Friday, August 18, 2017

Crisis Shot, Line of Duty #1 by Janice Cantore

Book description:

Tess O'Rourke dreams of becoming the first female chief of police in Long Beach, California. As commander of the East Division, she is well on her way . . . until the night she responds to an officer-needs-assistance call and fatally shoots an unarmed teenager. Despite being cleared of wrongdoing by a grand jury, Tess is so hounded by the public that she takes a job in Oregon to escape the bad press.

Winning over the residents of Rogue's Hollow might be more difficult than adjusting to her new role as police chief in the small, backwater town. Especially when her closest friend, the pastor's wife, goes missing and the woman's cousin is found shot. Tess finds an ally in sheriff's deputy Steve Logan, but as they track down Rogue's Hollow's first murderer, she worries that she's breaking one of her rules and getting too close to him.


My review:

   I have yet to be disappointed in a Janice Cantore book, and was happy to see a new series starting by her. The fact that she is a former police officer makes her books all the more interesting, as she knows police work and knows police work and procedure.

 This book starts out with a look at what it is like for police officers when a justified shooting is declared unjustified by the public. There has been a lot of hatred towards the police in real life in a couple of such cases, so it it was interesting to see a police officer's take on that, even in a fictional story.

  As with her other novels, Cantore has come up with some great characters, plot, and setting. Romance is rarely center stage in her novels, and she tends to build up to it all through a series instead of having the couple fall in love and be married at the end of the book..... not that I am knocking authors who do that.

 Crisis Shot is a book where you have a hard time deciding who the bad guy/guys are. Cantore did a great job of writing a suspenseful novel, and keeping her bad guys' identities a secret to the reader. There is a lot of suspense, police/detective work, and tense situations, all opportunities to test the new police chief.

 I read the book in one evening. It is the kind of book you don't want to put down, so I didn't. I had the time to read, so I read through to the great and climatic end. It was definitely an enjoyable read, and the author can add another great novel to her author resume'.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

About the author: 


A former Long Beach, California, police officer of twenty-two years, Janice Cantore worked a variety of assignments, including patrol, administration, juvenile investigations, and training. She’s always enjoyed writing and published two short articles on faith at work for Cop and Christ and Today’s Christian Woman before tackling novels. A few years ago, she retired to a house in the mountains of Southern California, where she lives with three Labrador retrievers, Jake, Maggie, and Abbie. Janice writes suspense novels designed to keep readers engrossed and leave them inspired. Accused is the first book in the Pacific Coast Justice series, featuring Carly Edwards. Janice also authored the Brinna’s Heart series, which includes The Kevlar Heart and A Heart of Justice. Visit Janice’s website at www.janicecantore.com and connect with her on Facebook.


Crisis Shot is available from Tyndale Publishing.

Thanks to Tyndale for the review copy.

Threads of Suspicion by Dee Henderson

Dee Henderson Pens Another Compelling Cold Case Mystery

Evie Blackwell's reputation as a top investigator for the Illinois State Police has landed her an appointment to the governor's new Missing Persons Task Force. This elite investigative team is launched with plenty of public fanfare. The governor has made this initiative a high priority, so they will have to produce results--and quickly.

Evie and her new partner, David Marshal, are assigned to a pair of unrelated cases in suburban Chicago, and while both involve persons now missing for several years, the cases couldn't be more different. While Evie opens old wounds in a close-knit neighborhood to find a missing college student, David searches for a private investigator working for a high-powered client.

With a deep conviction that "justice for all" truly matters, Evie and David are unrelenting in their search for the truth. But Evie must also find answers to the questions that lie just beneath the surface in her personal life.

My review:

  I hate to give bad reviews, especially for authors who have written books I have enjoyed. I loved the O Malley Series and a few others she wrote, but I just have not been able to get into her most recent books. I had trouble getting into her last series, but had hopes for this one..... but was disappointed. There is hardly any suspense or action, and I had to make myself read it.

 I am not one to totally annihilate an author or their book, so I will just leave it at that: The book was not interesting, and needed more suspense and action.

 I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

About the author:



Dee Henderson is the author of 14 best-selling novels, including the acclaimed O'Malley series and the Uncommon Heroes series. As a leader in the inspirational romantic suspense category, her books have won or been nominated for several prestigious industry awards, including the RWA's RITA Award, the Christy Award, the ECPA Gold Medallion, the Holt Medallion, the National Readers' Choice Award, and the Golden Quill. Dee is a lifelong resident of Illinois and is active online.


Threads of Suspicion is available from Bethany House, part of the Baker Publushing Group.

Thanks to Bethany House for the review copy.

Fatal Trust by Tood Johnson

Book description:

Ian Wells is a young criminal defense attorney struggling to build a Minneapolis law practice he inherited from his father while caring for a mother with Alzheimer's. Nearly at the breaking point, everything changes for Ian when a new client offers a simple case: determine whether three men qualify for over nine million dollars of trust funds. To qualify, none can have been involved in criminal activity for the past twenty years. Ian's fee for a week's work: the unbelievable sum of two hundred thousand dollars. 

Ian warily accepts the job--but is quickly dragged deep into a mystery linking the trust with a decades-old criminal enterprise and the greatest unsolved art theft in Minnesota history. As stolen money from the art theft surfaces, Ian finds himself the target of a criminal investigation by Brook Daniels, a prosecutor who is also his closest law school friend. He realizes too late that this simple investigation has spun out of control and now threatens his career, his future, and his life.

My review:

  Todd Johnson is still a fairly new author, with this being just his third book. I read the other two and enjoyed them, so I figured I'd like this one also.

  There are some books you read that are predictable, but this was not one of those. It is a book I'd classify as a legal thriller, and it is one full of suspense and action. I found myself liking and feeling bad for the main character as he quickly got in over his head as he just tried to do his job.

 I wouldn't necessarily classify this book as Christian fiction, as there really isn't much Christian content... if any. Yet, the book is definitely Christian in worldview, and there is no cursing or improper content. Johnson is able to spin a great story without putting any cursing or improper content, which I admire in an author.

 I very much enjoyed this book, and it could possibly be his best yet. It is definitely a page turner that I didn't want to put down, and I was surprised at the ending, which came all too fast. Great read.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

About the author:


Todd M. Johnson has been a practicing attorney for over 30 years. Todd's passion for writing blends well with his legal career, and his novels are drawn closely from his personal experiences as a trial lawyer.

A graduate of Princeton University and the University of Minnesota Law School, Todd taught for two years as an adjunct professor of International Law, and has served as a US diplomat in Hong Kong.

The Deposit Slip, Johnson's first novel, debuted in 2012. His second novel, Critical Reaction, was released in October 2013.

A third novel, Fatal Trust, is set in Todd's hometown of Minneapolis, and released in early summer 2017.


Fatal Trust is available from Bethany House Publishers, part of the Baker Publishing Group.

Thanks to Bethany House for the review copy.

Imagine....The Great Flood by Matt Koceich

Book description:

The ocean swirled around the boy and pulled him down with unrelenting power. Heavy water churned and tugged at his flailing body like unseen hands yanking him into the watery depths. The fight was finally over. Even though he’d tried to stand up to the enemy, the waves were about to swallow him whole.

The last thing ten-year-old Corey remembers (before the world as he knew it disappeared) was the searing pain in his head after falling while chasing his dog Molly into the woods. What happens next can't be explained as Corey wakes up and finds himself face-to-face with not one but two lions! 

Join Corey and experience the excitement. . .the wonder. . . the adventure. . .as the epic story of Noah’s ark comes to life.



My review:

   I review all kinds of Christian books, and they are not always geared for a guy my age... as is the case with this one. Imagine.....The Great Flood is the first in a series of books for 8-12 year olds.

  In the book, 10-year-old Corey goes back in time to when the Great Flood is about to happen. The author had a great idea with this series, and I was impressed with this first book. Some of what the author wrote about, such as the Nephtilum, are his idea of what things were like, but they don't detract from the story in any way. Even as an adult, I thought it was cool to take a look at the ark and flood through the eyes of a boy from modern times. I am sure kids of the intended age group will enjoy it.

 The book is interesting, and very well written. It did leave me wondering as to how Corey went back in time.... was it a dream, or did it really happen? Maybe the author deliberately didn't say so the reader would have to make their own decision on what happened. Regardless, this is a great book for kids to read.

 I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

About the author:

Matt Koceich is a husband, father, and public school teacher. Matt and his family live in Texas.



Imagine....The Great Flood is available from Barbour Publishing.

Thanks to Barbour for the review copy.




The Soldier Who Killed a King by David Kitz

Book description:

A stunning story of Holy Week through the eyes of a Roman centurion 

Watch the triumphal entry of the donkey-riding king through the eyes of Marcus Longinus, the centurion charged with keeping the streets from erupting into open rebellion.

Look behind the scenes at the political plotting of King Herod, known as the scheming Fox for his ruthless shrewdness.

Get a front-row seat to the confrontation between the Jewish high priest Caiaphas and the Roman governor Pontius Pilate.

Understand as never before the horror of the decision to save a brutal terrorist in order to condemn the peaceful Jew to death.

If you've heard the story of Passion Week so often it's become stale, now is the time to rediscover the terrible events leading from Jesus's humble ride into the city to his crucifixion. The Soldier Who Killed a King will stun you afresh with how completely Christ's resurrection changed history, one life at a time.

My review:

  I like it when an author takes a real historical person that not much is known about, and writes a book about them. We don't know much about the centurion who said "surely this man was the Son of God" when Jesus died, but David Kitz spins a story around the little we know to make a great and interesting read.

 The book starts out before the arrest and crucifixion of Jesus, and goes a little beyond His resurrection. In between those pages, the author tells the true events while weaving into the story his idea of what the centurion may have been like both before and after the crucifixion. We read the Biblical account over and over, and I found this book takes a refreshing new look at the events of Holy Week. I don't feel the author did any disservice to the Bible account. I have never read any books by Kitz, but I found the book to be a riveting and interesting read. And though some of it is fictional, he did a great job of filling in the holes with his idea of what we don't know.


I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

About the author:


David Kitz is a Bible dramatist, an award winning author, a convention speaker and a retired public school teacher. For over twenty-five years, he has served as an ordained minister with the Foursquare Gospel Church of Canada.

David has a Master’s degree in Biblical Studies, in addition to Bachelor’s degrees in both Arts and Education. His love for drama and storytelling is evident to all who have seen his Bible based performances. For several years now, he has toured across Canada and into the United States with a variety of one man plays for both children and adults. Though born and raised in Saskatchewan, David now lives in Ottawa, Canada with his wife Karen. They have two adult sons, Timothy and Joshua.


The Soldier Who Killed a King is available from Kregel Publishing.

Thanks to Kregel for the review copy.


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Chasing Secrets, Elite Guardian Series #4 by Lynette Eason

Book description:

Intensity. Skill. Tenacity.
The bodyguards of Elite Guardians Agency have it all.

When a photo leads investigators in West Ireland to open a twenty-five-year-old cold case, Elite Guardians bodyguard Haley Callaghan's life is suddenly in danger. Haley knows how to take care of herself; after all, she's made a career out of taking care of others. But after she has an uncomfortably close call, Detective Steven Rothwell takes it upon himself to stay with her--and the young client she has taken under her wing. A protector at heart, he's not about to let Haley fight this battle alone.

In a sweeping plot that takes them into long-buried memories--and the depths of the heart--Haley and Steven will have to solve the mystery of Haley's past while dodging bullets, bombs, and bad guys who just won't quit.

My review:

  Lynette Eason continues to put out top notch Christian suspense, and seems to get better with each book she writes. My only complaint about her books, is they all seem more geared to women readers, with most of her books having only women on the cover, and revolving around a female character..... but I still love her books.

   This has been another awesome series by her, and it sadly ends with this 4th book in the series, Chasing Secrets. It is quite different than her other books, as she starts the book out in Ireland 25 years in a prologue chapter  before the actual story starts, and the events in Ireland effect the main character and events of the rest of the book.

 Chasing Secrets brings back some of the same characters from the rest of the books, along with several new ones, most of them likable......some not so much.

 I am struggling through a book right now by a suspense author I used to love. There is no action, and it is difficult to get through. This book is far from that. It has non-stop action and drama, and a lot of surprises. The book is definitely unpredictable, other than the romance angle......which even this confirmed bachelor enjoyed.

 I started this book on my lunch break at work yesterday and also read it on my second break, and it was very difficult to put it down and go back to work both times. Immediately after getting home and eating supper, I dove back into it and didn't put it down until I finished it..... then read a few favorite parts again. This is one of Eason's best books, and that is saying a lot considering how great her other books are.

 As part of the story, Haley takes an interest in two boys with no father, and the events surrounding them add even more to the story, and I loved the conclusion of that part.

 There was nothing to dislike about this book. Christian in content, great characters, awesome non-stop suspense, and yeah.....even the romance, which wasn't gushy or overdone. Eason has another book she can rightly be proud of, and again shows why she is one of my top favorite authors.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

About the author:


Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of the Women of Justice series, the Deadly Reunions series, and the Hidden Identity series, as well as Always Watching, Without Warning, Moving Target, and Chasing Secrets in the Elite Guardians series. She is the winner of two ACFW Carol Awards, the Selah Award, and the Inspirational Readers' Choice Award. She has a master's degree in education from Converse College and lives in South Carolina. Learn more at www.lynetteeason.com.


Check out the other books in the Elite Guardian Series, which along with Chasing Secrets, are all available from Revell Publishing, part of the Baker Publishing Group.





Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Beneath Copper Falls by Colleen Coble

USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble returns to her beloved Rock Harbor—but both danger and romance hide in this idyllic small town.

Dana Newell has just moved to Rock Harbor to take a job as a sheriff's dispatcher and is settling in next door to Bree and Kade Matthews. The abusive relationship she left behind seems a distant memory in this perfect place.

Her first day on the job, Dana receives a call from her friend Allyson who screams "He's going to kill me too" before the phone goes dead. Dana immediately dispatches a deputy, but it's too late. Allyson's death is ruled an accident, but Dana just doesn't believe it. She knows Allyson—an investigative reporter—was researching a new story. Did someone want to keep her quiet?

Dana continues to look into the accident with the help of Bree and also Allyson's cousin Boone. Romance quickly blooms between Dana and Boone but the game is much more complex than either of them imagined. When Dana's ex-fiance locates her, she's caught in the middle. It’s a game of cat and mouse as she and Boone fight to catch one killer while evading another.

My review:

I am not sure why, but I became a Colleen Coble fan late in her writing career. I had sporadically read some of her books, but didn't get into them that much. That has changed over the last few years, and I have become an avid reader of her books. In fact, I have gone back and read around 20 of her books in the last month, many that I had read before.

Her best series, in my opinion, is her Rock Harbor Series. The characters are impossible not to like, and everything about the series is just top notch. It has been several years since the series ended, so I was a bit dubious about another book in the series so long after the rest.... but I was wrong to be dubious. It probably helps that I just re-read the other books a few weeks ago, but this book seamlessly fell in with the rest..... and was a totally awesome 5-stars read.

The suspense and drama was great in the book, but there was a message throughout the book that Coble got across, of true beauty being what is inside. The hero of the story, Boone, is a man who got one side of his face scarred in a fire. As a result, his fiancee left him. He thinks no woman could ever love him, yet the heroine of the story is attracted to him largely in part because of who he is inside. The message is there that we work too hard to impress people with what they see of us outwardly, and too often don't work on our character and everything else inside enough. On the flip side, the bad guy in the story had perfect looks, but was an evil killer.

This paragraph sums up the theme and message of the book:

"Scars and all, his face was so handsome, so beloved. Her experience had taught her of how the soul was the repository of beauty. Unlike the Phantom (of the opera) who was as ugly on the inside as he was on the outside, Boone's scars hid an astoundingly beautiful soul. She had spent too much of her life worrying about the face she presented to the world, and much too little time on the character she needed to be developing every day."


Thanks, Colleen for writing not just a great suspense novel that was hard to put down, but also for including this great and needful message.

** I purchased this book, and was not given a copy to review, but thought it deserved a review.

About the author:


Best-selling romantic suspense author Colleen Coble’s novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, the ACFW Carol Award, the Romance Writers of America RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers’ Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has nearly 4 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana. Visit her website at www.colleencoble.com.