"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

26 March 2014

2014 Book Review #12: The Last Word

Well, I stayed up late to finish this book last night.

It was a very good story. It's #2 in the Sophie Trace Triology.  The series is set in a small town in Tennessee not far from Memphis.  It features the Jessup family (Kurt, Brill, Ryan, Vanessa, and Emily).  It also features many of the same characters in each book like Nick and Maggie from the Diner, Tessa and Antonio, the Jessups neighbors, and the various police who are on the squad under Brill, who is the Police Chief.
The first novel centered around people disappearing in the town!!

This book has 2 plots:  it centers around Vanessa, the oldest daughter, and around an ex-con who is going around stabbing police officers.


One of Brill's detectives (Sean) stumbles into the office, bleeding from a stab wound to the abdomen. Before he is rushed to the hospital, he tells Brill he has a message from the attacker that Brill will be next!  Meanwhile, while he is recovering from his wounds, a "nurse" who manages to trick the police officer on duty outside the hospital room, poisons Sean.  And as if this isn't enough, Brill gets a phone call from her former boss in Memphis saying that her former partner has been killed from a stabbing and that the DA is next!!  Brill quickly learns that these stabbings are related.  The perpetrator is a former criminal who vowed he would get revenge on Brill, the other detectives and the District Attorney who sent him to prison for stabbing his brother in law to death and abusing his wife.  Merrick Fountain is one angry ex-con and no one seems to be able to find him!

Meanwhile, it is the middle of May and Vanessa is coming home from her sophomore year of college.  But she has a huge, very unexpected surprise for her family.  She is seven months pregnant and due at the end of July.  She had an affair with her psychology professor, Ty Nicholson, who is much older, and he wanted her to have an abortion as he claimed he does not plan on being in a committed relationship and does not want to be a dad.  Vanessa is heart broken over the break-up and even more heart broken when she discovers that Ty has simply disappeared.  He has left no forwarding address with her or the college.

Vanessa's parents are disappointed in her choices, but they agree that abortion is not an option. They are highly encouraging her to place the baby for adoption. Emily, Vanessa's 10 year old sister, is very excited about the prospect of being "auntie Em".  Vanessa's college friend Ethan, is very supportive and tells her to pray about her decision and to be honest with her parents. 

Vanessa has a lot of repenting, praying and thinking to do.

Brill feels torn between this crisis going on with her department, and with Vanessa's predicament.  She just can't process everything at the same time.

Kurt, who mainly works from home, is playing the role of mom and dad to the girls while Brill concentrates on catching this killer.  And then another detective is stabbed!! The killer seems to be everywhere!!

Meanwhile, Brill hires a private investigator friend to try to track down Ty.  Will he be found and held accountable for the baby boy Vanessa is carrying?

And what about the killer? Will Brill and her team find Merrick Fountain before he gets to her??


I enjoyed this story but the one thing that just didn't seem "real" to me (and yes, I get that it's fiction) is the conversations between Vanessa and her parents about the unwed pregnancy.  I LOVED how the parents bestowed grace (only from God!) on her, and how they didn't stop loving her or really judging her other than to remind her of the abstinence vow she took before God.  The conversation from Vanessa's end just didn't read like a modern day 20 year old would talk.  It totally bugged me.  Most college girls in contemporary culture which this book is set in, would not be using the kind of language that Vanessa used with her parents....it was depicted as much more mature than she actually was described at being.

I loved that the author showed how to become a Christian with the full salvation message written into the plot.  It was so well executed!  I also love that the parents were very "real" with their kids......although, again, given the main plot of the stabbings, I found that some of that was just too "perfect".  We don't learn how Brill gets out of being tied up after the killer gets wounded.  How does she escape???  I find it odd that the author didn't tell us this. One minute Brill is beat up, tied up and witnessing to the killer who is badly injured, and the next minute she is stumbling through the police department ready to fall into her husband's arms.  

I really liked how Vanessa came back to Christ and made the decision about the pregnancy that she did (I don't want to tell you what she decided in case you want to read this book!).

One of my favorite things about this story is the way they incorporated Ty into the plot....yes, he is found...but the way it was done was brilliant!  I really liked it!!  Again, it's a bit unbelievable but......it's Christian fiction and maybe the author wants us to know that with God all things are possible :)

In my opinion, this book is appropriate for ages 14 and older.

On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, I rate this a 10.


Melanie Lopata said...

Want to read the first one then this one looks good too!! I have SUCH a long list to read from your book reviews because I have been going through all of the Karen White books (thanks to your book review I'm hooked on her writing) and also I like Colleen Coble...some of her novels :)

Susanne said...

I really enjoyed this series too! I know there is one more book in this series but I'm thinking you would really like her next series too which was Secrets of Rioux River. There is three in that one too. I'm going to be starting her latest pretty quick.