Google+ Badge

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Vendetta by Lisa Harris - A Book Review

     "...sometimes there truly is nothing you can do to change your circumstances. Sometimes all you can do is hold on for dear life and pray that God will help you find a way to escape, and sometimes he walks through the fire with you. But I am starting to realize that as much as I've battled God, nothing that happens here on this earth changes who God is." Important words from special agent Nikki Boyd, grounded in lessons that didn't come easily. Lessons that began with her younger sister's abduction, continued with the death of her closest friend, and were punctuated as she dealt with victims and their families throughout her career in law enforcement.
     Lisa Harris immediately engages her readers in this first installment of The Nikki Boyd Files. Nikki's current case leads her team into the wilderness of the great Smokey Mountains, a place where it is easy to disappear, and to make others disappear. Her team is assisted by local police officers, park rangers, and Tyler Grant, former member of an elite combat force fighting in the Middle East, in pursuit of sixteen year old Bridget Ellison and her abductors. Harris builds suspense, and then doubles and triples it. Emotions run high and bottom out during the course of the investigation, both the characters' and the readers'.
     While this book is the first in a series, the author ties up this mystery, making it a good stand alone read for those who don't want to wait for months to see what happens next. She does, however, leave enough loose ends to make readers happy when they see that book two has become available at their favorite bookseller. I thank Revell and the Christian Blog Alliance for this copy of Vendetta in exchange for my personal opinion. I have received no compensation for providing this review.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Imposter by Suzanne Woods Fisher – A Book Review

suzanne and dog         The Imposter

     The Imposter, the first book in Suzanne Woods Fisher’s The Bishop’s Family series is the real deal, no imposter here.  When I started reading the book, I was actually in the mood for a mystery, but within the first chapter I was pulled into the story of David Stoltzfus and his children. David, a widower and a pastor in the Amish community of Stony Ridge, is having his fair share of challenges raising six children on his own. In addition, he must cope with the growing tension between himself and the bishop of this Plain community. This book shows that our Amish brothers and sisters deal with many of the same temptations, family issues, and work concerns that we Englishers do. The author, through David, does a nice job of explaining why it is important to the Amish to keep their traditions in the midst of our modern society. It also explains why many of us wonder if we might better deal with stress if our lifestyle more closely resembled the Plain life.
     I would not classify The Imposter as a suspense book, but it kept me in suspense. I tell my students that questioning the text, the author, and oneself is part of being a good comprehender. This book constantly generated questions in my mind, some related to the text, some related to Amish traditions and faith, and some about my response to the manner in which characters related to one another. I appreciated knowing, from the back cover that Beth Wiseman, another author who has written Amish fiction, considers Suzanne Woods Fisher to be an authority on the Plain folk. To me that meant I didn’t need to ponder questions about authenticity.
     While beach season has drawn to an end, this book remains a great vacation read. If you can’t get away for a vacation, maybe you can just spend a weekend on the mossy hillside of Stony Ridge. I’d highly recommend it.
     I thank Revell Publishers and Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for providing The Imposter for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own.