Author: Irene Hannon
Publication Date: 2012
Series: “Guardians of Justice” (book 3 of 3)
Genre: Christian Fiction, Suspense
Rating: 4 ½ out of 5My Thoughts: RITA-award winning author, Irene Hannon brings the third story in the “Guardians of Justice,” or the Taylor siblings’ saga, to a close. As a detective, Cole is used to long hours and stressful work but he is tired of life in the fast lane – tired of having someone new on his arm every family event. When he meets Kelly Warren, a red-headed beauty who claims her father’s death was no suicide, Cole begins to re-evaluate his life, and he begins to hope that he has finally found someone to share his life – Kelly. This is the basis for Cole’s story and it is one that, again feels a bit repetitive though having just jammed reading all three of these books in the span of a month, I think I can safely say, this is far and above a great read (even in comparison to Fatal Judgment).
From my humble perspective (as a reader, not writer), there is a challenge in writing suspense that is hard to shake off. Taking a working idea and making it seem “new” is something not often found in romantic-suspense. Kidnapping the heroine (as is done here) is an old “tradition” in any genre that relies (perhaps too much) on edge-of-your-seat chills to climax its story. I can appreciate it and even understand the necessity of it but that doesn’t mean I don’t grow weary of that plot twist no matter the different methods or villains. In this story, Hannon wrote a strong villain who may not be difficult to peg but is perhaps, the most dangerous despite his double-life as an upstanding citizen. Before the name is revealed I did have one other candidate picked out but he never became a threat to anyone. This villain (or actually, the villains) seems the one with the most to lose, making him one dangerous dude!
The leads in Cole and Kelly are wonderful characters whose faith is instrumental in their lives though that never becomes a “stumbling block” in the story for potential readers who are perhaps offended by the topic. Cole is portrayed as a bit of a party-going guy but we never get those vibes from his character despite his siblings’ claims and teasing – which has been a fantastic part of the book, the closeness the Taylor’s share. Before Kelly helps him see reason, he is a mentally broken man who is in desperate need of finding his way back to God resulting from a loss but he’s a gentleman. Then there is Kelly. What a charming character. She is such a sweet and genuine woman of character; she has principles and nothing – or no one, is going to change those. This is something Cole respects in her and I also liked her artistic eye whether she is trying to decide whether elves have blue eyes (a thought inspired by a certain charismatic detective *wink*) or her neat-as-a-pin personality, she is adorable. Though it may be sad to say good-bye to these wonderful characters, the conclusion is memorable. Great read!
In Summary: Though it ranks “second” to Alison’s story (Deadly Pursuit), this novel is exhilarating. Full of honorable heroes who aren’t afraid to put their lives on the line every day and heroine’s who are nothing short of ladies, this fast-paced story will entice you to stay up late in order to finish it. Its promises and themes should be applied not just in the fictional world but in the real world.