Ok, for the most part I really enjoyed this book. Quick summary: small town police chief and his old flame try to solve a mystery surrounding mutilated animals found in the woods. The premise was good and I liked the characters. My favorite parts were some of the "taboos" in Christian fiction that the author was able to break away from. Her characters are real people - they aren't perfect - and they live like human beings: the drink, sleep together, make mistakes. The writer also doesn't shy away from describing acts of violence or using what a lot of Christian suspense novels would shy away from, which makes it more interesting.
A few flaws I feel compelled to point out:
The writing isn't spectacular and the dialogue isn't always believable.
Too many subplots.
Predictable resolution - I knew from the beginning "who done it".
Basically it's a step in the right direction for Christian suspense fiction, but it hasn't arrived yet. I'm still waiting for a suspense author to blow me out of the water in the same way Stephen King has, but the real positive in this novel is that the characters aren't Christian cut-outs who have no issues. They struggle with their prayers, relationships with God, and don't always fit the conservative Christian mold, which was refreshing.
Thanks to Waterbrook Multnomah for sending me the book - this is an author I'll continue to follow and see if she improves with time.
Here's a link to a sneak peek: