This book was provided to me by BookLook Bloggers. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. All opinions are my own.
Series: Hidden Justice #2
Published by Thomas Nelson on December 5th, 2017
Source: BookLook Bloggers
Genres: Christian, Fiction, Legal, Romance, Suspense, Thrillers
THE POLICE SAY THE WOMAN WAS A MURDERER. EMILIE WESLEY KNOWS THEY CAN’T BE TALKING ABOUT HER CLIENT . . . CAN THEY?
To the world it seems obvious: Kaylene Adams killed her daughter and then was shot by police. Attorney Emilie Wesley knows a different story: Kaylene would never hurt anyone and was looking for a way out of a controlling, abusive relationship. Her death shakes Emilie’s belief that she can make a difference for women in violent marriages. Self-doubt plagues her as she struggles to continue her work in the wake of the tragedy.
Reid Billings thought he knew his sister—right up until he learned how she died. He discovers a letter from Kaylene begging him to fight for custody of her daughters if anything should happen to her. No attorney in her right mind would support an uncle instead of the father in a custody case, but Kaylene’s letter claims Emilie Wesley will help him.
Thrown together in a race to save Kaylene’s surviving daughter, Emily and Reid pursue the constantly evasive truth. If they can hang on to hope together, can they save a young girl—and find a future for themselves in the process?
Note: Kristin reads and reviews both Christian and secular fiction on A Simply Enchanted Life. Out of respect for my readers, I am including a content review. This content review will help you decide whether this book is suitable for you.
Christian or Secular: Christian
Violence: domestic abuse
Trigger Warnings: This book discusses domestic violence, murder, and stalking.
Disclosure: While this book deals with hard topics, it is not overly graphic or inappropriate for the Christian genre.
I’ve been reading suspense lately—returning to the subject that so drew me as a young woman. My mother was convinced that I would become a detective or a lawyer. I’ve always felt deeply for tangles that people find themselves wrapped up in.
Domestic violence is especially heartbreaking. A home should be the one place where a person always feels safe. Unfortunately, life doesn’t always work out that way. I feel particularly drawn to characters who suffer this kind of abuse. My heart breaks for them and for women who suffer this abuse in the real world.
Immediately I felt for Kaylene but our connection was quickly severed. Her life cut short when she took the initiative to leave her abusive spouse.
With the connection lost with Kaylene, I scrambled to fall back on suspense to keep my interest. The potential was there but it kept falling short of making my heart pound in anticipation.
I had several issues with this book that I’d like to address.
Emilie works for a non-profit that is consistently referred to as “the Haven” and I have to admit that this throws me for a loop. I’m reminded of people who refer to Wal-Mart as, “the Wal-Marts.” I know, this is completely nitpicky but it bothered me. If the place was named “The Haven” then it should have had a capital t. If it is simply Haven then it should have been referred to as “Haven.”
You don’t make a trip to “the Wal-Marts” and neither should you make a trip to “the Haven.”
Having had an abusive boyfriend in the past and a stalker; Emilie connects with her clients on a personal level. As she works to prove Kaylene’s innocence; she is also trying to stay two steps ahead of her stalker. The stalker element should have provided a suspenseful element. I loved the look into his thoughts and his motivation for stalking Emilie. What didn’t I like? That his private thoughts were introduced on page fifteen and his identity revealed (to the reader) on page 101. There could have been 200+ pages of would-be suspense, but that was destroyed by the obvious.
Lackluster Courtroom Drama:
The legal proceedings in this book were lackluster. No one really wowed me and I definitely couldn’t imagine Emilie in a courtroom opposite Matlock.
This book had all the elements of a great story. There was a sweet romance, faith content, suspense and good versus evil. There just wasn’t enough of the element of surprise. The romance was the saving grace of this book; I genuinely loved Reid and Emilie as a couple.
Overall, this book had a lot of strengths. I just wish that I hadn’t been disappointed by plots too easily unraveled.