I purchased this book at the ACFW Conference in Indianapolis, IN last year. I had read Deliver Us From Evil the year before and knew I liked Robin's writing.
I was not disappointed.
Although the main thread of this story revolves around big city gang warfare, I was interested in the thread of domestic violence which the heroine of the story addresses with social worker Jade Laurent. According to Wikipedia domestic violence is a serious, preventable public health problem affecting more than 32 million Americans, or over 10% of the U.S. population.
Robin is a master story teller with well rounded characters. I could not put the book down until I had turned the last page.
"Fear No Evil" is a Christian romantic suspense novel. It's the second in a series but is essentially a stand-alone novel. You don't need to read the first novel to understand this one, and reading this novel first will spoil only the romantic outcome of the first novel.
The characters were likable, complex, and dealt with realistic struggles. The two main themes were gangs and domestic abuse. The suspense was created by physical danger to several of the characters and stress from work problems and family illness. Some setting, gang, and job details were woven into the story which helped to bring it alive in my imagination. There were some Spanish words used, but typically they were brief phrases that were then interpreted in the character's thoughts.
Many of the characters were Christians. One main character struggled with trying to be in control of her life and realizing she wasn't, and the other struggled with his anger at God for letting his dad (a pastor) get Alzheimer's Disease. There was some praying, and God brought a fair amount of (quoted) Scripture to the characters' minds to answer their questions when things seemed their worst.
There was no sex. There was one explicit bad word and a minor amount of "he cussed" style bad language. Overall, I'd highly recommend this well-written, suspenseful novel to those who like romantic suspense.
I received an electronic review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.
I read this book in a day on vacation. It is a gripping story of southern suspense, the kind Caroll is best at telling. And the characters (even one of the almost bad guys) really make you care about them. If you read the first book, you'll remember Lincoln Vailes. Now he's moved to a small town police department and is thrust into the middle of a dispute involving a local social worker. Jade Laurent brings a host of personal experience to her job...and it makes her care...almost too much. And someone is out to get her. Lincoln is determined to save her, but seems thwarted at every turn. If you love suspense and richly drawn characters, you will enjoy this book!
If you enjoy a gritty, suspenseful read that will keep you on the edge of your seat but want to skip the profanity and sex found in most secular novels, Robin Caroll's books may be your answer. I happily devoured Fear No Evil, after reading Deliver Us From Evil, which was the first book of Robin's that I had ever read. Much different than Deliver Us From Evil, (but equally suspenseful), Fear No Evil tackles the topics of domestic violence, gang violence, murder, abusive pasts and aging parents. Fear No Evil picks right up where we left off with Lincoln and Brannon, and begins telling the story of Lincoln Vailes, the injured park ranger who is forced to change careers. Lincoln moves home to Louisiana to help take care of his father, a former pastor who has been stricken with Alzheimer's disease, and finds another woman in his life, Jade Laurent. Jade is a social worker with a horrific past, and she makes it her goal to protect other women and children in hopes that they will not endure what she witnessed as a child. When Jade crosses the line and becomes too personally involved in a case shes working on, she finds herself the target of harassment and violent crime. Lincoln meets Jade when he responds to an incident at the Women's Hope Center where Jade works, and from that point on their lives are intertwined both personally and professionally. Although the storyline is complex and involves many characters, I found it easy to follow. In fact, I become completely absorbed in the characters and found the book very hard to put down.I like that Robin interjects romance into her books, but doesnt allow it to become syrupy sweet and unbelievable. Her characters face intense, hard-core situations with subject matter that is completely relevant and could easily be ripped from the headline news. Robins characters are tested and challenged, and the reader is taken to the brink right along with them.
Fear No Evil by Robin Caroll is the follow-up to Deliver Me from Evil. Lincoln Vailes is recovering from both a gunshot wound that damaged his knee and a broken heart from his best friend Brannon marrying another man. He's left the forest service to work as a police officer in Louisiana in order to heal his wounds and be with his father who is deteriorating from Alzheimer's in a nursing home. When a series of strange murders happen in the small town, Jade Laurent, a social worker who tends to get too involved with her cases, seems to be connected to them all. Lincoln and Jade have to figure out how her past has caught up with her while exploring their feelings for each other. The two have great chemistry in each scene as they fight and then can't stop thinking about each other. I was a bit disappointed in the plot about Jade's past; the ending was broadcast from the very beginning. But there's a strong message of faith and learning to trust in God, no matter how bad things appear, and Jade is a terrific heroine. Hopefully the next book will be back up to the quality of the first.