Hello on this delightful Saturday, my friends.
Before we get to today’s book review, I want to take a minute to speak about a current event that happened this week. You know I don’t usually address politics around here, but I feel like the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, the only monarch England has had in my entire lifetime (plus!) calls for a moment of recognition.
On Thursday, September 8, 2022, Queen Elizabeth II, England’s longest-reigning monarch, died at age 96.
My mind is having a hard time wrapping around that, to be completely honest about it. She was such a mainstay of British culture through more than my lifetime to this point, so it’s weird to think Great Britain is now entering into a new era.
There have been many, many tributes on Twitter lately, of course, as I’m sure there have been on other social media sites. Here are a couple of my favorites.
The first is a graphic that Congressman Mike Johnson of Louisiana shared. This one meant the world to me, because I always thought Queen Elizabeth II conducted herself with great dignity and grace, and her thoughts on Jesus Christ and the Word of God explain why.
The second is a fun anecdote I retweeted. It comes from a former royal policeman who served Queen Elizabeth II.
Sometime this weekend, I will be watching The Queen, starring Helen Mirren and Michael Sheen, in honor of Queen Elizabeth II’s passing. There is a line in that film that said the flag would not be lowered for her when she were to die. But I saw a picture on Twitter, shared by The Weather Channel because of the rainbow (because #weatheriscool), that proved that the changing of that rule later in the film by Queen Elizabeth II herself (portrayed by Dame Helen Mirren) has remained intact — because they did in fact lower the flag for her.
May dear Queen Elizabeth II now rest in peace with her beloved Prince Philip as they worship Yahweh in person.
Now let’s talk about a romantic suspense book that I finished reading the same day that we lost the Queen.
The cover of this book is one of Lynette Eason’s best to date. The yellow tone is gorgeous, and I love that tree-packed, mountainous landscape too.
A hostage negotiator was featured, and that job, when well written, is a huge magnet that draws me in. This one was spectacularly done. I especially enjoyed how many times the negotiation came up throughout the novel. It did not feel glossed over in the least; instead, it was presented in a way that made it feel like the author had personally experienced such events. That’s the sign of a great writer, if you ask me.
While this book was packed with action and suspense, there were some sweet moments that allowed me to catch my breath too. The sock-tossing scenes were entertaining, and the moments between the sisters were some of my favorite of the calmed-down scenes.
As with most, if not all, of Mrs. Eason’s previous books, this one was family oriented. The leading lady was the guardian of her little sister, which is a familial experience not typically highlighted in Christian fiction. It was handled so well here that the bar has been moved higher for those sibling-guardian books that will be written from here on out.
School shootings were featured but not in the typical way. One was in memory form, while the other was not a mass shooting event but rather more targeted. It was interesting to see this take on this type of social tragedy, because it presented very personal cases of what it can look like to see cries for help before these sorts of events happen as well as different ways in which they may be resolved.
It was fantastic to see how Dottie dealt with a bully during a crisis. I can’t really say more than that without spoiling anything, but my heart melted and tears gushed to the surface so that I had to blink fast and hard to be able to continue reading. That moment near the end of the book was a prime example of how a caring heart can make a huge difference in the lives of those around us.
The insanity one character was immersed in was so well written that it gave me chills and made me check my own mind after reading certain scenes. I loved how exquisitely this character was written. This added a richness to the story in a different sort of way. It was perfect for this book’s plot and definitely made it one to remember.
There was one point of view that felt completely random. However, I felt like that was on purpose even as I was confused by it, because Mrs. Eason doesn’t do random. She always has a design in play, and I knew that would be the case here. I’m so glad I reserved judgment until the end, because when I figured out the connection on the page before the final chapter, my brain exploded and every moment of foreshadowing flashed through my mind. I kept thinking, “You foreshadowed it here… and there… and again here!” I loved that moment! This is a book I will read again with the intent to study how Mrs. Eason so exquisitely layered in the foreshadowing so that I didn’t see that big revelation coming. Hopefully this is something I can learn to apply in my own writing as well, because it was something I really enjoyed about this book.
I can hardly wait for the next two books in the Extreme Measures series!
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