I recently read The Kidnapping of Kenzie Thorn, which is a “Love Inspired” Suspense novel. I don’t usually read books that can be purchased in the grocery store, but I thought this one was pretty good.
Kenzie Thorn (granddaughter of the state governor) teaches a GED course in a prison. She can’t help but be intrigued by her new student, Myles Parsons, but her curiosity turns to fear when he abducts her. His explanation? He’s an undercover FBI agent working to protect Kenzie, and to do so, he needs to hide her.
Can Kenzie trust Myles? Who is the real threat to her? And what kind of relationship can she have with the man sent to keep her out of harm’s way?
There was a twist to this story (which I obviously won’t share) that prevented this book from becoming a formulaic romance novel. I appreciated the Christian slant to the book, which prevented it from becoming a trashy romance novel. Certainly light reading, but not a bad way to spend time.
The verdict? Good for summer reading by the pool.
I loved The Night Watchman by Mark Mynheir! It’s a great mystery/suspense story that takes place in and around Orlando, FL, and deals with corruption in government as well as the local police department. It’s an extremely well-written story, with an ending that’s almost impossible to figure out ahead of time.
The Night Watchman is former detective Ray Quinn, who has a new life as a security guard/P.I. (and part-time alcoholic)–a life he certainly didn’t choose voluntarily, but was forced into after a mysterious shooting that crippled him and killed his partner.
After the murder/suicide of an exotic dancer and pastor that occurred at the condo on Ray’s new beat, he gets sucked back into police work, trying to discover who the real killer is, and how this attack might relate to his accident, as well as the death of another exotic dancer he interviewed. He learns secrets about the people he used to work with, breaks several laws, is beaten, and even had an attempt made on his own life while trying to untangle the mystery of the killings, and how they relate to several powerful men in the Orlando area, and the local nightclub scene.
Along the way, he befriends a young man with whom he works–Crevis, a somewhat bumbling red-head who dreams to one day become a police officer himself. It’s an unlikely friendship, and one that Ray avoided for as long as possible. Ray also allows himself to become closer to Pam, the sister of the pastor found dead in the condo. Only time will tell if that will become a romantic relationship in future books.
This book kept me furiously turning the pages until I had it finished. I wasn’t sure who Ray could really trust until the very end, when all of the truth finally came out. Until that point, I had a trust no one attitude, which seemed to be shared by Ray, as he discovered just how deeply the investigation ran.
I can’t wait to see what kind of cases The Night Watchman Detective Agency tackles next!
I recently finished the third book in Amy Wallace’s “Defenders of Hope Series”: Enduring Justice. I haven’t read the first two books, so it took me a few chapters to get the characters figured out, and try to guess about events that were referred to that must have occurred in the first two books.
Despite the fact that it was a slow start for me, I loved the book. There were two main plots that were woven together–Hanna Kessler dealing with the childhood abuse that she had never shared with anyone, not even her family, and the FBI (including Hanna’s brother and her boyfriend) searching for a racially motivated killer.
This was a pretty gritty book, because of the flashbacks to Hanna’s abuse, and the details regarding the white supremacists as the FBI is desperately trying to find and apprehend them. It was a very real book, with characters dealing with real emotions and real flaws. I didn’t find this to be the stereotypical Christian novel, filled with syrupy characters who always make the right decisions. The characters in this book made mistakes, some big ones, and had to deal with the consequences just like they would in the real world.
The style of this book very much reminded my of Dee Henderson’s “O’Malley” series, which is high praise from me, as that was the first mystery/suspense series I ever enjoyed reading. I am looking forward to going back and reading the first two books, Ransomed Dreams and Healing Promises, and I’ll be curious to see if Amy Wallace writes any more books in the series–if she does, I’ll definitely be looking for those, too!
I also had the chance to read Dear Mom by Melody Carlson, which is a book written for mothers of teenage daughters, in a style as though it is written by the teenager herself. Unfortunately, I didn’t find this book to be nearly as appealing as Enduring Justice was.
I understand the purpose of the book, and think it’s a good one–to help mothers see how their actions, from the way they dress to the way they interact with their daughter’s friends to the words they choose, affect their children. But something about the tone of the book was disturbing to me. Maybe that’s just the natural tone of teenagers, and that’s why it rubbed me the wrong way, but it came across like mothers are just stupid, and need to be talked to like children in order to understand how they can make communication with their daughters easier.
I am all for encouraging parents and teens in their interactions, and helping them understand each other better. But I would think that there is a better, more respectful way to accomplish this goal.
Aside from the main plot–where did Katie Converse disappear to shortly before Christmas?–there were several sub-plots, which I’m guessing will be explored further in the next book. A Federal Prosecutor who is dealing with pregnancy following infertility, as well as death threats; a reporter hoping to get her “big break,” and tangled in an abusive relationship; and an FBI agent who deals with the challenges of being a single mother, and of being a minority in law enforcement. Some of these sub-plots were resolved, others were barely explored, so there is a good balance of both satisfaction, and the desire to know what happens next.
The main story about the disappearance of a young Senate page kept me wondering right up the end. Even as some of my questions began to be answered, more questions popped up, and I was continually guessing as to what happened, and re-evaluating the conclusions I thought I had come to, as I discovered that I was, on many occasions, quite wrong.
Excellent political mystery–I thoroughly enjoyed it, and can’t wait for Hand of Fate to be published.