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

09 May 2014

2014 Book Review #17: The Right Call

I just finished this book earlier today.........it's the 3rd novel in a trilogy that is centered around a small town in Tennessee.  I've read the other 2 books as well and really enjoyed the series, although Book One was my favorite. The genre is Christian fiction with a bit of mystery, romance, and suspense.


It is summer time in the small town of Sophie Trace.  Ethan Langley is home from college and plans on living with his aunt and uncle, Ralph and Gwen Langley, because he will be working for Uncle Ralph's construction company.  His parents live in a town not far from Sophie Trace.  He is excited about spending time in Sophie Trace, not just because of his summer job and the chance to hang out with his cousin Drew whose parents are Uncle Richard and Aunt Becca but also because his girlfriend, Vanessa Jessup and her toddler son, Carter, live with her parents, police chief Brill Jessup and her husband Kurt.  Vanessa and Ethan have been dating since the previous summer.  Ethan loves Vanessa but hasn't told her yet and he absolutely adores her baby boy.

Meanwhile, his cousin Drew comes home to his college apartment and finds his roommate, Tal Davison, dead. He has been murdered by a gunman.

Soon, Drew is shot right in front of Vanessa  and the baby as well as 2 other young people.  One is a college girl from the same campus as Drew and Tal and the other victim is a middle school girl!

It is Brill's job, as police chief, to solve these murders.....are they connected and if so, WHY??  Tal and Drew were well-liked students with no history of violence.  Tal did have a drinking problem of which his very wealthy father was aware of......but Drew, a Christian, was squeaky clean.  Who would want to kill them?? and WHY?

Ethan begins to learn some very surprising details that could solve the case....but....if he reports these details to the police, Vanessa and those he loves will be at risk of dying.  If he says something, their lives are in peril...but if he doesn't say anything, a murderer will go free and an innocent man will be accused.  Will Ethan make the right call??


The story was a bit predictable in regards to the relationship between Ethan and Vanessa.  I found that even though they are supposed to be only 21 years old, that the characters "acted" more like people in their 30's. I just didn't like the way Vanessa would talk with her parents....she was a very young single mom yet seemed more like someone in her 30's. It was just too unrealistic for me.

However, the actual plot line was great!   The story developed quickly which I like and you don't really need to read the first 2 books to know what is going on with the characters as the author does a great job in summarizing the "back story" of the main characters.  This seems to be a strength with this author.

It is also not a typical sappy Christian fiction book...there is enough mystery and suspense to keep it moving. I especially liked how the author chooses a Scripture verse at the beginning of the book....this one (2 Peter 2:19) particularly summed up the plot nicely as addiction is a main theme running throughout the story.

The story shows just how horrible the addiction of gambling is....the repercussions that can happen when a person is addicted to winning more and more.

What it does NOT show is the very real struggle of young, single mothers. I feel like this author does NOT know the realities that today's young, single mothers face. Vanessa is a Christian who gets pregnant in book 2.  In this book, she has continued to work on her college degree, lives with her parents, has a younger sister who loves to babysit Carter and change his diapers, etc., and parents who don't charge her rent, etc.  She basically lives at home and has all the support of her family. VERY unrealistic as MOST single mothers at that young age, do NOT get to finish college and have the loving support of their parents.  It totally bugged me!!

It does show grace and mercy but.....it just doesn't show reality in my opinion.  

There are also some very good thought-provoking questions at the back of the book that the author asks.....they make for a good reading club discussion.

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 an 8.


Susanne said...

I did like these novels, though I still haven't read the first one. I really liked her Secrets of Rioux River Bayou series. And I'll be starting the first in her newer series soon.

Melanie Lopata said...

I JUST finished "Not by Sight"(I think that's the name of it) and think it's going to be a great series. Was that the first in the series?

I'll have to check this series out!