Police search for a serial rapist whose urges escalate to murder in this faith-based detective novel.
Christian author Watson’s (Mirrors: Real Stories of People Who Transform Pain to Joy and Turmoil to Peace, 2012) first novel begins with the brutal rape of Elizabeth Evans in October 1996. Although she spent most of her life in California, Elizabeth had recently moved back to her hometown of Atlanta. Following his sister’s assault, Elizabeth’s brother, private investigator Will Evans, joins forces with his childhood friend Victor, the lead investigator on the rape case. Assisting the two and counseling Elizabeth is psychologist Del Thomas, another grade school friend and a woman of deep faith who believes God answers all questions asked of Him and whose “beauty and style gave her a ticket to go most anywhere she wanted.” Elizabeth is still in danger; the rapist believes that unlike his other victims, she could identify him. After the rapist tries and fails to kill Elizabeth in her hospital bed, she is moved to a long-term care facility for traumatized victims, where she receives extensive counseling and bonds with her art therapy instructor, Stella. Ten years prior, Stella came to the facility and became a practicing Christian, and she tells Elizabeth that her healing was aided by teachings in the Bible. As Elizabeth continues her own physical and emotional recovery, the rapist stalks the police assigned to the investigation and dreams of “a new wall of trophies” from murder victims who would include Lucky, a blackmailing security guard who witnessed him trying to kill Elizabeth in the hospital. The hunt to identify the rapist before he lashes out turns heart-pounding, but a subplot about Victor’s wife checks the action. Additionally off-putting are occasional pronoun troubles and missing commas. But never in question is the author’s belief in the healing power of the Christian message.
A mingling of spiritual insights and chilling crime.