About the Book:Book - Avenged
Author: Janice Cantore
Publisher: Tyndale
Publication Date: 2013
Genre: Christian Fiction, Suspense
Rating: 3 out of 5

Review: Carly Edwards feels like by God’s grace she has come through her most challenging ordeals and is better off for them. After a year of separation, she and husband Nick are finally reconciled having renewed their commitment to one another – this time as Christians – and Nick has landed a great promotion within the Las Playas PD, heading up the gang taskforce. Carly herself is struggling over what comes next in her ten-year career; she always thought she’d be happy to stay on patrol forever. Her partner is considering going for a detective’s position and Carly has been offered a place on an FBI taskforce. Before she can decide what to do, a gang war is seemingly waged between two of Las Playas rival gangs and a reporter is determined to discredit Carly as a LPPD officer.

Reading this series – for no other real reason other than I am a fan of suspense fiction, I’ve found myself more disappointed than pleased by Cantore’s writing. The stories themselves aren’t bad in their authenticity – particularly so I suspect given that she is a veteran police officer herself, it’s the characters that I’ve found most fault with. Given that I’m a character reader – meaning I like to like the characters, it’s not an easy thing to push through a book when they are less than morally inspiring. Carly Edwards is the character the series revolves around. She is married to a detective and is surrounded by a circle of friends and colleagues. Most of who are likable enough – it’s the busyness of the story, how the characters are folded into the tale that is often confusing and leaves the reader grappling to remember who everyone is and what their part in the book is.

Each book has expanded and built off one another, meaning that each one uses some elements of the prior cases carried over which makes it easier to see the “bigger picture” if these novels are read in their proper order. What the writing does is overlap villain characters and too many characters that I regretfully have to say, clutter up what could have otherwise been a decent mystery. With barely fifty pages left, Cantore also switches from referring to a character by his first name to his last creating further confusion and leading us to search our brain to remember who this person is. Also flawed from a reader’s perspective is Carly being at risk yet again of losing her job. It seemed too much of a fallback from the prior books. Another minor complaint I had was Nick’s reaction to Carly supposedly holding something back from Nick. It seemed overkill considering that Carly didn’t hold anything back from him; she merely used discretion in waiting to tell him until they were face-to-face. Minor as these complaints may be, they kept me from enjoying this book like I otherwise might have and are also making it easier to eliminate this author as one I’ll be continuing to read.

If you’ve been a fan of Cantore’s prior novels or this genre, you’ll likely find Avenged an entertaining way to spend a few nights.

Synopsis: When Officer Carly Edwards finds three young gangbangers shot execution style, she and her husband, Sergeant Nick Anderson, head of the gang unit, fear Las Playas may be on the verge of a gang war. The Las Playas PD is put on high alert as tensions escalate between rival gangs, especially after Carly confiscates weapons from a gang leader and learns they were stolen from a military base along with explosive devices.

But something isn’t adding up, and Carly suspects there might be more going on. As she prepares to testify at a major trial, Carly’s reputation is shredded by a reporter apparently trying to discredit her professionally. Facing pressure on all fronts, Carly must rely on faith and trust God in a deeper way during one of the biggest struggles of her career.

With thanks to the publisher, Tyndale for providing a complimentary copy of this book for reviewing purposes


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