Sunday, April 10, 2011

Paid in Blood by Mel Odom

book cover

Paid in Blood
by Mel Odom

ISBN-13: 9781414340609
eBook: 375 pages
Publisher: Tyndale House
Released: 2005

Source: I got this eBook free through Tyndale House's April Free eBooks promotion.

Book Description from Goodreads:
The death of a fellow NCIS agent in North Carolina leads Will Coburn and his special team of naval crime-scene investigators to discover a drug-and-arms smuggling ring. The investigation leads them to a U.S. military base in South Korea. When a body is stolen from a crime scene, the team discovers that their suspect is not who he seems. Nuclear weapons have gone missing, and it's a race against time as the NCIS team uncovers the true face of evil.

My Review:
Paid in Blood is a detective suspense novel which ended like an action-packed military thriller. While the reader knows who the main bad guy is and the broad picture of his evil plan, the reader had to learn the details of the scheme along with the heroes and hope they'd solve it in time. Suspense was also created by the various family problems that the characters were dealing with and the physical danger at various points.

The forensic details of the investigation were excellent and woven into the story without slowing the action. However, apparently there were many inaccurate details about how the Naval Criminal Investigation Service is actually run.

The characters were interesting, varied, and complex. They dealt with realistic family problems (a marriage falling apart, an unwanted marriage, a single mom feeling guilty about leaving her child so much, etc.) in addition to the investigation. The bad guys seemed unrealistically unwavering in their motives (a.k.a. cliche bad guys), but that's true for many thrillers.

Several of the main characters were Christians. Mel was bitter toward God for letting his marriage fall apart after all his prayers and efforts to save it, and several other main characters felt that God had let them down in their family situations. However, their parents or friends urged them to trust God despite circumstances.

There was no sex. There was a very minor amount of "he cussed" style bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this fast-paced, exciting novel.

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
Wilmington, North Carolina
The Present
2053 Hours

Will Coburn stopped in front of the dead woman lying crumpled on the threadbare carpet. He stared down at her. Violent death still gave him pause even after years of seeing it.

He held his flashlight steady and examined the woman's body. She was in her midtwenties. She'd kept her black hair short and neat, but blood matted it now. More blood streaked her face and made her look of pained surprise even more stark. She wore blue jeans and a dove gray blouse under a nondescript green Windbreaker.

Someone had cut the woman's throat. Crimson streaked the front of her blouse and Windbreaker.

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