Monthly Archives: February 2012

After the Fire by Clare Revell

After the Fire cover artTitle: After the Fire

Author: Clare Revell

Publisher: White Rose Publishing, an imprint of Pelican Book Group

Book Description:

Private investigator, Freddie Flynn, wants nothing to do with the man who left her fifteen years ago—or the God he abandoned her for—especially if reports of corruption within high ranking levels of the P.I. firm are true. She might have to accept him as the company V.P., but she doesn’t have to trust him. Jason Bryant knows his leaving to enter the ministry cut Freddie deep, but now he’s returned to Headley Cross and wants to make amends. But Freddie’s different—jaded, distant, distrustful—so what’s he to think when a file claims Freddie is the traitor who’s sabotaging the company? Thrown together on a case that could cost them everything, including their lives, Freddie and Jason must look beyond suspicion and innuendo to catch the real traitor before it’s too late…and maybe, just maybe, they’ll find the love they once shared by listening to the still small voice that comes after the fire.

Review:

Freddie Flynn works alone in her job as a private investigator, and she has a reputation for work ethic. When she’s assigned to work on a case with the vice president of the company, she is far from thrilled. Then she finds out the VP is Jason Bryant, the man who broke her heart fifteen years ago. Jason isn’t sure how he’s going to work with the woman he still loves, especially since she makes it clear she hates him, but their boss doesn’t care what their past holds; he just wants them on this case. In order to work it, however, Freddie must give her current caseload to a different investigator—all except for the Rafferty case, which the boss insists on taking himself. Too bad Freddie can’t let it go, since it is so close to completion. Under the guise of a holiday in Cornwall, she works the Rafferty case with Jason at her side, and they uncover far more than expected. Now they must leave behind their past hurts and face the life-changing information they uncover together. But will the current challenges and danger bring them back together or keep them apart?

Clare Revell has written a wonderful Christian mystery in After the Fire. From the beginning, I found myself drawn into the story. The descriptions brought the story to life, and the vibrant characters felt like they could step off the page. Second-chance-at-love stories are always fun to read, and this one did not disappoint. Throughout the story, Jason and Freddie’s easy camaraderie is evident, no matter how much they both try to fight it. Ms. Revell wove a magnificent mystery full of twists and turns that kept me guessing, and the faith elements were seamlessly included in the plot and the characters themselves. I was impressed with the way she portrayed Jason’s quiet yet strong faith, as well as Freddie longing for a strong faith of her own. The quoted Bible verses felt completely natural and fit each situation perfectly.

I highly recommend After the Fire to anyone who loves Christian fiction, sweet romances, and mysteries. This book is definitely a keeper, and I’ll be looking for more books from Clare Revell in the future.

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Filed under Christian, Fiction, Mystery/Suspense, Pelican Book Group, Romance

The Canary List by Sigmund Brouwer

The Canary List cover artTitle: The Canary List

Author: Sigmund Brouwer

Publisher: WaterBrook Press

Book Description:

Protected by the dark of night, Jaimie Piper runs. But is anywhere safe when Evil is hunting you?
 
She’s just a twelve year-old girl, bumped around between foster homes and relegated to school classes for challenged kids, those lagging in their test scores or with behavioral issues. But her real problem is that she can sense something the other kids can’t—something dark. Something compelling her to run for her life.
 
All Crockett Grey wants is to mark the anniversary of his daughter’s death alone.
 
But when his student Jaimie comes to him, terrified, her need for protection collides with his grief, and a tangled web of bizarre events sends them both spiraling toward destruction.

Crockett’s one hope of getting his life back is to uncover the mysterious secrets of Jaimie’s past and her strange gift. It isn’t long before his discoveries lead him to a darker conspiracy, secrets guarded by the highest seat of power in the world—the Vatican.

Review:

When we first meet Crockett Grey, a teacher his troubled students affectionately call “Mr. G.”, he’s determined to get as drunk as possible in an attempt to dull the pain of losing his daughter. He thinks he’s seeing her ghost at his window, but then he realizes it’s one of his students. Jaimie Piper is terrified and Mr. G. is the only person she can trust to keep her safe from Evil, which she can feel hunting her. Unfortunately, her arrival draws Crockett into a complex and frightening conspiracy that extends all the way to the Vatican. In order to protect Jaimie and regain control of his own life, Crockett must work with child psychologist Dr. Madelyne Mackenzie and a hacker named Catfish to uncover the truth.

Author Sigmund Brouwer doesn’t disappoint with this speculative fiction thriller. From the beginning, readers are drawn into a dark and scary conspiracy that takes the standard “what if” question to a whole new level. The main question explored in The Canary List appears to be “What if a Satanist holds a high position in the Catholic Church?” As expected, this leads to a plot full of twists and turns, fraught with danger, and many references to make readers wonder if demons are real.

This book is not for the faint of heart. However, if you enjoy conspiracy theories, thrillers, suspense, complex mysteries, or speculative fiction, this may be the book for you. The Canary List contains all of this, along with a very disturbing look at what could happen if certain key elements of the story were real. The story grabs readers from the first page and holds them captive until the very end. I look forward to reading more of Mr. Brouwer’s work in the future.

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Filed under Christian, Fiction, Mystery/Suspense, Speculative Fiction, Thriller, WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group