Book Review: “Through The Fire” by Shawn Grady

August 26, 2009 at 6:37 pm | Posted in Books | Leave a comment
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You ever read a book where the mystery is so thick that you feel compelled to flip to the end of the book and find out who the culprit is?  Well that is exactly how I felt when I was reading “Through The Fire” by Shawn Grady, published by Bethany House.

There is an arsonist loose in Reno, Nevada and he is on a rampage trying to burn down the city.  City officials and Fire Department brass want this person found and it is up to fireman Aidan O’Neill and Battalion One to find him.  Aidan O’Neill isn’t just battling fires, though.  He is also battling his own inner demons coming from the loss of his father, also a fireman, when a wall fell in on him during a fire.  Now Aidan works to find out who may have killed his father, tries to have a relationship, come back to God like the Prodigal Son and keep alive long enough to solve the riddle of the arsonist.

This book is a complicated thriller, a romance and a story about deliverance all set against a backdrop of a fire department plagued by an arsonist.  There are adrenaline flowing scenes that will have your heart pounding and you sitting on the edge of your seat flipping the pages to find out what is going to happen next.  Back in the 70’s there was a T.V. show called, “Emergency” which dealt with a fire house and all its adventures.  “Through The Fire” gives us all those adventures and more.  The main characters are well written and all the secondary characters give color and life to the story.

This is a well done book and much credit is given to Mr. Grady for his first foray into the world of fiction.  Well done!  We look forward to your next book with much anticipation.

Book Review: “The Knight” by Steven James

August 25, 2009 at 9:26 pm | Posted in Books | Leave a comment
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I had the privilege of interviewing Steven James, on our radio show “Kingdom Highlights”, for his new book, “The Knight”, the third book in his series on Patrick Bowers published by Revell.  If you haven’t read the first two books you have missed a great treat.  Steven James writes like Alfred Hitchcock directed, with incredible tense scenes that have way more going on in them then meets the first run through.  Let me tell you right away this book is 492 pages of roller coaster intense ride.  Don’t start this book late at night because it will be very difficult to put it down or stop thinking about it.

This time the action takes place in Denver, Patrick Bowers home state, and also in Chicago for the trial of Richard Basque who has been mentioned in the previous two books.  As always there is a serial murderer who, this time, is using a literary manuscript, that had been banned by the Catholic Church, as his guide to a string of murders and it’s quite possible that the final victim will be Bowers himself.   With the body count rising, how will Agent Bowers outsmart this Knight who may be closer than you think?

Tessa, his stepdaughter, is back, and their relationship has changed over the course of the three books.  As always she provides part of the human interest in Mr. James’ highly complex thrillers.  All the secondary characters that we love are here again to enjoy as they help Patrick in his quest to catch what may be the most dangerous of all the criminal masterminds we have encountered so far.  We even have a new character introduced to us for good measure and one that we hope will come back in Mr. James’ next book, The Bishop.

Move, counter move, think four, five moves ahead of the current move; that is how you play a game of chess.  I am pretty sure I don’t ever want to play chess with Steven James.  If he plays as well as he writes then Mr. James will always be the number one chess champion.   Page after page Steven James keeps surprising us.  With stories like these,  sometimes you tend to be able to solve the crime before the main character but The Knight keeps you guessing right until the final confrontation.

As always there is more to a Steven James book then just the story and this is no exception.  This is a book about relationships.  Everyone has a relationship in this story, some of them are good:  Patrick & Tess, others are evil:  Patrick & Giovanni, and others are human.  It is how these other relationships play out that helps propel the story to its riveting finish.

If you missed the interview for “The Knight” and/or would like to hear the previous interview where we discussed the first two books please go to where they are available On Demand.

To listen to 24 Christian music please visit our internet radio station

The Knight  Available August 2009 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Book Review: “The Desires of Her Heart” by Lyn Cote

August 13, 2009 at 3:49 am | Posted in Books | 1 Comment
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I have read Lyn Cote’s new novel:  “The Desires of Her Heart” the first book in her new series, Texas Star of Destiny published by Avon Inspire.  Dorritt Mott is a step-daughter of Mr. Kilbride who married her mother and they produced a sister for her named Jewell.  The half-sisters don’t get along at all and Mr. Kilbride has no affection for his step-daughter.  suffering gambling loses Mr. Kilbride loses the family plantation and decides to start a new life in Texas.  Stephen Austin has an agreement with the Mexican Government that will allow the Americans to come and have land in Texas as long as they are doing it for Mexico.  The one in charge of everything is Dorritt as she is highly intelligent and organized; everything her step-father is not.  However as good as she is they are all ill prepared for the journey and find themselves in need of the services of a guide:  Quinn.

This book is a tale of adventure as they encounter a hurricane, a flooded river to cross, Indians, soldiers and kidnappings.  Lyn Cote has written a story that is a lot of fun to read, filled with lots of action for the men and tender romance for the women.  The characters are well drawn, believable and become very real.  Each scene logically flows from the one before it and beautifully sets up the next one.

This book, however, is more than a romance or adventure it is a book of many deep themes.  First is the exploration of prejudice and bigotry.  Even though he is almost penniless Mr. Kilbride still feels that he is better than the half-breed Quinn, the black people and the Mexicans simply because he is white.

Another theme is how we see ourselves.  Although Quinn is exactly the same as Carlos in that they are both half-breeds Quinn sees himself as inferior and it takes both Dorritt and his friend, Ash, to help him see otherwise.

Finally the grand theme is small-mindedness.  Dorritt thinks as she did when she left New Orleans that the best she can do is teach school.  It is only when she is in Texas that she feels she hgas to think like Texas which is big.  She has to alter her thinking from being small to being big because of the land that she is now living in.  That is the way we must feel about Heaven.  We are now citizens of Heaven even though we still live here.  We must think big like Heaven so that we may accomplish great things for our Big God.

Book two of the series will be out this month and all the primary characters will be back but the focus will be on the sister of Don Carlos who grows up to have her story.  It will be good to spend time with these characters again.  Lyn Cote is a very good writer and I am looking forward to seeing what themes she develops in the second book of this trilogy.

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