Monday, April 9, 2012

The Discovery by Dan Walsh

An Engrossing Story of Family Secrets and a Love for the Ages

When aspiring writer Michael Warner inherits his grandfather's venerable Charleston estate, he settles in to write his first novel. But within the confines of the stately home, he discovers an unpublished manuscript that his grandfather, a literary giant whose novels sold in the millions, had kept hidden from everyone--but which he clearly intended Michael to find. As he delves deep into the exciting tale about spies and sabotage, Michael discovers something that has the power to change not only his future but his past as well.

Laced with suspense and intrigue, The Discovery is a richly woven novel that explores the incredible sacrifices that must be made to forge the love of a lifetime. Author Dan Walsh delivers yet another unique and heartfelt story that will stick with you long after you've turned the last page.

My review:
I sometimes have a hard time posting an original review for a book that I think is a cut above others. One that was extraordinary. That is the case with this one.

Dan Walsh had me at his first book, a Christmas book he wrote in 2009 titled The Unfinished Gift. He went on to write a sequel to that, The Homecoming, in 2010. He followed that up with a stand-alone book, The Deepest Waters and another Christmas book, Remembering Christmas, both in 2011. When I got the email offering his newest book for review, I immediately sent back the reply that I wanted to review it.

The book sounded interesting enough, but (sorry Dan!) it didn't sound like a major page turner. I put it in my stack and left it for closer to the review dates. Then a week before the review dates, I sat down and started to read it. It is a first person point of view book, not my favorite, but I put up with it from my favorite authors. It had a good beginning, and I liked the main character right away.

This may be a bit of a spoiler, but given the book description, maybe not. The main character finds a book by his author grandfather and begins to read it. From then on, the story becomes two stories. Michael in the present, and the story he is reading. Admittedly, I wasn't thrilled at the idea as I read a book where something similar was done with a diary and did not like it, but hey, I like this author, plus I committed to reading the book. Man, was I in for a surprise.

The majority of the book is the story Michael's grandfather wrote. It is suspenseful, stirring, moving, and it pulled me in before I could blink. Did I ever misjudge this book! This is Dan's best book so far, and The Ultimate Gift was a hard one to beat. I didn't just enjoy this book. I loved it. Could not put it down (other than to eat lasagna for supper). Yes, I still liked the main character, but the characters brought forth in the book Michael read were superb. The descriptions were top notch. I could almost see and feel Charleston and Daytona Beach. I felt like I had stepped out of the year 2012 into the era of World War 2. I felt the agony and the happiness of the characters and tried to fight those nasty liquid things we guys are supposedly not supposed to have come from our eyes. Losing battle there. Move over, Karen Kingsbury. This book gives her book competition for an emotional read.

I read one Nicholas Sparks book in my life, A Walk to Remember. I get the idea that his books are sad and someone always dies. If that is the case, this book is something he'd write if he were to write Christian fiction and decided on a happier theme. And don't let the Christian fiction label turn you away if you are not into Christian fiction. This isn't a preachy book, but it will leave you with a longing to visit Charleston, and to have a love like that in the book, and show that God can work anything out.

What more can I say about this book? It is just really, really good, and definitely worth reading. All of Dan's books are, but he has hit a home run with this one. It will be a hard act to follow, but he did that with this book, and I have confidence he can do it again. Totally awesome book. Read it.

About the author:
Dan Walsh is the award-winning author of The Unfinished Gift, The Homecoming, The Deepest Waters, Remembering Christmas, and The Discovery. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Dan served as a pastor for 25 years. He lives with his wife in the Daytona Beach area, where he's busy researching and writing his next novel.

Check out Dan's website and his blog.

Available April 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Thanks to Donna at Revell for the review copy.

Read the first chapter here.


Dan Walsh said...

Wow, Mark. Hard to top a review like that. So glad you enjoyed it. I knew it would be a little different than my previous 4 books. But so glad to see, on the whole, folks are responding very well to it.

That's good. Because I love writing books like these. Great review!