I have read some of Brandilyn Collins' more recent works and enjoyed them, so I thought I would go back and read some of her earlier books. This book is set in California, and the main character is Annie Kingston.
Annie is a divorced mother of two children. Her son is 15 and has begun to hang out with the wrong crowd and do drugs. In an attempt to help him, she moves to her wealthy father's home away from the city that he left her in his will upon his death. Upon her father's death, Annie quit her job as a courtroom artist. One night Annie is awakened by sirens and discovers her neighbor has been murdered. Due to her skills as an artist, the local detectives asks her if she can help by drawing the murderer as seen by the only eye witness, the murder victim's 11-year-old daughter. Once the picture is finished, the detective places it in the local newspapers without any response.
Annie feels she is to blame for the murder as she has found a file in her father's home office from a case he was working on at his death. This file seems to be what the murder was after; he just chose the wrong house in order to get it. Annie continues to plead with the detective to let her be involved in the case to assuage her guilty conscience. She has never been a Christian, so she has no avenue other than work to try to work through this guilt. She does meet the police chaplain as well as the murder victim's church friends and begins to think maybe there is something to this God stuff and prayer.
To me this book didn't have the suspense throughout the book apparent in later books. The main character's insistence in being involved in the case and the detective allowing her to be involved didn't seem very realistic. I did like how she was portrayed as a struggling, single, divorced mom, raising her children alone; I did think that was very realistic. This story just didn't seem to grab my attention like her other books. I do plan to read the next book in this series and hopefully it will be more to my liking.
Decent mystery, but I'm not a fan of the writing style. I have never read any book by Brandilyn Collins so I don't know if this is her normal style. Annie is courtroom artist that tries her hand at forensic artistry when her neighbor is murdered and the daughter, Erin, saw the killer. The writing contained entirely too much psychological anxiety in Annie's thoughts and not enough story for me. I did like the way Erin's family showed love and Christian compassion in the midst of their grief.
This was my second book that I have read by Brandilyn, the first one being her novel, Deceit. Was I disappointed? I am glad to say that I was not.
Brandilyn's style of writing is the same as it was in Deceit: Quick-paced and thrilling. The plot was definitely a great one.
The imagery was wonderful and I especially enjoyed the description of the Kingston's street. You will know what I am talking about when you read the novel.
This book (and I am sure the rest of the series) gives us a look into the profession of forensic art. This is a topic that has always fascinated me and I am glad that Brandilyn put some good focus and gave us some good information on it.
This book is written in the first person (with the exception of the prologue which is in the point of view of the victim's daughter. There are also multiple chapters in which it is the killer's point of view third person). Brandilyn succeeds in putting us in Annie's mind and letting us see all her emotions.
All the characters are great and I hope to see all of them come back in the next book in the series which is called The Hidden Faces Series.
Brink of Death definitely lives up to Brandilyn's logo, Seatbelt Suspense: Don't Forget to Breath.
Mrs. Collins is a gifted writer who spins a story that makes it hard to put the story down. My wife an I love Terri Blackstocks books but we read all her books and have been searching for a new writer we enjoy. I think we found another great one in Mrs. Collins. Just started the first chapter of the second book in the series and already I'm hooked. Good reading ahead.