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The Stronghold, by Lisa Carter
As a tribal cop on the Apache reservation, Pilar To-Clanny has witnessed much brutality. She experienced it first-hand in her own life. Now she must battle the memories of her past in order to protect the young women of the reservations from a vicious kidnapper and murderer she knows all too well. Her one ally in the race against time is FBI special agent Alex Torres, another painful part of her past life.
Number of Pages: 320
Vendor: Abingdon Press
Publication Date: 2016
|Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)|
Drug violence, revenge killings, and kidnapping are nothing new along the U.S.-Mexican border. But now teenage girls are disappearing from the Apache reservations of Arizona and New Mexico.
Apache tribal cop Pilar To-Clanny and FBI Special Agent Alex Torres have a long and tumultuous history. When someone close to them disappears, Pilar and Alex must risk everything to rescue the child, including facing the unresolved issues of the past, and venture into the no-mans land of the drug cartels.
Can Pilar and Alex work together to stop a sadistic killer before he strikes again? On a quest to rescue those they love, who will rescue them?
janjanbirmingham,alabamaAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5the strongholdJuly 1, 2016janjanbirmingham,alabamaAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 0Value: 0Meets Expectations: 0good title because it keeps you in a stronghold to finish
great book n author
KavRCanadaGender: female5 Stars Out Of 5MesmerizingJune 9, 2016KavRCanadaGender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Definitely on the edgy side. The Stronghold has a Criminal Minds kind of vibe though it stops shy of being as graphic. Yes, this story covers difficult subject matter -- serial killings, human trafficking and the violent history between the Apache nation and Mexico -- so it is a hard read at times. One that haunted me when I put it down. But there is also such healing and hope and the inspirational message comes across with startling clarity.
Carter has created beautifully flawed characters. They are by no means perfect and their raw and honest reactions are proof of that. Alex is a Christian but that doesn't mean he reacts in a Christ-like manner all the time. He's a work in progress as we all are. Watching him fight against his natural reactions as he struggles to apply his faith in different situations was inspiring.
By contrast, Pilar is haunted by her past -- angry, hurting, she's a survivor but it's taken its toll. She fights against the notion of a loving God with all the fury of her bottled up rage. A stunning portrayal of God meeting us right where we are.
Alex and Pilar have a past which the author reveals by slow degrees through flashbacks. You might say the romance is as mysterious and the suspense! Both are mesmerizing. My heart was racing the whole read! I figured out some pieces of the puzzle fairly easily; others simply floored me. I love a suspense that keeps me on my toes.
A stunning, thought-provoking romantic suspense that testifies of the relentless love God has for all of us.
GrandaddyAAge: Over 65Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5Not a Safe PlaceMay 9, 2016GrandaddyAAge: Over 65Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Lisa Carter is a new author to me but I will be watching for more books from her. I was caught up in the story from the beginning. Stories about Indians have always held my interest, especially when they are cast in a positive light. The heroine of the story, Pilar To-Clanny, is an Apache who has experienced some terrible atrocities but she is strong in her desire to help others. The book is very suspenseful, and rather intense at times, but there are lighthearted moments as well, particularly during the flashbacks to the past when Pilar, Alex, and her brother were kids. After all that had happened to her, the heroine deals with some major trust issues regarding God and men and struggles greatly with unforgiveness. I sensed an overshadowing of spiritual warfare when the law-abiding characters talked about The Wicked One and his stronghold. The descriptions of his characteristics were very realistic and reminded me of the devil. I recommend The Stronghold to more mature readers who enjoy suspense. If you like mild, sedate romance novels this one may not be for you although there is a thread of romance through the book. I totally enjoyed the story.
bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: 55-65Gender: female3 Stars Out Of 5Difficult to readMarch 23, 2016bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 3Value: 4Meets Expectations: 2Reading this novel was not really a pleasant experience for me. There were several factors that made it tough reading.
One was the setting. The novel takes place on the Arizona rez and in Mexican mountains. Both of these locations are foreign to me and I had trouble imagining them in my mind. It was almost like the author felt I should be familiar with the scenery and geological features so did not do what I felt was an adequate job of setting each scene for me.
Another factor was the ethnicity of the characters. They were Apache and Mexicans. The author used many words from their native languages that were new to me and I didn't understand. There was also the practice of calling people by different parts of their full name that I found confusing. I didn't like the behavior of many of the Apache characters. There seemed to be lots of lying and deception and putting Apache honor before truth or honesty.
And then there were the characters themselves. I did not find myself being drawn in by them or feeling compassion for them. I found Alex to be an odd man. He was an FBI agent yet had unrestrained emotions. Rather than being a strong male character, I found his emotional outbursts to be disconcerting and disliked. I don't like a lead male character who cannot control himself, whether it be sexual desires or angry outbursts. I didn't like Pilar (or Pia or Maria or Caterina or Mia) very well. Yes, she'd been sexually assaulted and gravely hurt in the past. I did not feel she had successfully worked her way through the hurt and was captive to it. I did not see her as a strong female lead character who would garner my admiration.
The subject of the plot is female kidnapping and sexual slavery of Apache women and children by Mexicans. There was a long history to this practice and it was being done in the novel by a drug lord. That was a hard subject to read about.
Perhaps what I found most disconcerting about the novel was the author's writing style. There were many incomplete sentences and prepositional phrases as sentences. Sometimes sentences were one word. Or two. The choppy nature of the text was distracting. I prefer authors use accepted rules of language to create a suspenseful scene, not a choppy writing style.
I found the structure of the novel difficult as well. It was not until I was about half way through that the whole thing began to make sense to me. The flashbacks helped flesh out the current situation but it took several of them to do so. Perhaps there would have been a better way to structure the story so I would have been drawn into it right away.
I would recommend this novel to readers who would enjoy lots of violence incorporated into the setting of Apache Mexican interaction. There is a strong Christian element in the form of Alex. (Another reason to wonder at his uncontrolled angry outbursts.) There is a lengthy discussion guide included.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
Rhonda Nash-hallMadison Heights VAAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5compelling mystery and romanceMarch 18, 2016Rhonda Nash-hallMadison Heights VAAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 0Meets Expectations: 5What a fascinating mystery and romance The Stronghold turned out to be! Pilar To-Clanny is now working as the Apache tribal cop on the reservation and Alex Torres is now working as an FBI Special Agent and they are placed in each others' paths yet again to solve the crimes of the missing young people after discovering bodies on the reservation. It has been a long long time since Pilar and Alex were young and in love and there is a great deal of anger, hurt, and unresolved issues creating baggage between the two. They find clues pointing to thee Mexican drug cartels in the crimes and when her son and his grandmother run off to try and save Tagalong, they have to choice but to return to the very place that holds an important piece of their own past history. Can they work together without killing each other? Can they save the ones they love from the wicked person who is kidnapping and killing innocent lives?
I'll be honest, at first, I thought this might be a boring book and that I might find a language barrier as the first pages used some of the language of the local tribes. But I was quickly very pleasantly surprised as I fell in love with Pilar and Alex and just wanted their open wounds to heal. I could see they were broken but I didn't yet know why. I was compelled to read to see what their history entailed and to find out who is carrying out hideous acts. This novel could easily be an episode of Criminal Minds. I am a huge fan of Criminal Minds so this book fed my addiction. The romance was an added bonus.
I rated this book 5 stars and would like to read more books by Lisa Carter.
I received a copy of this novel from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.