I got this book the last time Sleuth Ink came to ABC Books for a signing in July. Wait, maybe it’s not the last time ABC Books had a book signing for the group–maybe it’s just the last time that I went. ABC Books has been racking up the book signings since, and I have been missing a lot of them. I’m also playing the little interior drama will I go to the Friends of the Library Book Sale? It starts today, and I am not sure about going. I am really, really running out of space for books and LPs. And yet the odds that I attend are still fairly high even though I won’t decide to do it until Saturday morning.
At any rate, this book presents itself as a Christian Suspense Novel, but it’s not, really. It’s more of a Christian romance or melodrama. A young man with a family moves to
Springfield Lake City from a small town in the region with a promise of a contract by a known developer based on a relatively recently deceased mogul from Springfield. However, this business owner has the reputation for screwing over subcontractors who work for him, driving them into bankruptcy. The young man pretty much bets it all on this one contract and gets put behind the eight ball when a flood wipes away his work and makes it difficult for him to making the spring Lake–no, it’s spring in this case–and missing the deadline would trigger financial penalties.
The pressures of the job lead him to pulling away from his pregnant wife. Then a series of unfortunate events occurs: A car hits their house, the husband is t-boned by a car which puts him in the hospital, the wife has her baby, the husband befriends the homeless near the job site and eats with them at the mission, and the wife get hit over the head when visiting the job site which puts her in the hospital as well. The family pulls apart and comes together, the husband finds the faith that the wife always had, and then an unrelated investigation handles the bad businessman in the last couple of pages.
The writing is not bad, but the plotting is a rather melodramatic. The book is a bit talky–I know, I know, if you’ve read John Donnelly’s Gold, you could say the same about it. But the worst part is some of the detail work which just doesn’t ring true. Now, I’ve not been in a maternity ward in fifteen years, but the description of the events of the wife’s giving birth and that whole thing–she hasn’t seen the baby in a long time? From my recollection, the mother is supposed to suckle the child a whole lot. I’ve been in an ER and in hospitals, and some of those elements don’t ring true. And the owner of a landscaping business who spends months moping around a job site and a husband counting on that one thing for all of his family’s finances…. Well, these things did not feel right.
I always feel bad when I pan the work of local authors who have put in the effort to write and self-publish novels. I mean, it’s been almost 20 years since I finished my magnus opus. Reading these books inspires me, though, to see other people doing it. And I’m hopeful that the authors I review will go on to write more and better in the future, unlike me.