Let me be the first to poke fun at myself for having read this book. I know there are those who will look at this review, and wonder at a guy reading this modern Christian romance genre. After all, this is not a classic like Pride and Prejudice, but a contemporary novel. It isn’t destined for classic status, by any means. It is, however, a surprisingly good book.
The book begins with a Chicago police hostage negotiator, Kate O’Malley, called in to negotiate with a man who is threatening to blow up a bank to get revenge on the bank president for not giving him a loan extension for his troubled business. At the bank, she sees a hostage, Dave, an FBI field agent who kept himself hidden from the bomber. He used a notepad to write messages for her from behind the back of the bad guy. The coordination they had in the most unusual of circumstances was merely the beginning of a repertoire that they would quickly establish once the situation was resolved and the bomber arrested.
Due to injuries, Kate was briefly hospitalized, and she and Dave struck up a quick and firm friendship. Dave found himself falling for her, but was deeply disappointed when he learned that she was not a Christian. His convictions forbade him from being with her. He wasn’t sure if he would be able to be friends with her even, though it would be nice.
He was to have no choice in the matter, as a bombing of a commercial flight changed everything. Suddenly, he had to protect her. He wanted to witness to her, and see her safe physically, and saved spiritually. Eventually, he would learn of, and meet her “family”.
The O’Malley family is not really related. They are a group of orphans who decided to become a family. They all changed their last name to “O’Malley”. They love and care for each other in a way that struck me as so wonderful, because it is a love built on hard times, a love that I can sympathize with from my military days.
The case would go on to surprising conclusion. I won’t say anymore, as it is my policy not to give the end of a book in a review. Things do work out in the end, but it is done in a way that you can figure out, if you look at the clues, which are cleverly hidden. It is a great mystery story, in that regard.
The book had a few weak points. The ease with which Dave and Kate get together is unrealistic. The short split of their friendship is not even a real split, and is not entirely convincing to me. In the end, it is all a bit too pat and easy, in the way that contemporary romances are famous for.
Yet the strengths vastly outweigh the weaknesses. The technical details are very realistic. Henderson put a great deal of time, effort, and research into her book. It is not just the technical details that caught my attention, however, but the realism. The bond created by those who suffer adversity together is unique among any human relations.
Also realistic is the description of the interaction among the law-enforcement, EMS, and other civil protectors. It is so difficult to be a Christian in these environments, as I can attest from my time in the Army. The perspective of Dave in the FBI nicely puts this on display.
I also loved the method of Kate’s personal spiritual journey. Usually, these types of journeys are portrayed in a sappy, uber-supernatural Touched by An Angel type of manner. In this story, it is quieter, simpler, yet no less profound and wondrous. It is, in a word, real. It strikes one as so real, and down to earth, that it is truly able to be appreciated.
This story is a romance, and it is not a Classic, by any standards, but it is a very enjoyable and realistic portrayal of the life of a Christian in the military/law enforcement/EMS fields. There is significant violence in the book with themes of bombing, stalking, and murder. The strong redemptive themes present more than make up for this. For any reader aged 16 or older, this is an appropriate and worthwhile read. I recommend this.
Juvenile Fiction - Religious - Christian - Fantasy
Fiction - Christian - General