The Sin of Certainty: B.Y Rogers


Some kids like to try new things and one of them is smoking. Thinking they look cool, hot and will prove they are more than just young punks, Danny and Paul venture into an old barn to light up. Not really caring about their surroundings or even wondering what the final consequences might be they lit up, flicked the ashes and the end result would be more than just tragic. Feeling the intensity of the smoke lashing up at them Danny and Paul lit up more than the Kools.

Doyle Max owned the barn where the two boys were smoking and never heard or saw them enter nor was he guilty of setting the fire. However, Doyle Max had a reputation that preceded him and many thought that he had sexually molested and abused both boys for quite some time and then killing these two young white kids would hide the truth and keep him from the hang man’s noose. But, this is the South the year is 1947 and the Civil Rights Movement had not taken shape and forming lynch mobs seemed not uncommon and the man was found guilty, charged and arrested before the final ember of the fire was put out. As one mother phones in the fire another goes out in search of Doyle hoping that he is not found as part of the charred embers in the barn. But, instead when the fire department, just about the whole entire town, the gossipers, the man who runs the diner, the feed store and more show up along with the Mayor what they find will destroy two families and ignite more than the flames in the raging fire. A town that decided the man was guilty even before he could be proven innocent. A town that hates “colored people,” and considers them ignore and not worth the air they breathe. As the fire is extinguished, the police arrive and the investigation begins one woman searches for clues to find out the truth. Rose Henn refuses to believe that Doyle is guilty and as a reporter will leave no stone unturned, no rock uncovered to find out what caused the fire and why these two young boys died. Added in we have Paul, whose father Charley is mean, unruly and hateful who will do anything to make sure Doyle pays claiming that he knew about his abuse towards his son. Ted who is devastated along with his wife Nancy, Danny’s parents and a Mayor who just wants to the man he thinks is responsible to pay. As Rose tries to speak with Charley and express her sorrow the conversation gets more than heated and we know her efforts are futile.


Next, we meet Frank, Rose’s father who supports her thoughts, and understands the prejudice that riddles the people in this town. The medical report not in and the conclusions not found yet they arrested Doyle on the pretense of keeping him safe from harm and because they think he did it. The beginning of the book begins in 1925 with an incident involving Charley that sets the stage for the chain of events 22 years later.


As Rose is learning from the Doc that she has an ear infection he aptly convinces her to tell him what seems to be on her mind and why she thinks that Doyle might be innocent. But, Rose would not let it be and when it is revealed that Doyle’s grandfather is in nursing home she proceeds to visit him and what he reveals explains what happened to him in the army and the prejudice within in troop and the help he received. One incident would ring out in Doyle’s mind and the honest truth behind his plight would bring Rose into action and hopefully prove his innocence. The description of what happened to him in the army is not unheard of and the aid that he received from his Lieutenant quite compelling. The cruelty of the men who bullied him and the one man who said they went to far still haunts Doyle and his grandfather too. Why would anyone believe him? They mistrusted him back then why would anyone stand up for him now?


A town so filled with hate, prejudice and the secrets that lie beneath the ground that are buried down deep as you hear the voices of two men discuss the past and the evidence that would change things for both of them. Added in we learn more about Charley, his actions and his behaviors that make you wonder about the kind of parent he was and much more. Not finding any evidence of abuse on Paul after an incident where he was injured, Doc intimates that there is more to this than meets the eye but reveals nothing.


Rose revisits the small town, goes into the diner and the conversation over coffee with the Mayor, his son a others alerts the reader that she might need to be careful and the warning given to her heeded. Yet the Mayor believes his own words, tries to convince her of Doyle’s guilt, relates a story about a fire that he supposedly set which confirms in Rose’s mind that there is much more to learn before the her paper goes to press and the final pages are printed when the truth just might be revealed. One woman who is fighting against a whole town and one story that goes back 22 years. Just how does this all link together?


But, a town meeting turns heated and ugly as the Mayor squares off with Rose and words fly and the accusations sail across the crowded and heated room. The Mayor’s son, a Judge tries to deal with crowd and the Reverend Fox sees the faces and hears the cries of the women as each one tries to visualize what might have happened to their sons or daughters as a result of what is being implied. Added in we learn the truth about what happened to Dorsie, Doyle’ mother and many questions regarding one night would forever haunt many. What did this woman do to deserve what was done to her? What does Doc Walters know that he cannot divulge? But, Rose is persistent, relentless and with the guidance of her father she begins to see where the missing pieces need to be filled in and the reader gets an inside look at a town too blind to see what is right in front of them and people so narrow minded and hateful that one incident that took place 22 years ago would come back and haunt the entire town. Just who will remain standing at the end and who will face the hangman’s rope?


When Rose decides to pry even further the evidence she is looking for seems to have disappeared. But, the Mayor seems to hold all the cards and the end result you just won’t expect of believe. When Doyle is secretly released from jail someone follows the trail to his home and what is revealed and happens will shake the innermost core of the people of this town. Just who survives and what really happened that night in 1925? What happens when one man tells his story to Rose and what happens that will destroy more live? The Sin of Certainty: Just how sure is anyone that a crime has been committed? Just why did everyone in this town think that Doyle was guilty? Sin: an offense against religious or moral law as defined by Webster’s Dictionary. Each member of this town was hard pressed to hide the truth about an incident that tore about lives of two people on in 1925. Coming back to haunt them 22 years later the truth would not set anyone free but would forever shatter the lives of many. What is the final judgment and who will pay for his sins? Who will live with the guilt? One father will stop at nothing to find out the truth and one reporter will sacrifice it all in order to negate the towns desire to accuse Doyle Max of what they think is: The Certainty of Sin. Author B.Y. Rogers takes us inside the minds of the people of this small Southern town who have insulated themselves within the confines of their community hoping to keep their deep dark secrets buried along with the dead. Matches: Don’t get too close to the fire you might get burned! For anyone that has teens and want to stop them from ever trying cigarettes you might have them read this book and find out what happens when you play with smoke and it turns to fire. Loyalty, deceit, lies, cover-ups, fraud and one town covered with a veil of darkness. The Sin of Certainty: one thing I can say for sure you want to read this novel filled with so many final twists and one explosive ending you will stay glued to the printed page from start to finish.

Fran Lewis: reviewer


Let’s give this book: FIVE GOLDEN ROSES