Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Edge of Recall by Kristen Heitzmann

book cover

The Edge of Recall
by Kristen Heitzmann

Trade Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: BethanyHouse
Released: July 1st 2008

Source: Bought through

Book Description from Back Cover:
Tessa Young is a landscape architect who specializes in the design and creation of labyrinths. For years, she has immersed herself in the healing aspects of these elaborate structures, searching for God and hoping to make sense of the nightmares that have plagued her since childhood.

When Smith Chandler, a colleague who once betrayed her, offers an opportunity to reconstruct a remarkable Colonial-era labyrinth, she can't resist this project of a lifetime. But one evening, as dusk falls, an assailant ambushes Tessa and Smith and the real nightmare begins.

The Edge of Recall is a Christian romantic suspense novel. Both men and women will enjoy it. The pacing was very good. The suspense built as the mysterious intruder on the work site progressed from vandalism to violence and as the truth about Tessa's nightmares came closer to being revealed. Tension was also provided by the various strained relationships. The characters were interesting and complex. The world-building was good, with vivid setting details and some details about the jobs.

Tessa built prayer walk labyrinths as a way to help people find God (by walking them). However, as the story progressed, she realized that she also used them as a way to keep God impersonal and at a distance. Her father abandoned her family when she was young, and she's afraid God will, too. As her nightmares spilled into reality, she learned to trust and developed a closer relationship with God. While there were some prayers and God talk, it was not a constant topic.

There was no sex. There was no bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this enjoyable novel as well-written, clean reading.

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
Houses smaller than her dollhouse, fields stretching out and away. A pond tossing sunrays as she leans against the window, nose pressed to the glass. The plane seat rumbles. She feels it in her fingertips, in her teeth.

Daddy points. "Look there."

And she sees it. Circle upon circle, living branches shaped like the inside of a seashell. Mesmerized, she follows the path with her eyes to the very center.

Daddy's voice holds all the mystery in the world. "It's a labyrinth."

* * *

"Miss Young?"

Tessa opened her heavy-lidded eyes to white light, beige walls. For a moment she'd thought she was in— But no, it was the emergency room. She rotated her wrist and winced. Her neck burned, and she could almost feel the grip there still. She drew a ragged breath.

The nurse put a hand between her shoulder blades. "Let me help you up."

"Thank you." Tessa slid her legs over the side of the exam bed and sat up, woozy, as the curtain slid open with a squeal of metal rings on rod. A man with a hawkish face and wiry hair entered. Dr. Brinkley. She'd spoken with him ... how long ago?

"You've had some rest, Ms. Young?"

She pressed her fingers to her temples and realized that somewhere between arriving and now they had sedated her.

"Sheriff Thomas is back, if you're up to seeing him."

Her chest quaked as her mind replayed the knife flashing, Smith's stunned face. Would she have to identify him? Could she bear it? The sheriff entered, his pants and jacket shiny with rain.

"Is he ... is he dead?"

"We went over the property, Ms. Young. There's nothing to indicate a homicide."

She had a moment of disconnect. What was he saying? "You didn't find Smith?" Her throat constricted. "That's impossible."

"The rain's ruined what trace of an altercation there might have been."

She jolted. "Someone attacked us. He stabbed Smith."

"Someone not quite human."

"I didn't say he wasn't human, just grotesque, misshapen—"

"Pale and malformed, rotten teeth and milky eyes. Wasn't that the description?"

The description conjured up his image. "Yes. That's what I saw."

The sheriff slid out the pad he'd jotted her words on before. "Yours was the only vehicle."

She nodded. "I don't know how he got there, but it isn't the first time. I thought I saw him weeks ago."

"You said your boss was six-one, one-eighty. How would this small, malformed person with no transportation—"

"He must have hidden Smith, buried ... the body."

"We searched the field and surrounding woods." The sheriff looked her over slowly. "I'll round up some dogs in the morning, but before I do, why don't you tell me what really happened?"

She stared. "What do you mean?"

"It appears you had a scuffle, but frankly, your story is . . ." He spread his hands. "Not plausible."

Her panic rose. "It's not a story. I barely got away. Someone attacked us. He—" She fought the grief that raised the pitch of her voice. "Have you talked to Smith Chandler? Can you tell me he's alive?"

Read the rest of chapter one.


Helen B. @ Blue Eyed Beauty Blog said...

I have this book! I have difficulty reading novels now...but I've tried to read this one three times and have not been able to finish it yet (but not because it isn't any good!).

I just found your blog in a general google search for this book. I am now following via email and google friend connect! I hope to participate in reading your book reviews and leaving comments!

Blue Eyed Beauty Blog

Genre Reviewer said...


Welcome to my blogs, and thank you for taking the time to leave comments. I'm sorry to hear that you have trouble reading novels and hope you soon have success at finishing this one.