Thursday, March 5, 2015

Proof of Guilt



Title:  Proof of Guilt (Inspector Ian Rutledge #15)
Author:  Charles Todd
Pages:  343
Year:  2013
Publisher:  William Morrow Publishing
On this case, Inspector Ian Rutledge has more bodies and suspects than he knows what to do with!  He initially investigates what appears to be a car accident.  A body is found in the middle of the road with signs of being dragged beneath a car.  There is no identification on the body and no one steps forward, claiming to have accidentally struck someone on the road in the dark.  A few outlying areas send in reports of missing persons, but nothing definitive is determined.
In the meantime, Rutledge is sent to the small villages of Dedham and St. Hilary to try and track down a missing wine merchant.  He learns the merchant heads up a very profitable business with a partner in Madeira.  As he investigates, he begins to believe the businessman may have been murdered by his partner in Madeira.  That is until the partner turns up missing as well!  Now what?  Ian has missing persons, dead bodies, and former criminals on the premise of being rehabilitated, living on the good will of a naïve lady who may or may not be connected to these two cases.  Hamish is as always in Ian’s mind offering comments and criticism, some helpful while others not so much.  Rutledge makes up his mind based on the evidence of who is the guilty party, but can find no hard proof.  What follows is a race to see if Ian can catch a killer before the killer catches Ian.
Lots of tension and suspense as this story races to its climactic end!  There is one question that remained unanswered at the end of the story, but it still was a great ride from beginning to end.  I first started this series with book #16, not realizing I was beginning at what at the time was the most current book.  I enjoyed that book so much that I decided to start with book one to learn about Ian’s history and what made him tick as a policeman.  I am looking forward to the next book in the series, A Fine Summer’s Day, when readers are taken back in Ian’s life to a time before WWI.  This will only enrich the character and make him more human and three dimensional.  Kudos to the writing team of Charles Todd for another fantastic story!
My rating is 5 stars.

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/.  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Then Sings My Soul Review


Title:  Then Sings My Soul
Author:  Amy K. Sorrels
Website:  https://amysorrells.wordpress.com/
Pages:  360
Year:  2015
Publisher:  David C. Cook
The author’s first novel, How Sweet the Sound, I read and enjoyed sharing my thoughts about on my blog.  Now, after finishing Then Sings My Soul, I’ve got to say this book deeply resonated with my heart and soul.  Why you may ask?  For many reasons one of which was learning how much of the author’s personal history is included in the story.  Simply fascinating and heart-gripping are two of the words I think of when I reflect on the novel.
Through the use of flashbacks readers will become engrossed in a timeframe of history in the Ukraine, coming to the present day in Michigan.  Jakob is the main character that the story is woven around and readers discover the past haunts his waking moments as much as it has impacted his dreams at night.  What Jakob endures is what readers will discover along with what he rediscovers when he tells his only child about the past in Ukraine.
Jakob is like the Jacob in the Bible including the wrestling with God, and after a fall his hip replacement slows down his walk.  Nel, his daughter, believes she is unlovable and nothing is more important than designing her jewelry that she learned from her father, which he learned from his papa.  Nel’s past comes to the forefront of her life when she moves in to care for her aging father and comes to love a man from her younger years in Michigan.  Faith, working with stones and engraving are major parts of the story.  It was eye opening to learn at the end of the novel just how much the author’s personal history was woven in the tale.
Another reason I love the book is the history shared so naturally about the hymn “How Great Thou Art”, which reminded me of a lost loved one and the faith that sustains.  Hymns are rich in history and steep in faith, love and more about the God we worship.  In the novel, we see reflections of reality in that we can pass down our heritage, memories and faith.  Sometimes in doing so we are ourselves strengthened and perhaps like Jakob we learn the truth of what happened so long ago.  I cannot thank the author enough for sharing such a wonderful story and faith with anyone willing to pick up the book and read!
My rating:  5+ stars.
Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
 Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Twisted Innocence by Terri Blackstock



Title:  Twisted Innocence (Moonlighters Series #3)
Author:  Terri Blackstock
Pages:  315
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Zondervan
Riveting and pulse-pounding are just two adjectives I think of to describe this book.  This is the third book in the series and I would recommend that the books be read in order as the storyline carries over from the first novel, Truth Stained Lies, through book two, Distortion, and into this one.  This story centers on two avenues:  The first one follows Holly Cramer and her new life as a mom and the second one follows her sister Cathy and her tireless efforts to free her fiancé Michael from an unjust prison sentence, which was covered in book two of the series.
Holly Cramer is trying her best to adjust to being a mom of a one month old, driving a taxi cab and working as a part-time private investigator.  The last thing she wants is to find out that the father of her baby is now aware of being a father.  Holly never told him or anyone else that he was to be a father and has hopes that he will not care enough to interfere with her life and that of her baby.  But as she is learning, there are consequences for her choices.  The father, Creed, does come into the picture, but not in the way Holly thought.  He is on the run from a drug dealer who is out to kill him as he is a witness to a murder and other drug dealing information.  Has God put him in her path again for a reason or is this just another opportunity for Holly to make a poor choice?
Cathy Cramer writes to her blog followers, directing them to write to the governor of Florida to pardon her fiancé.  She has quit her job as a lawyer in disgust over the flawed legal system.  She cashes in all her favors and talks to anyone she can who is connected to the governor and presents Michael’s case, pleading for a pardon for Michael even though the governor is a stickler for maintaining his campaign promises one of which was not granting any pardons to prisoners.
Terri Blackstock delivers once again a suspense-filled nail-biter that will have readers on the edges of their seats from beginning until end.  I have really enjoyed each book in this series and the characters in each book are well-developed and realistic.  They cling to their faith through extreme circumstances and know that their family will have their backs.  I liked that the family was so close and helped each other out no matter what.  Don’t miss this series as it is awesome!!
My rating is 5 stars.
Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/.  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457

Monday, March 2, 2015

Still Life


Title:  Still Life
Author:  Christa Parrish
Website:  http://christaparrish.com
Pages:  352
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson
Christa Parrish’s novels are unique and very thought-provoking and heart tugging too.  The story kind of starts out in a way that made it hard for me to follow at first so I read the back cover before proceeding further.  Once I got the jest of the tale, I was able to go back inside the pages and really enjoy the progression of the characters, plot and climax.
The basic thrust is that the story is written depicting the point of view four different people have to a tragic event.  Like ripples left after a rock is thrown into water, so readers will begin to see how people are affected by one incident.  However, there is a beautiful love story involved and in time readers will enjoy discovering too how one life can touch so many and how a wife married for a short time sets out to understand the man she was married to and lost all too quickly.
Reading about the questions people have been asking of God for decades is but one theme and discovering afresh just how big God is beyond our understanding is another.  The author paints with words how, like her characters, we may not know the reason “why”, but if we take one step at a time and listen for His voice, we would find He is closer than we ever realized.
I loved that Christa didn’t have her characters lives all wrapped up in a neat, clean ending but leaves them living in pages right are.  Unlike TV or some movies that bring the story to a conclusion before time is up, the tale helps us glimpse lives for a moment and then move on.  It felt as though there was a moment to intersect with the characters or themes, but not a place to dwell.  I came away thinking that while as humans we go from one story to the next or one event in our lives to whatever happens, God knows every single moment of our lives.  We intersect and interact with God all day long and with Him we dwell, which can bring such peace in the various seasons of life.
My rating is 4 stars.
Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/.  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457