Monday, May 4, 2009

Enduring Justice by Amy Wallace

Enduring Justice

Enduring Justice
by Amy Wallace

Trade Paperback: 316 pages
Publisher: Multnomah
First Released: 2009

Author Website

Source: Review copy from publisher

Back Cover Description:
Hanna Kessler’s childhood secret has remained buried for over two decades. But when the dark shadows of her past threaten to destroy those she loves, Hanna must face the summer that changed her life and the man who still haunts her memories.

As a Crimes Against Children FBI Agent, Michael Parker knows what it means to get knocked down. Difficult cases and broken relationships have plagued his entire year. But when the system fails and a white supremacist is set free, Michael’s drive for retribution eclipses all else.

A racist’s well-planned assault forces Hanna and Michael to decide between executing vengeance and pursuing justice. The dividing line between the two is the choice to heal. But when the attack turns personal, is justice enough?

This is a Christian romantic suspense novel. Frankly, I got the feeling that people who'd read the first two books in the series would better understand what was going on with the characters in this book.

The pacing was excellent as was the world-building. However, in my opinion, important information about the characters was often given too late. I was frequently confused about why Michael (and, at the very beginning, Hanna) acted the way they did. This killed a lot of the suspense for me. In fact, the critical information for Michael wasn't given until page 180. At that point, everything seemed to come together and I really started enjoying the book.

There's no reason this information couldn't have been given earlier in the book. Since knowing this information adds suspense and makes the characters more understandable, here it is: Hanna was raped by a neighbor as a child and has lived with her secret shame and fear ever since. Michael was/is verbally and physically abused by his father. He's angry and frustrated that his father was never stopped while at the same time he desperately wants his father's never-given approval.

I think people who have been abused as children will get the most out of this book. I wasn't abused. I had a hard time relating to the characters due to their way of coping with their problems (even though their behavior was realistic and understandable). On the other hand, I never got exasperated or frustrated with the characters, so the author managed to pull off a difficult balance.

The 'good guy' characters were sympathetic and varied. They grew realistically throughout the novel. Sean, the main bad guy, didn't feel realistic to me. He never fears, never doubts, never justifies his actions. We never find out why he hates "mud races" so much that he's willing to kill. However, not everyone will be bothered by this lack of information.

Both main characters were Christians. God plays a major role in the healing in their lives, though often they're not being very cooperative with God.

There is no explicit sex (and no sex between the main characters). The cussing was of the "he swore" variety. Overall, I'd rate this "good, clean fun."

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: Chapter One
The wall she'd built with years of secrecy started to crack.

Hanna Kessler wrapped trembling arms around her waist and stared through the glass door into her parents' backyard. A place she'd avoided her whole stay. Sunlight danced in the still water of her mother's koi pond and highlighted all the landscaping changes Dad had made since Mom's death.

Hanna closed her eyes against warring memories of past and present. As a child, she'd loved feeding the beautiful orange fish and hearing Mom laugh as the koi swarmed to the food. Now the little pond area was the only bit of her mother remaining. Maybe that was why she'd glanced outside and then stood transfixed. She needed her mom now more than ever.

Link to Read the rest of the first chapter.

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