This is my first book by Margaret Daley, I've seen her other books that she has published through the "Love Inspired" series, but none of those really caught my eye. This book, however, screamed at me,
"Rick, you have to read this book, it's about the MEN of the Texas Rangers!" Now, as you know, I'm doing these reviews from a "man's perspective" and that works out well, because I'm a man. And what better kind of book for a man to review than a book about the tough Texas Rangers!
Texas Ranger Wyatt Sheridan has settled into a good life in Texas. It's been 8 years since his wife was killed, so he shares the ranch with his mother and his teenage daughter, Maddie. Wyatt has a decent relationship with Maddie, they both love to ride their horses, but lately a wall has started building between them. His mother, on the other hand, is finished off with husband #3 and watching out for #4. It seems there are times when she's more of a hand ful then Maddie. Kate Winslow is the director of the Beacon of Hope School that assists teenage girls through court appointed intervention. She comes from the Winslow family of old money, but only the kind that donates, not the kind that actually gets in the trenches and makes a difference. This causes alot of friction between her and her mother as Kate wants to help these lost girls personally, not from a distance. First a van is stolen at the school and a girl goes missing, then another is killed after she left the school with her suspected pimp. Now, Kate's funding has been pulled from the Winslow Foundation. Will she have to close the school and turn the girls out? Can Wyatt help find the missing girl, is she even still alive? You know the rest, you'll have to read the book to find out :)
This was a tough sell for me. I've grown up with blinders on and find it uncomfortable to think that we live in society that could and would treat children, treat other humans, as these sex traffickers do. This story, though, paints a picture of what is happening daily around the world, and right here in the United States. The author has a page on her website specifically devoted to why she decided to write about this subject, check it out: Why I Wrote Saving Hope. The characters in this book, specifically the girls from Beacon of Hope all called out to me in desparation. These are teens who want a different life, who are searching for the missing piece. Margaret does a good job of displaying the faith of Kate, I truly wish she had done more to showcase it in dealing with the girls of Beacon of Hope. Their "missing" piece is a relationship with Him and He is the only one that can fill that void.
So is this a "man's book"? Most definitely yes. There is plenty of suspense, intrique and danger through out this book. The plot is very well defined and I'm sure that we can all see ourselves in the character of Wyatt.
I really enjoyed this book. The characters were realistic and the storyline brought awareness to the plight of kids on the street and helped me to see them in a much more compassionate light. I was enthralled from beginning to end.
When I first opened this book , I actually thought it might have been a Western type novel but as I got stuck into it , it immediately drew me in as I love novels that push the boundaries of everyday Christian fiction and also the main setting of a home for wayward teens is something that I admire and I have a passion for one day working in one.
Saving Hope starts with a midnight call to Rose - a teen staying at the Beacon Hope Home from an old friend Lily , we discover from the phone call that Rose used to be involved in Prostitution and Drugs. The phone call ends up being a set-up as when Rose arrives , her old pimp King is waiting for her.
Meanwhile, Kate who runs the Beacon Hope is worried about Rose and hopes she hasn't returned to her old life , when Kate gets a phone call about their van which Rose took and the body of a dead girl , Kate's heart jumps that it may be Rose but alas it doesn't end up being her. Soon though , more girls turn up dead -ones that had connections to Rose. Enter Wyatt -the Texas Ranger , Can he and Kate work together to find Rose and save her before it;s too late and she too finds herself six feet under ?
A novel that shows to us that no matter who we are God still loves us and that there are others out there who still care for us even in the midst of danger.
A series that I am looking forward to continuing as I really enjoyed the way that Margaret touched on the Edgy topics at hand in the novel.