Chosen People by Robert Whitlow – Intrigue, Suspense & Interesting Characters – A Story That Kept Me Guessing to the End

One of my favorite authors that I’ve discovered in recent years is Robert Whitlow.  If he writes a new book, I want read.  I’m so glad that I was able to read Robert’s newest release Chosen People.

This book is a little different than other novels I’ve read by Robert Whitlow.  Like his other books, it involves attorneys and law, but Chosen People is set against the backdrop Islamic terrorism.  It includes characters that are from the Middle East and shows the impact of terrorism at a personal level.

Hana Abboud, an attorney working at law firm in Atlanta, is from Israel and is of Arab descent and a Christian which adds some interesting dynamics and cultural views to the storyline.  Jakob Brodsky, a secular Jewish attorney has agreed to help Ben Neumann and his daughter Sadie bring a lawsuit against any organization or company that funded the terrorists that left his wife Gloria dead and their daughter Sadie seriously injured.

With her background and experience in Israel, Hana is the right attorney to handle this case, if she’s willing.  Jakob is going to batt for a family that may not have much of a case to stand on, much less the deep pockets necessary to handle the comprehensive research and to track down people who funded these morally reprehensible murderers.

Will there be any justice for the Neumann family?  Will the big law firm be willing to take a risk on this case which may go no where or run into many costly obstacles along the way?  Will Hana be willing to take on a case that will bring up ugly savage images that will never leave her memory?  How will she be able to handle this case long distance from Atlanta?  Who will she be able to trust to be her boots on the ground in Israel to investigate the terrorists who perpetrated this savage attack?  Was Jakob’s attack related to the investigation, or was it just a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time?

Mixed into the storyline is faith, Christian, Jewish, Islamic and agnostic.

I enjoyed the likable characters, found the storyline intriguing and suspenseful as people put their lives on the line to investigate and bring terrorists and those that support them to justice.

I give Chosen People a big thumbs up and recommend it highly.  Robert Whitlow knows how to write great fiction, from interesting characters to a storyline that weaves together intrigue, suspense and faith.  This one kept me guessing to the end.

I would like to thank Thomas Nelson Publishers and NetGalley for the opportunity to read Robert Whitlow’s new book Chosen People in exchange for an honest review.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.

 

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The Church in Babylon Study Guide by Erwin W Lutzer – A Timely Reminder and Call to Be Prepared

In a world that seems to be fast spinning out of control, we unfortunately see some churches and people who believe they are Christians that seem to have no moorings to which they are anchored.  We live in perilous times, especially for churches that do not hold fast and firm to the foundational truths taught in Scripture.

Pastor Erwin Lutzer has written a new book and study guide, The Church in Babylon.  Its message is timely and will hopefully spark a study in God’s Word that will encourage believes to know what God says and choose to live in light of truth found in Scripture.

Topics include Finding God in Enemy Territory, Keeping the Faith in a Hostile Work Environment, Courage to Confront a Deadly Enemy, Calling out the Lies of the Culture, and Prayerless Pulpits, Satisfied Saints and Spiritual Blindness.

The Church in Babylon is thought provoking.  The study guide includes some good questions for people to examine their knowledge of Scripture and compare it secular culture’s views.  I appreciate that Pastor Lutzer is uncompromising to the truth that God gave us in the Bible and that he reinforces his arguments with Scripture.  More and more the church will face pressure and disapproval from a culture that is guided by feelings, not facts.  Pastor Lutzer doesn’t shy away from controversial topics that are affecting our culture and making their way into our churches.

Until I started reading the book, I didn’t realize it was just the study guide for The Church in Babylon.  Even as study guide, it was very good.  I’m sure I would like the book even more.

I recommend Erwin Lutzer’s new book and study guide, The Church in Babylon.  I would like to thank Moody Publishers and NetGalley for the opportunity to read The Church in Babylon Study Guide in exchange for an honest review.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.

The Church in Babylon by Erwin Lutzer will be published August 7, 2018.

Justice Betrayed by Patricia Bradley – Do you like a good whodunnit?

The whodunnit storyline of Justice Betrayed by author Patricia Bradley is what caught my attention.  This is the first book I’ve read by this author and I didn’t know what to expect.  I’m not an Elvis fan and I’ve never been to Memphis, but I love a good mystery, filled with intrigue and the challenge of solving a cold case.

Detective Rachel Sloan is asked in by Vic Vegas, an Elvis tribute artist, to help solve a murder mystery from seventeen years ago that may somehow be related to her own mother’s murder.  At first, Rachel’s not too sure about this, after all it’s a cold case and she’s working in the homicide division.  But after Vic turns up dead she wonders if there may be something more to the case he wanted her to investigate.

It took a few chapters before I got interested in the story.  The story started out kind of slow and there were a lot of characters introduced early on and it was hard to keep track of them.  But I’m glad that I kept on reading because before long the story picked up pace and I was hooked.

I liked the characters, especially the relationship between Rachel and Boone, and enjoyed the mysteries and trying to figure out whodunnit.  Patricia did a good job giving the reader a feel for what Memphis may be like and the fascination with Elvis that continues to this day.

I appreciated that Justice Betrayed doesn’t contain profanity and immoral sexual situations.  There wasn’t a lot of the Christian faith in this book, a Scripture verse and Rachel acknowledging that she had stopped turning to God because her prayers for justice seemed to be unanswered.  I would have liked to seen more of the Christian faith woven into some of the characters and storyline.

If you like a good mystery, that will keep you guessing to the end, read Justice Betrayed by Patricia Bradley.  I look forward to reading her other books.

I would like to thank Revell Publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read Justice Betrayed by Patricia Bradley in exchange for an honest review.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.

Falling for You by Becky Wade – Romance with a little mystery mixed in

I first discovered Becky Wade’s writing in her book True to You, which I loved.  That’s why I was excited to see Becky’s second book in the Bradford Sisters Romance, Falling for You.

What I found in Falling for You was a return to the town of Merryweather, a place I’d like to visit, with characters I liked from Becky’s earlier book, True to You.  In this book Willow, the oldest Bradford sister, takes center stage with her ex-beau Corbin.  The rest of the Bradford family and friends, including Nora and Britt, are back but mostly in the background of this story.

I enjoyed the backdrop of the story, as 12-year-old Charlotte enlists of Willow and Corbin to help solve a 40-year-old family mystery of Josephine who went missing back on 1977 and was never heard from again.  Would Willow and Corbin be able to set aside their differences to help Charlotte find out what happened to her great aunt?  Would they be able to reconcile after a painful and ugly breakup?  Had either of them changed over the last four years?

At first, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to relate to Willow a famous supermodel and Corbin a former pro-football player.  Their careers and lifestyle were much bigger than life or ordinary people.  I found that their emotional pain and coming to terms with their poor choices were something I could relate to.

Becky included the Christian faith, somewhat.  I think it could have been more strongly woven in to the characters and storyline.  Something I would have appreciated is to have Willow, as a Christian, recognize her past choice to have sex outside of marriage as sin instead of saying it was a mistake.  While a mistake may have consequences, calling something sin acknowledges it as wrong before God.

I liked the mystery part of Falling for You best, as well as the reconciliations between characters, forgiveness and seeing how the characters had grown and changed.  Overall, I give this book at 3.5 rating.  While I liked the storyline, I didn’t connect to the characters as much as I did in True to You.

If you like a romance with some mystery mixed in you may enjoy Falling for You by Becky Wade.

I would like to thank NetGalley and Bethany House Publishers for the opportunity to read Falling for You by Becky Wade in exchange for an honest review.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.

 

Pelican Point – A Hope Harbor Novel by Irene Hannon – Encouraging and Hope-Filled

When I find an author whose writing I like, I want to read everything that they’ve written and Irene Hannon is one of those authors.  That’s why I was excited at the opportunity to read her newest book Pelican Point, A Hope Harbor Novel.

One of the things I like best about Irene’s writing are the characters who seem like kind and caring people.  Ben is at a transition in his life.  He’s was an orthopedic surgeon with the military but is getting back to the civilian life.  His grandfather Skip’s death changed his plans and he has to stay in Pelican Point for a few weeks to deal with Skip’s financial affairs, which included the purchase of a lighthouse that is in a state of disrepair.  His unexpected meeting with Marci, who seem quite irrational, didn’t go so well despite his good intentions.  After that incident, he just wants to wrap things up and get on to the new life he’s planned.

Not only are the main characters interesting and likable people, so are the secondary characters who help flesh out the town.  I especially like Charley (and his tacos) and was encouraged to see Greg and Rachel grow and change in the face of challenging circumstances.  The characters seem very real.  The beautiful scenery in Pelican Point is described in such a way that the reader can imagine what the place looks like.

Irene writes in a way that gives you hope.  The Christian faith is a part of some of her character’s lives.  At times the dialogue is thought provoking and insightful and I highlight it because I want to read it again.

I really liked the storyline and characters and wish this town actually existed because I would love to go there.  Instead, I get to enjoy it through the imagination and excellent writing of Irene Hannon.  If you want to read a story that will encourage your faith, be sure to read Pelican Point.  Reading Irene’s Hope Harbor series is like going home to a comfortable welcoming place.

I would like to thank NetGalley and Revell Publishing for the opportunity to read Pelican Point by Irene Hannon.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.

 

Lone Witness by Rachel Dylan – Fast-Paced Suspense with Likable Characters

As someone who loves a good mystery, I’m always on the lookout for a good suspense novel and I found just what I was looking for in Rachel Dylan’s newest book Lone Witness, the second book it the Atlanta Justice series.

Lone Witness tells the story of Sophie Dawson, a prosecutor in the city of Atlanta.  After presenting closing arguments against a crooked CEO, she wanted to get started on her newest case in the white-collar crimes unit.  Though the crimes may be different from the general trial division, what drove Sophie didn’t change.  She wanted to seek justice for those who had been victimized.  After putting in a long day at work, Sophie wanted to run in to the Quick-Stop for a snack on her way home.  That one little decision would impact her in ways she couldn’t have imagined.  Instead of being the prosecutor, she would be the lone eye witness against a gang member who brutally murdered two people.

What I liked about Lone Witness, was not only the courtroom drama, suspense and mystery, but also the characters.  They had interesting careers and were decent, likable people that I came to care about.  Rachel challenges the reader not to automatically categorize a character (defense attorney) as good or bad or assume you know their motives.  This book has some surprising twists and turns and it was interesting trying to figure out who done it.  I appreciated that the character’s Christian faith was woven into the story.

Not only did I find a good book to read in Lone Witness, but I found an author, Rachel Dylan, whose work I liked and is new to me.  I look forward to going back and reading her earlier work and future novels.

I would like to thank NetGalley and Bethany House Publishers for the opportunity to read Lone Witness in exchange for an honest review.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.

 

Beneath the Surface by Lynn H Blackburn – Likeable Characters and Interesting Scenario Make for A Good Read

I love mysteries and suspense novels and that’s what drew me to read Lynn H Blackburn’s newest book Beneath the Surface, the first book in the Dive Team Investigations series.

The story begins with homicide investigators, Ryan Parker and Gabe Chavez, training for underwater crime scene investigations when they discover a body.  What started out an exercise has now developed into a murder investigation.  To help with the logistics, Ryan reaches out to a neighbor and old friend, Leigh Weston, to see if the police can use her dock for a few days.

Soon, Leigh has some troubles of her own when she’s driving from home from work and her brakes give out.  Was it mechanical failure or something more nefarious?  Ryan and Gabe’s case load just got busier as they take a closer look in to Leigh’s accident.

What I liked best about this book are the very likable characters.  They are people I would like to know, I cared about them and about what happened to them.  It’s made all the more interesting as the mystery unfolds with new developments in both cases and unexpected twists.  I found the underwater crime scene investigation fascinating and enjoyed trying to figure out “who done it.”

Something the character Ryan said in the first chapter, “No one deserves to die forgotten.”, drew me in and I knew I would like this story.

I appreciated how Lynn wove the Christian faith into the lives of some of the characters and I hope that aspect of the story continues to be developed in the next book in this series.  Lynn’s knows how to tell a good story without resorting to filthy language or sexually explicit scenes.

There were times that the story seems to drag a bit as the story unfolded.  But it didn’t bother me too much because I liked the characters and interesting storyline.

Lynn Blackburn is an author who is new to me and she’s going on my list of authors whose work I want to read.  I look forward to reading her earlier and future novels, especially book two of this series.

I would like to thank Revell Publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read Lynn H Blackburn’s new novel Beneath the Surface in exchange for an honest review.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.