"Pieces of Light" by Julie Cave is the first book I have read by this author, but I plan to be sure to read more of her works. She has written an intense, multilayer story from a completely Christian worldview. Not just "Christian" in name only. She lays the truth out there for all. Without being too heavy weight or over bearing, Ms. Cave lets her readers experience the love of God through her main character, Dinah.
Dinah is a new Christian but she has no fear when she shares her faith with her co-workers or with her arch-enemy.
This is a mystery novel replete with suspenseful moments and scenes. There are several story lines running through the book but they culminate nicely in an amazing conclusion.
Society's ills are exposed in their ugly "here and now" as well as the ramification on lives and future events. Spousal and child abuse. Hypocrisy.
Life is full of evil, good, mystery, solution, and yes, romance. When Dinah encounters a potential new romantic interest in her life, she must face her past life and how it will impact a new relationship. She must also fact the fact that she must share her faith with her new romantic interest even if it means they can not continue to pursue the relationship.
"Pieces of Light" is a very well written and interesting mystery. I can highly recommend it to the Christian reader as well as the non-Christian reader. You will come to grips with the work of those who keep us save in our society as well as the difficult topic of abuse.
Author: Julie Cave credits her parents for introducing her to books at a young age, which fostered an enduring passion for reading and writing. As a child, her favourite authors were Enid Blyton and C.S. Lewis and it wasn't long before she began copying them, writing short stories for anyone who would read them.
At fifteen, two things happened which would shape her future: she heard a creation science speaker at her church which cemented her faith in God; and she finished her second novel-length story and realised she had fallen in love with writing novels.
The following is an excerpt written by Ken Ham in his blog, in February 2010:
"Through the genre of a thrilling, "nail-biting" mystery book (that I think you won't be able to put down), talented fiction writer Julie Cave has written a great novel. It will help fiction fans everywhere engage with the foundational importance of the biblical authority message we giveÃ¢â¬âand its impact on the culture." http://bit.ly/d8h71t
I was provided a complimentary copy of "Pieces of Light" by New Leaf Publishing Group and Master Books in order to review the book. I was not required to render a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.
I've heard it said that you can't keep a good girl down and that seems to be the case with Dinah Harris. She is at it again in Pieces of Light, book three in the Dinah Harris Mystery series published by Master Books. When we last saw Dinah at the close of The Shadowed Mind, she had just wrapped up a case with detective Samson Cage, where they worked together to bring down a serial killer, who was intent on single-handedly bringing his own brand of neo-eugenic justice to bear on those he considered undesirable in the lower rungs of Washington D.C.'s societal ladder. As luck or fate would have it, the work of an expert profiler is never quite done and it is time to move on to a new case.
Since the time her career came to an abrupt halt at the bureau, Dinah has been working as a consultant, offering her profiling skills for hire. Her next client is none other than Ferguson, her long-time friend and former partner from the FBI. Ferguson has recently been promoted to the position of Assistant Special Agent in Charge for domestic terrorism. This new position gives him the leverage to bring in an outside consultant to assist with an investigation. When the Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church falls victim to a bombing during evening mass, Ferguson hires Dinah to help him and Special Agent Sinclair track down the person or persons responsible for this heinous crime. As one bombing turns into two and then three, it becomes clear that it will take the very best of Ferguson, Sinclair, and Dinah's sleuthing to apprehend those responsible.
At first glance, you may think that Pieces of Light is just another suspenseful mystery novel. While I acknowledge that it most certainly is that, it is also much more. As you work your way through the book, you will be exposed to several seemingly disparate story-lines that run parallel for a time, but as expected come together at the end of the book, brining the story to a riveting conclusion. It is no secret that Julie Cave is not afraid to expose the ills of modern society as evidenced by the difficult topics she took on in Deadly Disclosures and The Shadowed Mind. Pieces of Light is no exception. As we get to know the various characters in the story, we encounter spousal and child abuse and see some of the long-term ramifications for those affected by it. One of these victims finds release through self-mutilation and consoles herself through cutting.
If you are familiar with the earlier books in the series, it is not a huge surprise when Senator David Winters surfaces again in this story. Ever since their first encounter in Deadly Disclosures, Senator Winters has considered Dinah a personal enemy. He is up to his old tricks again, always ready to back whatever cause will pad his back accounts the most. Senator Winters could have benefited from a dose of reality from the book of Proverbs. His personal character continues to be tarnished by the corrupt circles he runs in and the wicked games he plays. In Pieces of Light, his former sins may come back to haunt him when justice comes about from an unexpected source.
Another exciting element in the novel is that readers are able to continue following Dinah's own journey of faith. Over the course of the first two novels, we watched Dinah's life unravel in the midst of debilitating grief and rampant alcoholism. Her life turns an important corner, when she accepts Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. It is only by His saving grace that she is able to pursue sobriety and find healing from the pain she felt from the loss of her husband and son. In Pieces of Light, Dinah is pursing a life of deeper faith. We see her regularly spending time in prayer and Bible reading and come to understand how precious it is to her. She also regularly attends church and is part of a weekly women's Bible study. When Dinah unexpectedly encounters a new love interest, she must come to terms with what that means in light of her memories of her late husband and son. More importantly, she must make a decision about whether or not she will choose to yoke herself to a non-Christian and set relational boundaries and standards as prescribed by God's word.
I trust readers will develop a soft place in their heart for the Dinah Harris character as I have over the course of reading all three novels in the Dinah Harris mystery series. Many thanks to Julie Cave for her continued willingness to delve into difficult subject matter in her novels. Just in case you have not realized it yet, I will let you in on a little secret. The main character in her books is not Dinah Harris, it is Jesus Christ. In Pieces of Light as well as her two previous novels, Julie continuously weaves a message of hope, proclaiming the power of Jesus' sacrifice and His desire to redeem every life from even the darkest of sins and the most hopeless of circumstances. With two very clear gospel presentations in the book, this message resounds loud and clear.
I sincerely recommend Pieces of Light and the other novels in the Dinah Harris mystery series. Each of theses novels reads fine on its own, but readers will get even more out of the stories if they read them in chronological order. If you are already a Christian, you will be both challenged and edified by what you find in these pages. If you are a non-Christian, I trust you will see the message of the gospel that Julie has woven into the story. Let me close by taking a moment to express my heartfelt thanks to Julie Cave for writing these great books and Master Books for publishing them. Now that Julie is a blessed mother of two little ones, I know her free time for writing is probably a bit more limited these days, but I hope this isn't the last we've seen of Dinah Harris.
Julie Cave credits her parents for introducing her to books at a young age, which fostered an enduring passion for reading and writing. As a child, her favorite authors were Enid Blyton and C.S. Lewis and it wasn't long before she began copying them, writing short stories for anyone who would read them. At fifteen, two things happened which would shape her future: she heard a creation science speaker at her church which cemented her faith in God; and she finished her second novel-length story and realized she had fallen in love with writing novels. After school, she completed a health science degree, got married, and worked in banking and finance. All the while she wondered how she could combine her love of writing and her strong passion for Christian apologetics and evangelism. One weekend at a church camp, a friend asked, `What if the guy in charge of the Smithsonian Institution went missing?' The result - and the answer to that question - is Julie's maiden published novel, Deadly Disclosures. Since then, Julie has written and released the other two books in this trilogy, The Shadowed Mind and Pieces of Light. Julie has two daughters and lives in Brisbane, Australia with her family. She divides her time between being a wife, a mother and an author.
This book was provided by Master Books for review. The reviewer was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.
Dinah Harris' life is finally beginning to come together. With sobriety coming easier and her faith playing a larger role in her life as she joins a small group at church, Dinah is successfully working as a private consultant. She's soon drawn into a case that has all of the metro-DC area alarmed as churches become the targets of bombs - and not of the smoke variety. With the death toll rising and few clues pointing the way, the investigation depends on Harris' sharp profiling skills. It soon becomes clear that someone is seeking revenge on the church at large, and there seems to be no end in sight. Can Harris find and disarm the bomber before she becomes the next victim?
In Deadly Disclosures Dinah's life was full of darkness. She held such possibility, such skill, and was so broken that you couldn't help but cheer for her despite her many flaws and impossible decisions, but in Pieces of Light she is just that: full of promise, hope, light. At this point in her story the reader is no longer shaking their head sadly over her plight but instead standing on tiptoes, applauding her choices and basking in the glare of her newfound hope. The two novels have completely different feels to them and yet both showcase the transformation that a person undergoes after finding new life in Jesus. I love this change in Dinah and the expert way that Cave shows it in her writing.
Cave ends the trilogy in an unusual way. Dinah Harris' story is wrapped up, and while you don't know exactly what's going to happen, you can be awfully sure; but from the remnants of the first two books rises a new possibility for a sequel. This ending is so unforeseen, so unexpected, that it completely intrigued me - to the point that (after mulling over the ending for a few days) I broke out the computer and emailed Cave herself. Cave declared that this was only expected to be a trilogy, but that there may be a sequel on the way ... or maybe not. Either way, she plans to keep writing, and I, for one, can't wait to read the next book.
Thrilling Fiction from a Solid Biblical Worldview!
August 21, 2011
Pieces of Light is the third book in the Dinah Harris mystery series. I was a bit leery about diving into a fiction series without having read the first two installments. A lot of times an author builds off previous books, which is OK except when their subsequent offerings make little sense on their own. Fortunately, Pieces of Light is a stand-alone work, an enjoyable read all by itself, while benefiting from the depth of fleshed out characters and settings.
Julie Cave reminds me a little of fellow Christian authors Frank Peretti or Ted Dekker in that she doesn't pull any punches whilst delivering a riveting, yet relevant story. Her characters are flawed and deal with real-world problems. When I was a kid, I used to dread Christian film and fiction precisely because the characters, especially the protagonists, were so perfect and super spiritual once they got saved (which they inevitably did within the first few chapters or scenes). Cave's protagonist, ex-FBI agent Dinah Harris, deals with lingering alcoholism, dating as a Christian, and guilt over past sins while trying to solve the identity and motives of a church bomber. Cave also tackles uncomfortable issues like domestic violence and church hypocrisy with unflinching honesty.
This book is part page-turning thriller and part mystery with dashes of drama and thought-provoking dialogue thrown in for good measure. It is so well-written that, even though I figured out who the bomber was before the protagonist, I was still very much interested in why they resorted to terrorism.
As a Biblical Creationist, I was bemused to discover a further reason why Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis calls Julie Cave his favorite mystery writer. On page 188, I discovered Andy and Sandra Coleman of Genesis Legacy ( an apologetics ministry based out of Cincinnati, Ohio_ I'm smiling!), who are experiencing the same sort of misinformation campaign and legal opposition from humanists and atheists to their proposed Ark Experience attraction in Kentucky that the real-world Ark Encounter has been subjected to. As you might expect, this book contains an excellent refutation of the false charges leveled against the Ark Encounter and reminds us that our Founding fathers fought for freedom of religion, not freedom from it.
Bottom line: It's an entertaining read with a solid Biblical worldview. Well worth picking up.
I'm a fan of mystery novels. This was a pretty good one, and although I might have picked up on who I thought the culprit was before it was revealed, I couldn't be 100% certain. I hadn't read any Dinah Harris novels before this, but I was pleased that it wasn't really necessary to the story. There may have been some darker edges of the story that would have been more apparent, but all in all, it was a good read, with almost no need to know the history of the characters to get the tale.
I liked the style and pacing of the book, and the story was pretty good, too. The way Christianity and faith are woven throughout is plausible, and it makes the story more relatable. The main character is a Christian, and she is working through personal issues that render her more reliant on Jesus. That, friends, is the truth of my own life, so why not include it in a mystery novel - it made the character more honest.
The inclusion of some opponents to Christianity in the form of a Senator and atheist group is also very relevant and is woven seamlessly into the tale, including such topics as moral relativism, humanism, and the intolerance of religion that is increasingly apparent in our country. There is a clear opening for a next tale in the Dinah Harris mystery collection - and I, for one, look forward to the opportunity to read that.
All in all, I recommend the book. It was interesting, engaging, and showed the true-to-life situations that a Christian who works in secular areas will sometimes find herself embroiled in. I was caught from page 1, and you will be too!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255