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. 

Promised Land by Robert Whitlow – Intrigue, Suspense, Interesting Characters Mixed with Fascinating Cultures

When author Robert Whitlow writes a book, I want to read it.  That’s why I was excited at the opportunity to read his newest book Promised Land and I loved it.

Readers are reintroduced to characters from his last novel Chosen People.  Hana Abboud, a Christian Arab attorney from Israel who is living in the United States, her husband Daud Hasan a Christian Arab from Israel, friend and colleague Jakob Brodsky, and dear friends Ben and Sadie Neumann.  While reading this book, I felt like I was being reunited and catching up with old friends.

The story begins with Rahal Abaza in Qatar, five years earlier he had a jarring experience that set his life on a new course that will intersect with Daud and Hana.  Hana is at home and awakens for her night watch, a time of prayer, reading Scripture and worship.  While she does not know the specifics of all that’s going on with her husband Daud, she is praying for him while he is in Egypt on a mission for the CIA.  He will need those prayers for what he’s about to encounter.

From the get-go, Promised Land is off and running.  There’s a lot of suspense, intrigue, and action, but it doesn’t interfere with the development of characters or take the place of an interesting storyline.  It’s well balanced.

My favorite thing about Robert Whitlow’s writing is how he develops characters.  Hana is one of the most interesting characters.  It’s fascinating to see and consider what it’s like to be an Arab Christian who is from Israel.  You would think that there might be conflict, but Hana is a very gracious woman who takes her faith seriously.  She loves her family and is a faithful friend.  I found Daud intriguing and felt on edge with all the situations and people he encounters.  Jakob is an interesting fellow.  He always seems to take on cases that look impossible and that will require a lot of work and research to see if they will pan out.  Ben and his daughter Sadie…absolutely love them.

I don’t want to spoil the story about what happens, so I’ll leave it with a brief intro into the storyline and characters.  But I hope that you will pick up a copy of Promised Land by Robert Whitlow.  It’s the second book in this series but is a good stand-alone book.  You may want to go back and read Chosen People so you can have a richer connection with the characters.

Robert Whitlow is a gifted writer.  He tells a good story and develops rich likable characters.  I highly recommend Promised Land by Robert Whitlow.  If you like action, suspense, intrigue, and interesting likable characters you will like Promised Land.

I would like to thank Thomas Nelson Publishers and NetGalley for the opportunity to read Promised Land by Robert Whitlow.  I was provided with a free copy of this book and was under no obligation to give a favorable review.



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.


The Witnesses by Robert Whitlow – A Gifted Storyteller


I’ve read some of Robert Whitlow’s previous books and was thrilled at the opportunity to read his newest release, The Witnesses. While reading this book, I was reminded why Robert Whitlow is one of my favorite authors. This man is a gifted storyteller and he knows how to weave a story together with intrigue, mystery and characters you want to get to know better.

The Witnesses tells the story of two generations of the House family. Frank is from Germany, a former Nazi and grandfather to Parker who is an attorney in a small town in North Carolina. Both men have a unique gift that they can use for good or evil. How will Frank reconcile his past participation in unimaginable horrors? Will he ever find rest and peace for his soul? Parker’s career is just beginning, he’s the new man on the totem and working long hours. How long will he have to wait to sink his teeth into some weighty cases and prove himself as an attorney?

As the storyline develops, Robert slowly unveils the characters, layer by layer. He has keen, thought provoking and honest insights into people and their circumstances. His characters are very relatable. I especially liked the relationships: between Frank and Parker and their love and respect for one another, the friendship between Frank and his longtime friend Lenny and the instantaneous bond between Layla and Frank. As a Christian, I appreciate how Robert weaves the Christian faith into his character’s lives. He did a great job in presenting the Gospel message and showing the Christian faith lived out in everyday life. I would never have guessed that I would like a story that involves a former Nazi, much less like the character; but I did.

This book is well written, with interesting characters that will draw you in. I found myself thinking about the characters when I wasn’t reading, they kind of come alive. One thing I love about a book is when a character perfectly expresses what you’ve been feeling, but didn’t quite know how to put into words.

I highly recommend The Witnesses by Robert Whitlow, a tale of two men who have a unique gift of seeing what will happen in the future. One man is looking back on a life with some very ugly sins he can’t seem to get away from and the other just starting his career. Will he put his career over and above love? To find out what happens in the lives of these men you will want to read The Witnesses by Robert Whitlow.

I would like to thank BookLook and Thomas Nelson Publishers for providing me a free copy The Witnesses by Robert Whitlow. I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.

A House Divided by Robert Whitlow – A Compelling and Excellent Read


I was privileged to read Robert Whitlow’s book A House Divided.  He is an excellent writer and knows how to write good fiction.  He skillfully and realistically weaves his Christian faith in to the storyline through the lives of the characters.  But he doesn’t beat you over the head with it.  Instead you see the Christian faith lived out in the lives of imperfect, hurting and broken people.

I’ll be honest with you there were times A House Divided was hard to read.  If you know an alcoholic or have seen how destructive alcoholism is you may also find this book painful to read.  Read it anyway.  There were times I found myself angry at the main character Corbin and wanted to yell at him so he would wake up and see that he was destroying his life, relationships and was endangering others.

Robert Whitlow has the ability to draw the reader in to the story from the beginning.  I found the characters very engaging and cared about them from the first page to the last, even when they weren’t so loveable.  It was interesting and challenging to see how each character, Ray, Roxy, Cindy, Billy and others, responded to Corbin and the situations and people they were involved with.  I loved seeing grace given when it was least deserved and unexpected.  I couldn’t help but wonder how I would have responded.

A House Divided is a book with characters that will stay with me.  If Robert Whitlow writes a sequel to this one I want to read it.

There are some authors whose work I want to read, whatever they write, because they are that good.  Robert Whitlow is one of those writers.  I highly recommend A House Divided by Robert Whitlow.  You will be challenged and grow as you read it.

I would like to thank the people at BookLook and Thomas Nelson Publishers for providing me a free copy of Robert Whitlow’s book, A House Divided, to read in exchange for an honest review.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.

Robert Whitlow – The Confession – Well Done


The Confession is the first book that I’ve read by author Robert Whitlow and I must confess, I’m hooked and look forward to reading more of books by this author.

The Confession tells the story of up and coming Assistant DA Holt Douglas as he stumbles across an old case, a murder that was quickly labeled suicide and the case closed.  But for what reason and who would stand to benefit from this cover-up?

Robert Whitlow has a very inviting style of writing.  He skillfully weaves a story through the lives and events of the characters.  He’s not in a hurry and takes time to develop both the story and let the readers learn about the characters as they go through everyday life and events that will change their lives.  Instead of a fast pace that leaves the reader exhausted, Robert unravels the story slowly.  In doing that I think he also gives the reader a chance to examine themselves and see how they would have responded when facing similar circumstances.

The Confession is not predictable; it had some twists and turns that I didn’t expect.  I appreciated the fact that Robert Whitlow doesn’t put his characters in jeopardy because they make stupid and illogical decisions.

One of the questions I have when reading “Christian Fiction” is what makes a book “Christian”.  I think Robert Whitlow has struck a fine balance of weaving faith and the Gospel message into his book.  It’s was not done in a contrived way, but faith, repentance and salvation was portrayed as several characters wrestle with their faith or recognize their brokenness and need for a Savior.  At the same time, the author doesn’t beat the reader over the head; instead he plants some Gospel seeds.

I give a big thumbs up and bravo to Robert Whitlow’s newest novel The Confession.

I would like to thank that people at BookLook for providing with a complimentary copy of The Confession to read in exchange for an honest review.  I was under no obligation to provide a favorable review.