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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Fiction Reviews: The Hidden Son, The Good Girl, Unseen

The Hidden Son by Dianna T. Benson is a pacey novel that begins in the Cayman Islands. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Lelisa Desmond loses her partner on a scuba dive. Later, she realizes that it should have been her. Inspector Alec Dyer interviews her immediately afterward, and their trust and mistrust relationship begins. They need to find answers, and someone is trying to kill Lelisa.

The story is intriguing, especially with Lelisa and Alec’s mutual experience in investigations. Sometimes, though, the truth evades. It’s too close to home. Several near death escapes, too many hospital visits, and the constant death threat cause Lelisa, Alec, and their friends to risk everything for the right outcome.

I had a few ethical problems with people lying and breaking all rules to achieve success. I personally think it’s better to keep silent than to lie. (I’m not so sure about the rule breaking, either.) My only other problem was with the age-old storyline of Christian guy meets gorgeous non-Christian girl (who’s always working in shorts). Though they are not dating, there’s an obvious interest, which grows and changes.

This is a squeaky-clean novel, full of excitement, and a good read. I loved the double plot, the detective work, the adventures, and the outcome. I think you will be similarly entertained.

The Good Girl by Christy Barritt is a mystery that I couldn’t put down. It’s about a young divorced woman named Tara, who is running from all she has known. She needs time to get away, to start over in a place where no one knows her story. So, she goes to house and dog-sit at her sister’s place while her worldly sister romps in Europe.

Mrs. Barritt’s style is so fun and unmistakable. This is the second book I’ve read, and I love her characters. She always includes the kooky people as well as unfortunate people with real needs. She has a knack for making the craziest real and the real crazy.

I loved this book, mostly because of its message—real Christian faith is better than works faith. And, real faith is borne out with true, compassionate, forgiving works. There are many biblical allusions woven into this excellent story.

The mystery is fun. This is a page-turner. Who is the ghost? Where is Danielle’s body? What’s wrong with the neighbor with the binoculars?

The constantly texting girl with blue hair, the nerdy video man, and the ex-Ranger are just a few of the intriguing characters in this ghost story. I believe you will be entertained and challenged by The Good Girl.

Unseen by John Michael Hileman is every bit as enthralling and suspenseful as Messages. I have no idea where he gets his story ideas, but Hileman does it again!

Jake Paris is a normal, everyday guy until Abigail visits him. Abigail is a very old woman who seems consumed with her crazy message and gift of a white rose. The message is, “Be nice to the children.” He starts seeing little children everywhere, and apparently, he’s the only one who does. Is he as nutty as the old lady? What is going on? Then, Jake’s sister Holly finds out her little boy is being held by a serial child killer. Jake and his friend Dan try to help her deal with it. Everything is further complicated by Holly’s drug habit, messages to her from the killer, and Jake’s recurring visions of little children.

The plot thickens as Holly is in contact with the serial killer, Jake is trying to figure out his own private mystery, and all the time, the fate of the little boy is uncertain. I promise this is a nail biter with a very strong message. Kudos, Mr. Hileman!

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