Called to Protect by Lynette Eason

It’s been many years since I first discovered Lynette Eason’s suspense novels. I really enjoyed the Women of Justice series, which was the first one of hers I read, and I’ve been following her career with the publisher Revell since then. When the second Blue Justice book showed up on NetGalley, it took me half a second to request it, because I’d quite liked the first book and was eager to read the next one. I read Called to Protect last week, and here are my thoughts about it, as posted on Goodreads and NetGalley.
FTC DISCLOSURE: I received an electronic copy of this book from NetGalley. A positive review was not required. These are my honest thoughts and opinions.

My favorite two things about this book were how much the talents of K-9 officer Hank were featured and that the human trafficking angle was handled so expertly as to highlight the dangers of it while not delving into the nastiest parts. The author handled both of these things like an old pro, with lots of grace, spot-on details, and creativity.

A couple of key things were highly predictable to me, but that did not stop this book from easily sliding into my top-five list of new releases in 2018. There were enough surprises along the way that I was kept intrigued and flipping pages faster and faster the deeper I got into the story. The human trafficking aspect was perhaps the most inspiring angle of all, as there was so much hope for redemption and escape fused into each chapter. This isn’t an easy book by any means, as the aforementioned topic hints, but it is a must-read for all suspense fans.

There were a few “too convenient” things, such as a garden planted behind a gas station. That one in particular felt like it was put there simply to aid a character in her journey rather than being logical. A little more creativity for those moments of convenience would have been appreciated, because it really felt that the answers came a bit too easily in those instances.

One thing that I found a little distracting was the variety in amount of detail given. Most were spot-on, dig-deep sort of research: The diabetes medications and how the pods worked were so realistic and easy to understand, and it was very clear the author looked up loads of medical things to add great depth to the scenes and plot. A couple of other areas lacked any sort of detail whatsoever: “Tool” was used every time “bolt cutters” was the tool being asked for or used. Why not just say “bolt cutters” rather than “bringing a tool to cut the lock off” and similar all four times? It felt like the author wasn’t familiar with the tools required in this situation and didn’t bother to run a quick Google search to add that extra bit of atmosphere to the story. I think why it felt like that to me is that the officer asking for and using the tool would have known what it was called and referenced it by its name rather than just saying “tool.” This isn’t like Ms. Eason, as her novels are typically rich with detail and the rest of the book reflected that same richness. I’m hoping it was simply an anomaly and that it was fixed before the final printing.

This story felt cleaner than the previous installment of the series. I only noticed one crude phrase and zero expletives or profanities. I was very happy about the lack of negative content. Even though the faith aspect was light, the cleanness factor definitely felt God-honoring the whole way through, and I appreciated that very much. I hope that continues as the series progresses.

This book was even better than its predecessor, and it makes me want to read its sequel immediately. It’s really too bad it isn’t yet available (as of July 7, 2018). Hurry, Lynette! I want more of the St. John family saga!!

Rating: 4 stars

Has someone you know been through something tough like human trafficking?
How does a deep faith in God help you cope when tough things happen?
What are your top three favorite suspense books or series?
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