Let me start by saying that I’m not a professional book reviewer. I’m not sure I could do it. I’ve read reviews over the years that are crushing! If I were writing in my private journal, I guess I could be ruthless. But what’s more likely to happen in a Kitty review is that I’ll be attacked by a mob of exclamation points! 🙂
Last week I read my friend (see, that’s where I’d put a disclaimer if I were a pro) Janice Cantore’s new book, Accused. I loved it! It’s about a Long Beach, California, police officer (Janice used to be one) who helps out in a homicide investigation only to be nearly killed a couple times by people trying to shush her. And some of the people involved may or may not be on the police force. Yikes!
Detective Carly Edwards, our heroine, owns a cool dog (points for that) and has a good-looking ex-husband who wants to win her back (points for that, too – come on, I write romances!). She also thinks her mom is very annoying when she talks about church and praying and stuff all the time.
Over the course of the book, Carly has to decide what to believe – about a lot of things. Is there a murder cover-up and could someone she know be involved? Has her ex-husband really changed his stripes? Is there really a God and what, if anything, is He willing to do for her?
I like Janice’s books because they’re fast-paced and full of action, yet the characters are fully developed so that you care what’s happening with each of them. Since she used to be a cop, everything seems real and believable. A couple times I wished she’d gotten us even more involved in the action, but I might be a bit of an adrenalin junkie when it comes to action in books, so you have to take that into consideration. 😛
If you read Christian fiction, I think you’ll find Accused to be just what you’re looking for. If you don’t, but you like police action books, the faith-talk isn’t too distracting, especially since Carly doesn’t even want to talk about it for over half the book. When she does start thinking about it and asking questions of her friends, it’s not too heavy-handed. There are a couple conversations that dig deep into the topic of faith and God, but that’s the kind of book this is and it goes along with all the pages that have come before. The conversations answer questions the reader has been wondering about for the whole book, just like the conversations about who did it and why answer questions the reader has wondered all along.
Overall, I give the book 4 stars out of 5. (Caveat: I don’t give many 5-star ratings, so keep that in mind.) I’m definitely going to read the next two books in the series, Abducted, coming out in August, and a third book next year.
Also, if you haven’t read her Brinna’s Heart series, you should try The Kevlar Heart and A Heart of Justice. I’ve read both of those, too, and rate them both 4 stars. (And they both have a dog, too!)
Still not sure? Go read the first chapter on Amazon for free. And if you buy Accused, the first chapter of Abducted is in the back for free. (D’oh! Didn’t realize that till I started typing this! Need to go read it when I’m done!)
Disclaimer 1: Tyndale House Publishers gave me a free early review copy of the book. In return for reviews, of course. They didn’t make me promise to be nice though.
Disclaimer 2: I’d already pre-ordered the book on Amazon as soon as it became available. I’m thinking I might offer a free giveaway of book 1 sometime when book 2 or 3 comes out. I’m cool like that.
Disclaimer 3: I’m good friends with Janice and I love her! And I love her dogs! I would probably find a way to promote her books even without free copies. But you’d know if I didn’t like it because I’d be saying things like, Good use of white space with the paragraph indentations, and Lots of pages for the price, and Cute male model on the cover. Note I didn’t say any of those things. (I can’t talk about the cute male model anyway in case John might be reading!)
Disclaimer 4: I’d totally forgotten that she asked my husband if she could use his name so it was a complete surprise when FBI agent John Bucholtz walked onto a page! I screamed and John came running to find out how I’d hurt myself. Then he gave a manly yell when he saw his name. I’d still love the book even if Janice hadn’t immortalized my awesome husband. (Already own the book? Go to page 362!)
Disclaimer 5: I’ve never used disclaimers in a list before. It’s fun.