Tested by Fire - eBook The Baxter Series #1
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|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Vendor: Multnomah Books
Publication Date: 2009
The night an explosion rattles the windows in the sleepy little lakeside town of Baxter, GA, Jed Wilson's life falls apart. A houseboat belonging to his best friend, Mike McConnell, has sunk into the lake with no sign of survivors. As reports trickle in that divers have found the bodies of Mike's wife and three children but no sign of Mike, Jed sinks deeper into an alcoholic haze. Then a witness claims to have seen Mike at the site after the explosion. Jed's new purpose in life is to find Mike and clear him of the murder charges hanging over him, but he must first outwit the FBI. While the basic plot is solid, Jed's sudden decision to quit alcohol cold turkey is no more convincing than Mike's behavior when he is finally found. God appears mainly in the lives of the secondary characters, such as Jed's wife, Rhonda, who discovers faith as a way to cope with the recent tragedy, or as a deus ex machina to solve Jed's and Mike's problems. This first novel is marginally recommended for large, comprehensive collections. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Herman's debut novel begins a series based in the small lakeside town of Baxter, near Atlanta. This first effort capably fulfills the series' promise to create "an absorbing story with biblically satisfying solutions" based on recurring characters. The story begins with a shocking tragedy when Mike McConnell's houseboat inexplicably explodes and sinks right before the neighbors' eyes, apparently killing all five members of his young family. But the plot takes a sinister turn when evidence suggests there is a lone survivor and the deaths may have been murder. The small town is beset with loss, trauma, the FBI and the modern media circus, and each character from the big-hearted county sheriff to the morally scrupulous local newspaper editor is faced with difficult choices in the aftermath. Jed Wilson, Mike McConnell's best friend and ardent drinking buddy, sets out on his own in search of the truth. Jed's life has been sadly warped by guilt from a past transgression, and his search for the truth of the mysterious explosion leads him down a path of spiritual discovery. The novel's sermons about God's limitless grace are nicely integrated with believable and sympathetic characters. Herman does wax mystical when she introduces Secret Service-like guardian angels dressed in plaid shirts and jeans, and her prose sometimes feels like a cross between the television scripts for Touched by an Angel and Law and Order. Still, she also spins an occasional line of real beauty, hinting at the poet that she is. (Oct.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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