TRSI Ep 003: Full Disclosure and Fatal Judgment

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Title:  Full DisclosureProduct Details

Author:   Dee Henderson

Publisher:  Bethany House Publishers

Release Date:  October 2, 2012

Synopsis:

Paul Falcon is the top murder cop for the FBI in the Midwest. If the victim had federal clearance or badge, chances are Paul was going to be heading the investigation. His latest investigation begins at his family’s restaurant and he knows it will be causing him headaches for a while.

Ann Silver is a busy woman. She is the Midwest Homicide Investigator, who gets called into help law enforcement agencies on their toughest cases, she’s an author who has written several popular books and she has the ear of the former vice-president.

When Ann stops by Paul’s office to drop off an old case that she thinks might connect to Paul’s current one, their worlds collide. Working together, they begin to uncover more than either of them could have imagined. Hired assassins political overtones are just the tip of the iceberg.

During their time together, they both begin to feel something. Something that neither of them was looking for or anticipating. They share religious views and hold their faith sacred, which leads to many interesting discussions while they are working on tracking down the unknown killer.

Regardless of what information they have, it seems that the killer is always one step ahead of them. The further down the rabbit hole they go on the case, the more entangled they become. Paul realizes that what you see with Ann barely scratches the surface of who she really is, and wonders what secrets she is hiding from the world.

At the end, they prevail and we have a happy ever after ending.

 

My Personal Opinions

I liked the characters of Ann and Paul. My dilemma with them is that that were Mary Poppins like- perfect in every way. And between them, they apparently know everybody from the former VP to Navy SEALS to top analysts and everything in between.

I think Dee Henderson does a fairly good job of creating substantial characters.  It may be that with this book being the first in the series, she needed a pair who were connected to, and have their fingers in, everything. They just seemed too perfect for my taste, but they were well developed.

During the story, they are faced with the two connected crimes that the begin with, as well as several past crimes that come out throughout the story as they are digging up the data on the mysterious killer. This is where Ann and Paul knowing everybody comes in very handy. Need to talk to someone with connections into the White House? No problem, Ann has him on speed dial.

I have to admit, I liked Ann quite a bit. Maybe because she is a pilot like me, so I felt some connection. The reality is, I’d like to be like Ann when I grow up. She has a successful career, is a pilot and is a major author who knows everybody. Not too likely for a mid-list author like me who has anxiety issues in crowds.

In most books, I find that I can look at one or both of the major characters, and after a little thinking, I can come up with someone that I know personally who is very similar to the character. With Ann and Paul, I couldn’t do that. In both cases, it ended up being a combination of several people to come up with all the traits that were listed. I’m not saying that somewhere in the world this person doesn’t exist, it is just that I’ve never met them, which makes it harder for me to connect with the characters.

The reveal at the end of the book were a little shocking to me. I found I had mixed emotions about who the killer turned out to be. Unlike other suspense books, I wasn’t able to figure out who the killer was before hand. Part of that was the evidence that was needed to secure the identity was withheld until the end. The other part was that while the point of view of the book changes from Ann to Paul, it doesn’t go to the killer. As such, we never get to see what the killer is thinking.

Overall, Full Disclosure is a great read. It wasn’t as fast as some of the other books that I’ve read, but it was thoroughly enjoyable. If you are looking for a good Christian romantic suspense, this one is highly recommended.

 

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Product Details

Title:  Fatal Judgment

Author:  Irene Hannon

Publisher:  Revell

Release Date:  January 1, 2011

 

Synopsis:

Jake Taylor is a U.S. Marshall who has been around the block a few times. After returning home from a tour in Iraq as part of the Marshall’s Special Operations Group, he’s trying to re-acclimate himself to St. Louis. The last thing he wanted, or expected, was to get the call to be on the protection detail for Federal Judge Liz Michaels—his best friend’s widow.

Liz Michaels is barely holing on. She lost her husband a few years previously and now she’s sitting in the hospital after her sister was shot in Liz’s home. She recognizes Jake, and knows that there were things her husband had told her about Jake.

Both put on a good face and prepare to do what is necessary to get through this ordeal and face the facts that it was quite possible that Stephanie wasn’t the actual target.

While Jake doesn’t want to admit it, he begins to feel a pull toward Liz. She’s not the person his friend had painted her to be. Liz is determined to take steps and get her life back under control. She’s going through all of her old case files trying to see if there is a connection there that needs to be followed. She may put her trust in God, but she keeps looking at Jake and wondering about him.

They work through their awkwardness and begin to talk. Neither will make the move while there is still a possible threat to Liz. But they both feel the tension. It is that tension and passion that drives Jake on to solve this case, so he and Liz can begin to explore their feelings for each other.

 

My Personal Opinions

A quick disclaimer about this book; Irene Hannon is among my favorite authors. I’ll try not to be too biased!

I liked the characters of Jake and Liz. Both of them begin the story with baggage, each having lost a spouse in an accident. They both struggle to overcome that hurdle and learn to trust again. Liz has turned to God to see her through, while Jake kind of let his faith go. At least until he became interested in Liz and they began talking about Doug (Liz’s late husband and Jake’s friend). Both characters were complicated enough that they were realistic, and it didn’t take much imagination to see them.

As the story progresses, we find Liz is caught in the middle of a bad situation. Somebody mistook her sister for her, and shot her. So now she’s dealing with the loss of her sister and the knowledge that somebody is trying to kill her. She’s been placed in protective custody, which limits what she can do and where she can go and she begins to go stir-crazy.

Jake is working through forgiving himself for his late-wife’s death. It was an accident, but he holds himself responsible for it, and it has caused him too much grief. It is his focusing on this blame that has driven him to question his faith. Through his talks with Liz, Jake begins to open up and starts to pray and let his faith grow.

The one draw back I find with this book (and to be honest, most of Irene Hannon’s books) is that they are all fairly similar. If you’ve ever read any of her other romantic suspense, you can pretty much figure what’s going to happen along the way—at least in general terms. The circumstances change, but she has found a winning recipe and is sticking with it.

I really enjoyed this book. It is the first in the Guardians of Justice series, which focuses on the Taylor clan (Jake, Allison, and Cole). While the books are all similar, there is enough variation with the characters and how their unique talents play out that keeps the story interesting. Miss Hannon does not do a lot of scripture quoting in the books, but the faith of the characters is a recurring theme as is their growth. I would definitely recommend this book (and series) to anyone who doesn’t require sex and profanity in their fiction.

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