Wednesday, May 28, 2014

UNDETECTED . . . Riveting Suspense and Romantic Intrigue

It’s the same argument used by critics of the four Gospels:  Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  Why four gospels, and why are they so different . . . and yet so similar?  Because the author’s were writing to different people groups, and were presenting different aspects of the Lord Jesus Christ.

There have been rumblings that “Dee Henderson is slipping; her writing has changed!  This isn’t ANYTHING like her O’Malley series!”

Well, guess what . . . this isn’t the next installment of the O’Malley series.  And I’m here to let you know . . . Dee Henderson IS NOT SLIPPING!  The romantic suspense is still there, stronger than ever but better; because of its subtlety.  And the “learning curve” that Dee Henderson had to work through in order to write UNDETECTED is not something for the faint of heart.

From page one, the book had me hooked.  I’m writing this review on the strength of the first 100 pages, because I want to be able to finish the book without worrying about a review deadline . . . it’s just that good!!!

Commander Mark Bishop is in charge of the Gold Crew on board the ballistic missile submarine USS Nevada.  He is one of a handful of picked men, highly trained for a burden of command like few others jobs in the military:  keeping the crew of the Nevada trained and alert during ninety-day submerged patrols, and being prepared to launch nuclear weapons upon presidential authority.  It makes for a long day, and a stressful . . . and lonely . . . life.  Which is why Mark wants someone to come home to.

Gina Gray, aka “Gina The Genius,” would love to be married.  An unexpected breakup, though, has her focusing her attention on what she does best.  Gina has had more breakthroughs in ocean science research than anyone twice her age.  She’s on the cusp of yet another one . . . and if she’s right, submarine warfare is about to enter a new and dangerous chapter. 

5 stars for riveting suspense and romantic intrigue

Dee Henderson
fiction / romantic suspense
Bethany House
476 pages
$15.99 (U.S.)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


One of the fundamental rules of blogging is:  “Once it’s out there, it’s out there.”  Once you hit the ENTER key, you can’t delete it, you can’t remove it, you can’t retrieve it.  And you certainly can’t deny it.

Cathy Cramer is a former lawyer and investigative blogger who writes commentary on local homicides.  When she finds a threatening note warning her that she’s about to experience the same kind of judgment and speculation that she dishes out on her blog, she dismisses it as a harmless prank. 

Then her brother becomes the principal suspect in the murder investigation of his ex-wife.  Tried and convicted in the media, he is now scrutinized by the very society of bloggers and commentators of which Cathy is a card-carrying member.  And it is up to Cathy and her two sisters, Holly and Juliet, to put aside their doubts and fears and learn the art of investigation.  Because their brother is under the gun . . .and his 5-year old son is the killer’s next target.

I’ll confess . . . I read and reviewed Terri Blackstock’s second book in the Moonlighter’s Series, DISTORTION, first.  It was so well-done that I had to have the entire series.  And there was something niggling at the back of my brain; I’d seen TRUTH-STAINED LIES somewhere.  Recently.  Oh, yes . . . there it is, on my bookshelf! 

Coming to the book (both of which are stand-alone, although if you read them as I did there are some potential spoilers in Book 2) with a pre-understanding of the principal characters was interesting.  And it made reading the first book (despite the aforementioned potential spoilers) easier.  It was like slipping on a comfortable pair of old slippers . . . it just felt right.

I’ve been a fan of Terri Blackstock since collecting her Cape Refuge series, and her craftsmanship has only improved over the years.  With strong characters that nonetheless demonstrate the fatal flaws of original sin and the need for a Savior, Blackstock’s fiction is inspirational without being preachy.  And her skills as a scribe will keep you reading to the soul-satisfying conclusion.

5 stars for a universal story with an eternal message

Terri Blackstock
ISBN  978-0-310-28313-3
361 pages
$ 15.99 (U.S.)