Monday, January 2, 2012

Cape Refuge by Terri Blackstock

When Thelma and Wayne Owens are found murdered in the warehouse where they held their church services, their son-in-law Jonathan is arrested for the crime--but his wife Morgan and her sister Blair, Thelma and Wayne’s daughters, are confident that he didn’t do it and set out to find the real killer.

My take: 3 looks
I really enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. It is Christian fiction, for which I normally do not care. There are a few things that kept me from giving this one 4 looks, and 2 looks (for that matter).

All of the typical trappings of Christina fiction are there: constant undercurrent of belief and talk of God and Jesus Christ; believers trying to convince nonbelievers (although Blackstock is not heavy-handed about this one, thank goodness); getting through hard times on faith and prayer. Pretty standard stuff for Christian writers.

The one thing that caused me to almost give 2 looks were the irritating characters. Blair is a pain in the rear. She is so opinionated, headstrong, stubborn and prideful that she is almost a caricature rather than a personality. Morgan whined through 3/4 of the book about not having her husband around. Jonathan was just an ass for most of the book.

What saved this book for me was the last half. The story was so compelling, fast-paced and surprising that I literally could not put it down. I found myself smiling at plot twists, raising my eyebrows at revelations and was completely satisfied at the end.

Another saving grace is that not everything in this book was tidy, much like life. Everyone didn't live happily ever after, but continued with trials and tribulations. Too many Christians like to portray perfection once you accept Jesus as your Savior, but that's simply not true. Jesus provides a way to get through life, not escape from it. Blackstock understands this and uses it well in this book. I will read more by this author.

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