A young woman awakens in the wooded area near a small Florida town. Her body is battered, bruised, and bleeding. She knows she had been driving around New Orleans, suddenly finding herself carjacked and beaten. She has no recollection of being moved to Florida, but she knows that the name of this Florida town fills her with fear. She knows nothing else. Vague memories of her attack race through her mind, but she has no clue who she is or where she’s from – only that she is afraid.
1) The prologue and first three chapters of the book were devoted entirely to introducing mystery and questions. No solid information was really provided until chapter four. I prefer to read novels in which the mystery is spread out and intermingled with answers. But, that’s not the way Hinze chose to write this novel. It’s a personal preference issue that definitely does not overcome the enjoyment of the book.
2) There seemed to be extraneous information that had little or no resolution. A hint of a storyline that was never developed and seemed irrelevant to the story. A relevant storyline carried too far or made too complex. It just added a bit of confusion to the story. Having said that, however, I do believe that this novel is intended to be the first in a series. So, some of that extraneous information could be setting up opportunities for future novels.
Despite those frustrations, I found the book riveting and very enjoyable. It was a quick and easy read, without being overly predictable and simplistic. And, in truth, the number one positive of the book far outweighed my petty frustrations. Unlike many works of fiction I have read lately, this is a genuine Christian fiction novel. (Consequently, if you are not interested in faith in Christ being an assumed and accepted part of life, this is not the novel for you.) The beauty of a relationship with Christ is pervasive from start to finish, but not in the least preachy, sappy, or forced. Instead, the Christian characters live in the assumption that their faith is intended to guide every portion of their lives. Faith in Christ is presented in a very real and biblical manner, and it never once seems out of place.
I was a bit hesitant to request this book, but I am glad I did. And, I would definitely be willing to read more of the writing of Vicki Hinze.
This book was sent to me for review by Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group. If you are interested in receiving books for review, click on this Blogging for Books link. If you are interested in purchasing the book, please click on the book cover or the highlighted title to be redirected to Waterbrook’s site.