Source: Bought through Half.com.
Book Description from Back Cover:
Natalie Sinclair is working to eradicate the diseases decimating whole villages in the Republic of Dhambizao when she meets Dr. Chad Talcott, a surgeon on sabbatical from a lucrative medical practice now volunteering at a small clinic.
Meanwhile, things are unraveling in Dhambizao. Joseph Komboli returns to his village to discover rebel soldiers abducting his family and friends. Those that were too old or weak to work lay motionless in the African soil. When Chad and Natalie decide to help Joseph expose this modern-day slave trade--and a high-ranking political figure involved in it--disaster nips at their heels.
Where is God in the chaos? Will Chad, Natalie, and Joseph win their race against time?
Blood Ransom is a fast-paced Christian thriller with some romance. I think this novel will appeal to both men and women. The story was set in a fictional third-world Africa country with a corrupt government. It focused more on the government corruption than the slave trade, though the two were connected. The vivid setting details made me feel like I was really there: walking through the market, facing the tragedy at Joseph's village, etc.
The tension remained high throughout the story and mainly came from the physical danger to the characters. There were more good-guy point of view characters than just the romantic couple, and the romance was more what you'd expect from someone in this situation (as in, "I think I want to get to know him/her better when this is done" rather than "I'm so in love, I can't resist him/her even though I've only known him/her a few hours."). The characters were smart but acted realistically, like I'd expect of normal people who want to do what's right but feel overwhelmed by the scary events they've gotten caught up in.
The good-guy characters were pretty much all Christians with a strong faith in God, but they still had moments of wondering why God was letting such bad things happen when they're trying to do what's right.
There was no sex and no bad language. Overall, I'd highly recommend this interesting, well-written thriller.
If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.
Excerpt from Chapter One
Monday, November 16, 3:11 p.m.
Kasili Outdoor Market
Natalie Sinclair fingered the blue-and-yellow fabric that hung neatly folded on a wooden rod among dozens of other brightly colored pieces, barely noticing the plump Mama who stood beside her in hopeful anticipation. Instead she gazed out at the shops that lined the winding, narrow paths of the market, forming an intricate maze the size of a football field. The vendors sold everything from vegetables and live animals to piles of secondhand clothing that had been shipped across the ocean from charities in the States.
Natalie stepped across a puddle and turned to glance beneath the wooden overhang at the stream of people passing by. Even with the weekend over, the outdoor market was crowded with shoppers. Hiphop-style music played in the background, lending a festive feel to the sultry day. But she couldn’t shake the uneasy feeling in the pit of her stomach.
Someone was following her.
She quickened her steps and searched for anything that looked out of place. A young man weaved his bicycle through the crowded walkway, forcing those on foot to step aside. A little girl wearing a tattered dress clung to the skirt of her mother, who carried a sleeping infant, secured with a length of material, against her back. An old man with thick glasses shuffled past a shop that sold eggs and sugar, then stopped to examine a pile of spark plugs.
Natalie’s sandal stuck in a patch of mud, and she wiggled her foot to pull it out. Perhaps the foreboding sensation was nothing more than the upcoming elections that had her on edge. All American citizens had been warned to stay on high alert due to the volatile political situation. Violence was on the rise. Already a number of joint military-police peacekeeping patrols had been deployed onto the streets, and there were rumors of a curfew.
Not that life in the Republic of Dhambizao was ever considered safe by the embassy, but neither was downtown Portland. It was all a matter of perspective.
Read more of chapter one.