I found Dee Henderson’s books recently, from a short story ebook collection I found on my library’s online catalog. Ever since my husband got me a Kindle for our first anniversary, I’ve enjoyed browsing the ebook catalog and choosing any that catch my eye to try. This author was one of those random ones that I liked. Her books are Christian and pretty clean, which I liked. I think they are all mostly stand-alone books, but usually connected to a series, part of the same universe as the others. I’d recommend reading Full Disclosure first rather than Taken or Unspoken because it has the introduction to some characters that show up a lot later. Specific reviews below.
This book is about an FBI Special Agent named Paul Falcon and a police officer who is also a sheriff and the MHI (Midwest homicide investigator) named Ann Silver. It opens with Paul trying to track down a lady shooter-for-hire who has killed 30 people. They don’t know her name or what she looks like. Ann comes into Paul’s office, with a case that may be related to his lady shooter. Paul is intrigued by Ann (of course) and he soon contacts her and they begin a relationship. He discovers her secrets and at the same time, they work on solving the identity of the lady shooter and other fun plots twists like that.
This is a good book. It’s not the most engaging book I’ve ever read, but it was very enjoyable to read. It didn’t have any bad language in it that I remember and no intimate scenes. There was discussion of violence but it was done very tastefully and most of it was flashback style, where a character is recounting what happened to them. It is a Christian book, both of the main characters are Christians. They speak about their relationship with God and they speak to God in the book. This is not a thriller, and if you are used to fast-paced and action filled you may find this a bit slow and boring. But if you are looking for a crime read that is not going to bother you afterwards with stuff you wish you hadn’t read, I would definitely recommend Full Disclosure. I really enjoyed the read.
Shannon Bliss was kidnapped at the age of sixteen. She has finally escaped her captors and contacts Matthew Dane, a private investigator, whose own daughter was kidnapped at age eight and recovered at sixteen. Matthew takes Shannon under his wing and helps her to recover. She reconnects with her brother, who is running for governor of Illinois and has been outspokenly hopeful in the search for Shannon, and helps the police uncover the crimes that the people who took her have committed. Ann and Paul Falcon are in this one too! And of course, Matthew starts falling for her and her determinedly independent spirit.
I did like this one, but really, parts of it were slightly boring. Not much actual action happened, there were no chase scenes or shootouts that occurred while we were watching the characters. It was mostly a lot of talking and discussion and investigation. It felt like there was supposed to be a fear and tension (oh no, will her captors try to kill her or take her back?) but it soon became evident that after she left there was never any real danger to her from them. So it felt a bit anticlimactic. However, I still enjoyed the book. I liked the fact that there were two seemingly unrelated crimes and they managed to connect them to each other. I liked seeing Shannon meet her brother again and get comfortable with Matthew. I think I would have like seeing Shannon’s viewpoint some in this book rather than just Matthew’s, but perhaps that would be too complicated. I liked how Matthew and Shannon took it slow with the romance; it felt realistic. I don’t know if wholesome is the right word, but this book was clean and enjoyable, and I felt good after reading it, which is more than I can say about some books.
Bryce is a coin seller and owns a shop. He is bored and not sure what to do next, until he meets Charlotte Graham, who has been renovating the storefront next to his. She shows him a large collection of coins that she has to sell (making him, as they say, an offer he can’t refuse) and boredom goes out the window for Bryce. As he learns more about her (partly from Ann and Paul Falcon, yay!), he is more and more intrigued by her hardworking, generous personality. She was kidnapped when she was sixteen, along with her twin sister. While her sister was released quickly, she was held for four years before escaping. She never speaks about her experiences. After her estranged grandfather leaves her a large (and I mean large) fortune, she has to figure out how to manage and organize it. Bryce commits to helping her because he is starting to be attracted to her (we all knew it was coming). Many secrets come out along the way, and Bryce helps her deal with them as well as with her grandfather’s large fortune. They discover love for each other as well as (for Charlotte) rediscovering trust in God.
This was a good book. It talked a little too much about coins for my taste because I’m not at all interested in them, but it was enjoyable thinking about what someone could do with a large amount of money. I liked the God talk, so to speak; it was interesting to explore what sort of faith problems a kidnapping victim might have. The tension regarding a possible undiscovered third kidnapper was interesting, and I like Bryce and Charlotte’s relationship. One thing that was a little meh was that Charlotte and Shannon from Taken were a very similar character in my opinion. There were some differences but overall they seemed a lot the same. However, that could be my fault because I read both books pretty much back-to-back, and they had a slightly similar plot (both were kidnapped). But I still enjoyed this book, and again, there were no problems with objectionable content, which I appreciated.
The Truth Seeker
This one was my favorite of the books I’ve read from Dee. I believe the O’Malley series are the most popular of what she’s written, from what I can tell. This is the third book in the series, which I read first because it was the only ebook in the series available on my library’s site. The others were on hold. Just finished this one today, so it’s pretty fresh to me compared to the others.
Lisa O’Malley is a forensic pathologist. The book opens on her working a house fire where a man died, and she is uneasy with the initial decision that it was an accident. She is a part of a family called the O’Malleys, an adopted family of seven who found each other in a home for foster kids and decided to make each other their brothers and sisters. Quinn is a US Marshall and a rancher in Montana. He is trying to find out who killed his father, and is following up on a lead around where Lisa lives, on a young woman who disappeared around the same time his father was killed. He is good friends with the O’Malleys, even dating some of Lisa’s sisters, but nothing has worked out for him so far. Now he has his sights set on Lisa, perhaps as a friend or perhaps more. Lisa is focused on her work, feels awkward around Quinn, and even resents a little the fact that she comes in third (or fourth) to her other sisters. However, as the case she has been working on intersects with Quinn’s search to find his father’s killer, and a host of secrets unfolds, her trust of him and attraction to him grows, as well as his for her.
This was a very good book, my favorite of the ones I’ve read from Dee. It has much more action and excitement. It is a little more explicit in the description of violence and dead bodies, etc, than the other ones I’ve read, while still not being too gruesome. I enjoyed seeing Quinn and Lisa’s relationship blossom, as well as the close relationships between her and her siblings. I enjoyed the thoughts and discussion of the resurrection. Lisa doesn’t believe in the resurrection of Christ, much to the chagrin of her other Christian siblings, because she knows what happens to dead bodies and thinks there is no physical way that they can return from the dead. It was interesting to see her spiritual journey. It really highlighted to me that when someone is called by God to believe, the facts are very important, especially to a logical and scientific mind, but it is faith alone that brings you to belief, the personal trust and hope in God. Someone can know everything about God but still not believe and trust in Him to be saved. It also pointed me toward thoughts of my own death. I am a Christian and believe in the resurrection myself, so it was good to be reminded to live for God since you only have one life and it can be interrupted by death at any time. The ending surprised me a little, which I always like (though I had kind of guessed who the villain was at some point near the end, the full explanation was still a secret to me by the time we got to it). I enjoyed this book and I expect to read more of this series.
I’d like to do more book reviews to help me think more about the books I’m reading. I have a pretty voracious appetite when it comes to stories, so I think it’s good for me to slow down and write about them! Hopefully I will get better at writing reviews as well. Please let me know your thoughts on the books of Dee Henderson if you’ve read them, or you can suggest others that you’ve enjoyed!