly Sin.
Overall, Lawrence Sanders is my favorite author. If you want to read some good books, try his McNally series.