Port Aster sounds like the kind of town I would enjoy visiting not a great deal going on but not so remote that one would fear being cut off from the rest of the world. But even in small, quiet towns, human tragedy still exists. Kate Adamss dear friend, mentor, and boss has been murdered. Actually, the medical examiner ruled it a suicide but Kate is one who cannot accept that her friend took her own life. Tom Parker, the detective who was responsible for handling the case, reiterates to Kate that the case is closed; but she wont let it go. The suspense mounts as events transpire that switch the emphasis from one character to another. It tends to remind me of Clue, a board game I played as a kid. Tom Parkers oft-repeated statement that you cant trust anyone starts to seem valid. The author keeps you guessing whether anyone can be trusted. One thing is clear: Kate really doesnt care who she stirs up in her efforts to prove she is right about her friend. It is great to see how her faith keeps her going even when everyone else seems to be questioning her. I highly recommend this book.
I thoroughly enjoyed this gripping suspense story. Because I read the second book in the Port Aster Secrets series, Blind Trust, first, I was somewhat familiar with what was going to happen. That didn't diminish my enjoyment at all. The plot was engaging, exciting, and had me squirming to find out more! The ending leaves a few loose ends, a couple of which are resolved in book 2 if I remember correctly. Each book could be read stand alone, but I wouldn't recommend it.
Oh I love the characters. I love them even more since I really got to understand them. Kate Adams is a fiery and fearless red head that is still learning to navigate a life of faith. Tom Parker is a determined cop, who came back home to re-evaluate his view on life and reconnect with his childhood faith. There are sparks that fly whenever Kate and Tom are together, but neither will admit it. I can't wait to see what happens with them next!
The message was expertly weaved in the story. Everyone, at one time or another, will come up against a side of God they aren't prepared for. We might not understand it, we will question it, but our choice to follow God and trust Him despite the circumstances will strengthen us in the end.
Overall, this is an intriguing story with a deep message. I hope you enjoy it!
Sandra Orchard is a new friend. I met her recently at a Christian writers conference and I enjoyed talking with her. In our conversations, I said I would do a blog book review for her. I'd read another one or two of Sandra's books before I'd even met her. For one day, Sandra offered Deadly Devotion for free on kindle. I snatched it up and had a wonderful read. Deadly Devotion is one of Sandra's most recent, although there is a sequel out, called Blind Trust.
I won't give you a long plot summary, but there were wonderful surprises and great elements to it. I really liked it, and I don't say so if I don't.
I liked the research Sandra did on natural chemistry and herbs. She also explains it in the back of the book. My husband works in a natural food store, making this more interesting to me. In a world where many times modern medicine fails us, it's good to know that alternatives are also being researched.
Kate has issues with police, stemming from her father's arrest. She finds herself being drawn to Detective Parker who seems to help her out of trouble on many occasions. She loves his family, and Tom enlists his father to help Kate in her investigations.
The police think Daisy killed herself, even if it was accidental, so they close the case. Kate doesn't believe it. Running on pure emotion, Kate not only confronts a handsome police detective, Tom Parker, about the hasty investigation, but she also decides to investigate on her own. Of course that leads her into a lot of mishaps and some serious trouble, not only with the law, but eventually the killer.
Detective Tom Parker moved home to Canada after being with the FBI in the U.S. He feels guilty about an FBI case gone awry, plus his father is stuck in his grief over Tom's mother's death. Tom also has problems on the job front, not just from Kate, but his boss is putting pressure on him to "obey." There's history there, and I won't spoil it for you.
Daisy was a wonderful Christian woman. We really didn't get to meet her, but we got to know her through Kate's memories of her. Daisy's faith impacted Kate. It takes Kate a while to come to her own faith. What I liked is that Tom's father and Kate worked together. It brought Tom's father out of his depression, and it gave Kate a chance to see what it would be like to be part of a loving family.
I understood Kate, because she's a woman who wants to think logically, but her actions are clouded by her emotions. Emotions make us more empathetic to her character, even though we know she's going to get herself in trouble for her pig-headedness.
What I look for in suspense and mystery is characters, action, and plot twists. They're all here. And knowing a little bit about Sandra now, and having read a couple of her Love Inspired books, I know a little bit about the work she put into this. Grant it, this is the first book in the series, so not every detail will be resolved except for the main mystery of who killed Daisy and why.
For those reader/reviewers who are not writers, they probably have no idea of the work that goes into writing a novel. The author drafts it, beta readers read it, editors edit it, the author revises it (numerous times) and finally it gets published. Even this is an oversimplification of the process.
I'd give this book 4-1/2 stars. I liked it. I really did.
Deadly Devotion is a terrific mystery novel. From the beginning to the end, this book captured my attention with mystery, romance and humor. There were some surprises in the novel and the author was great at showing this was also a Christian novel. I love the characters with their unique personalities. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Deadly Devotion and highly recommend this book. I'm looking forward to Sandra Orchard's next novel.