Possession  -     By: Rene Gutteridge
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Tyndale House / 2010 / Paperback

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Product Description

Police detective Vance Graegan quits the force in an attempt to save his marriage. During his family's cross-country relocation, the movers hold his belongings for ransom. He's determined not to let this stunt ruin his family's new beginning, but soon everything begins to unravel in the hands of Vance's past. Will a little boy's innocent faith bring the hope they desperately need?

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 400
Vendor: Tyndale House
Publication Date: 2010
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 1414324340
ISBN-13: 9781414324340

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Publisher's Description

In the aftermath of investigating the D.C. sniper case, police detective Vance Graegan is burned out on life and love. Hoping to save his marriage, he quits the force and moves his wife and son to the other side of the country. But when the movers decide to hold his belongings for ransom, Vance is determined to ensure that his family’s new beginning is not ruined. Soon, though, losing his possessions becomes the least of his problems as everything they are fighting for begins to unravel in the hands of Vance’s past. In an unforgettable climax, a little boy’s innocent faith brings a group of desperate people to their knees. What is at stake counts for everything, but nothing can prepare Vance for who is behind it.


Rene Gutteridge turns a man's desire for a fresh start into a living nightmare in her newest suspense thriller, Possession. Vance Graegan is moving to California with his wife Lindy and his eight-year-old son Connor, trying to forget the haunting D.C. sniper shootings he investigated. But before Vance joins his family in Redwood City, Lindy and Connor get a surprise—the movers are holding their belongings for ransom. At first glance, Vance's problem was signing a contract he didn't read. But the threats he receives tell him the movers possess something from his past that would hurt him and his former detective partner, Erin, if it were revealed. Vance just wants to live a normal life with Connor and Lindy. However, the movers' threats force him to resume his detective duties.

Through the ordeal, the least-worried family member is Connor, who became a Christian after watching a television preacher. Vance and Lindy learn from Connor to obey Jesus’ command in Matthew 18:3: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." When the Graegans choose to trust Christ, amazing things happen.

The major characters are believable and relatable. Seeing the Graegans try to cope without their belongings makes the reader appreciate God's blessings and reconsider what is important in life. Fun minor characters add occasional levity. Vance's upscale mother-in-law and Lindy's talkative lawyer provide comic relief in tense situations.

Guttridge masters the suspense genre by turning the most trivial event into a life-threatening dark alley. Every knock on the door of the Graegan's new condo is a threat. Gutteridge doesn't shy away from graphic depictions to intensify the situation. We see a couple of freshly dead bodies and Vance's flashbacks to the sniper shootings describe the attacks in detail. Because of these aspects, I would only recommend Possession for mature readers. The book also includes an interview with Gutteridge about her inspirations for Possession and discussion questions for a group. – Alexandra Mellen, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com

Product Reviews

4.5 Stars Out Of 5
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(4.6 out of 5)
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  1. Atlanta
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    September 20, 2011
    Nora Finding Hope
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I was thrilled to receive a review copy of this suspenseful tale. Rene delves into a scenario so many people are facing right now. So many have recently lost so much due to catastrophic situations beyond their control such as hurricanes, fire and flood. Rene had experienced the Oklahoma bombing, saw the devastation and watched how others dealt with tremendous loss. She wanted to explore the idea of losing everything, what that would mean and look like?

    Vance, the main character learns quickly how short life really is as they try to track down a sniper in Washington D.C. Vance and the other officers desperately try to come up with a common denominator between the shootings in order to determine where this ghost sniper would strike next. After that ordeal, Vance suffers from Post-traumatic stress disorder.

    The author became interested in PTSD after she experienced the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. It's similar to what vets experience but different. Rene does an amazing job of creating multi-layered characters that you instantly care about. I loved her first line, ‘Can you please state your full name?" She has the reader in court and Linda Greagan on the stand. I was swept into the story and was fascinated as to where Rene would take me next.

    Vance reminded me of Bruce Willis in the Die Hard movie, who is smart, rough and tough but unlike Bruce who was saving the city, Vance had had enough of his job and wanted out. He was ready to start a new kind of life. He wanted to help his wife achieve her dream. Lindi's dream was to own a Deli. It was something they could do together. His friends laughed at him but he was serious. He wasted enough years on the force risking his life for nothing. Now, was the time for his wife and son Conner.

    Just when Vance thought things were going well, his wife quickly found a place to live, she had a lead on a perfect location for their Deli and they arrived in CA ahead of schedule.

    Vance is in such a hurry to get this new life started and meet his family in CA he doesn't take the time to read the fine print of his moving contract. All heck breaks loose when he gets to California to meet the movers. Moving is stressful on a good day but Vance's experience is extreme.

    His wife, Lindi, hears this from the moving worker, "Ma'am you are contractually obligated to pay us what you owe us." That's fine but this wasn't the price they agreed on.

    Vance is about to go ballistic when he hears this from his wife. What was happening? Vance learned over the years he had to departmentalize things; he couldn't get emotional because if he did he would miss something important. He would miss something he needed to solve the case. He was trained. Vance went into police mode to help him handle this crazy moving situation - just like he'd do with any case he was on.

    On the gentler side of the story, I liked how their son, Conner, watched a televangelist on TV and got to know and accept Jesus has his personal savior. His parents weren't excited about this event and hoped it would go away, when he grew up. They actually got scared when this behavior didn't end. So, they took him to therapists to be observed. But the boy just kept being himself and would innocently share his relationship with Jesus and what it meant to him.

    I enjoyed Conner and the beauty of a child's love relationship and faith in Jesus is precious. I adored the part when Connor explained to his mom how to pray, "You have to always thank God first. That's important. If you don't be thankful, then you miss out on what God's doing. You don't see it_ She wanted to hurry her son along in the prayer and Lindi says, "But let's pretend we're getting ready to be in a car wreck, and we need God's help fast. Then what kind of prayer do you pray?"

    "You don't pray then, Mom, "Conner said. "You just trust that He's there." His mom saw great wisdom in her son's eyes.

    I loved the relational dynamic in this novel, the excitement, the honest spiritual thread and how Rene masterfully blends it all together. Amazing!

    I highly recommend reading Possession, the book is a great escape into a world Rene creates, to make you laugh, sweep you up into a suspenseful drama and help you think about a few things along the way. Great combination! Thanks Rene for another book that had so much to offer at book club and is just a plain fun read.

    The Book Club Network www.bookfun.org

  2. Morganfield, KY
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A good read
    June 4, 2011
    Doris Wright
    Morganfield, KY
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    The book overall was good. A real page turner. In the end I think there should have been one more chapter or an epilogue summing up everything. I would have liked to know if they stayed in California, did they open the deli, did Vance get help, did mother and daughter become closer?
  3. Wanham, Alberta
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Another great thriller by Rene
    February 13, 2011
    Wanham, Alberta
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    My Review

    Once again, Rene has written a page turner. I was expecting it, having read other of her books, but was actually surprised when i turned the last page that i had read all day... The story is told from both Vance's view point and his wife Lindy's. Very well written, sit-on-the-edge of your seat (which i literally did) action and suspense from the very first page to the last. What more can i say, without being redundant? It's another awesome thriller by Rene.

    Thanks to Rene Gutteridge for this book. She did not ask me for a review, nor did i need to write a positive one! I look forward to reading Listen.
  4. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    must read thriller list for 2011!
    January 17, 2011
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Renee's attention to detail and just enough Je ne c'est pas to tangle me deep into the book that it was all I could think about for two days while I read it. It was soooooooooo delicious! I love how the scenes played out and messed with me - just when you thought it was one thing, it was something else, and just when you didn't think it could be this, it was that! She kept me on toes through out the whole book. I loved the theme throughout the book of hope and redemption - that you can't hide from the truth. I loved how involved you got with the characters! Lindy was a doll, but definitely not a push over - she seemed like any one of my friends, and Vance - he was what I imagined a burnt out cop would be like -- along with the slew of other characters that kept the story hopping! Possession had me chasing nightmares right along with them!

    So if you're a thrill rider, this one won't disappoint!

    *review copy provided in exchange for my honest opinion
  5. 4 Stars Out Of 5
    Compelling Read
    January 6, 2011
    Random Ruthie
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Because I enjoyed Rene Gutteridge's Listen, when I spotted another available for review, I took the opportunity. And I was not disappointed. Everything seems to be going right at first, but once the ransom comes in, things start getting weird. It's a small cast of characters and intertwined in a way that will surprise readers. I personally figured it out as I was reading, but kept thinking I was wrong. Even with that, the book was still quite enjoyable! Eight year old Connor's faith is impressive. Though the times when he prays comes across as silly, it's only because that's the way his parents see it at first. His influence helps his parents get through the ordeal and help them realize that the God he believes in is real. Tyndale House Publishers provided this book for review.
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