You’ve got a TBR pile the size of Mt. Everest or at least Mt. Whitney (for those of us in the continental US). It’s threatening to turn you into that Facebook cartoon about how the guy dies crushed by all the books on his nightstand. But, some sicko who does not understand the value of losing yourself in four or five books over a couple of days says, “Pick one. Only one.”
I don’t know about you, but if that happens to me, I want a book that will hold me hostage and keep me riveted to every word on every page.
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Will This Book Be a Direct Threat to Your Weekend?
Here’s the thing. This book has a lot of things going for it and a few that made me frustrated. All in all, I liked it. But first, I’ll tell you what didn’t do it for me.
Repetition. There’s a lot of it. In fact, I suspect ten percent of the book at least could be cut without actually cutting anything. You’d never miss it.
Instant attraction. Thank goodness we didn’t get treated to “instalove” but I think the story would have been a whole lot stronger if the relationship aspect didn’t begin almost from the moment the couple meet. After all, they’re trapped together in the same place for quite a while. And it’s not just a preference of mine, it’s actually a problem for me in the story because how quickly things jumped in and back out and all around just didn’t ring true. Had it had some sort of a build, the personal issues wouldn’t have felt like we were getting jerked back and forth like that.
Convenience. Okay, this one might not be fair of me. Here’s the thing. The author did a good job of setting up a history of behavior that made certain events plausible–even understandable. So, kudos for not just throwing that convenience in there and letting us have to choke it down. The problem was for me that it still was a convenience instead of a real problem followed by a real solution. Can’t say more without giving away spoilers, but it’s a thing.
One generalized thing… they keep calling the little girl a “drama queen” but seriously, she wasn’t half as dramatic as the whole protection team.
But with all that, there were serious strengths, too.
The suspense. Spot on. Seriously. Tension, conflict, uncertainty. You name it, she’s got it and it’s done well. If there had been a bit more tightening of the narrative, this would have been on par with some of my favorite suspense authors. I kept turning the page, even when I needed to do other things instead.
The plot. The primary storyline–protecting someone from the bad guys, figuring out who the bad guys are, and getting the job done–excellent. Seriously, the author did a great job of keeping me guessing and second-guessing. The whats and whys, the red herrings… it’s all great because you CAN figure it all out if you pay attention, but for those who like to be surprised, you won’t be slapped upside the head with every little nuance until you’ve lost the joy of the story.
The faith. At first, this was going to be a negative. Initially, it felt as though faith were tacked on here and there to make it “Christian.” But then somewhere in the middle, it began weaving in, and the preachiness and awkwardness factors went away. I’m not sure why it made a big difference, but it did.
In the end, I’m not sorry I requested and received a free review copy, and I do look forward to seeing what else this author has to offer.
Readers who love clean fiction with characters who either live their faith or begin to grow in their faith will enjoy Direct Threat. Additionally, if you enjoy suspense that follows logical storylines and don’t mind a bit of repetition, you’ll probably also enjoy the book. Looking forward to the next. I’m curious if this is an author style or unique to this book.
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