by Lisa Harris
Trade Paperback: 304 pages
Released: October 6, 2015
Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.
Nikki Boyd joined the Tennessee Missing Persons Task Force to help others. The case of her own missing sister is still unsolved after ten years. Though Nikki is spending a day off to mourn her best friend's death, her boss asks her to determine if a newly missing girl is lost or been kidnapped.
The girl has been kidnapped, but Nikki also learns that her sister-in-law is in the hospital and may lose her baby. Nikki soon realizes that the current case may be connected to her sister's long-ago kidnapping. The kidnapper deliberately leaves clues behind to lead her on a futile chase. Nikki's guilt and grief over her sister's kidnapping resurfaces as she races to save another girl from dying at the hands of a killer.
Vendetta is a Christian suspense novel. It's the first in a series, but it read like we should already know these characters. For example, Liam is mentioned but we don't learn he's Tyler's son until pages later. The main characters were nice people, but only Nikki and Tyler were developed much. The suspense was created by many different sources of physical danger and emotional stress. However, two things kept me from immersing in the story.
First, Nikki should not have been the lead investigator on this case. Consultant, yes. Leader, no. She was an emotional wreck due to several different stressors hitting all at once. She wasn't thinking clearly or acting rationally. She knew she shouldn't do this action for this reason, but then she did it anyway. She realized she was being manipulated, yet she allowed herself to be manipulated anyway. When it was clear she was too personally involved, someone else would have taken the lead position. Others could have done that position and even done it better. Yet no one did.
Second, the kidnapper could have achieved his end goal with a much simpler plan. His highly-complex plan could have been thrown off course at any time, and he was rational enough that this should have occurred to him. I realized this even before the end, so it began to feel contrived for the sake of creating suspense.
The Christian element was some "help me!" prayers and a discussion between Nikki and Tyler about how they both blame God for not saving a loved one. There was no sex or bad language.
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: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.