Double Indemnity by Robert Whitlow – Missed the Mark

I had the opportunity Robert Whitlow’s newest book Double Indemnity, which will be released June 6, 2023.  Since I enjoy mysteries, suspense, and legal thrillers, I’ve read and enjoyed Robert Whitlow’s other books. 

Double Indemnity takes place in Bryson, a small town in Georgia.  The story begins with pastor Connor Grantham hiking through the woods, part of it on private property.  When he spotted a massive buck with antlers passing by, he took a video.  Suddenly he encountered a hunter who stumbled and fell.  Assuming the man was pursuing the deer Connor thought nothing of the chance encounter. 

The story then goes back three weeks prior and leads up to the present time.  Readers are introduced to Liz Acosta who works for Pollard and Associates law firm.  She is relatively new to the community.  Sometimes Liz feels like she was hired because of her ability to speak and translate Spanish.  But now she has an opportunity to represent a new client, Elena Thompson, who is seeking legal counsel regarding her troubled marriage and a possible divorce.  Elena and her husband Matt are in marriage counseling with their pastor Connor.  It’s an understatement to say that both Liz and Connor will be challenged in their jobs to handle Elena Thompson and the ever-widening chaos and drama that swirls around her. 

I was looking forward to reading Double Indemnity, but I really struggled to get through this book.  It was very slow in story development.  But the biggest stumbling block for me were the main characters.  I didn’t like Connor, Elena, Matt and felt neutral about Liz.  When I don’t like or connect with the characters, I’m probably not going to like the book.

Connor Grantham was a pastor who developed his sermons based on his experiences in nature and found Scripture to make the point of his illustration.  He seemed drawn to mysticism and experiences, rather than sound Bible teaching.  He lacked wisdom and discernment, especially in his dealings with Elena.  He seemed surprised that by trespassing he was violating the law and was a suspect in the murder of Matt Thompson.  Not to mention he returned to the scene of the crime multiple times.  He seemed to jump whenever Elena said jump and would ask how high.  Something that made no sense to me was when he touched and removed evidence from a potential crime scene.

Elena was probably one of the most dislikable characters I’ve read about in a long time.  Innocent or guilty, she was terrible.  She treated everyone like they were at her beckon call and most everyone went along with her.

Liz showed some common sense and reason, especially compared to the other characters.  Some of the secondary background characters were likeable. 

The story dragged through a good part of the story.  I couldn’t understand why there was so little support for Connor from his friends and congregation.  Then it seemed like the story came to an abrupt conclusion.  It was only at the end that friends came alongside Connor and tried to help him. 

If you are a Robert Whitlow fan or like legal suspense stories, you may like this book.

I wanted to like this book.  But I found Double Indemnity hard to read because the story dragged, moved ever so slowly, and most of the main characters were not likable.  Sound Christian faith was lacking in this book.  Because of that I don’t recommend this book.

I would like to thank Thomas Nelson Publishers and NetGalley for the opportunity to read a complimentary copy of Double Indemnity by Robert Whitlow.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.