25 April 2012

Review: Hiding in Plain Sight by Amy Wallace

Ashley Walters has recently moved to Montezuma, Georgia, a small town with a sizeable Mennonite community. She is still mourning the death of her brother, Eric, who died ten years ago when she was eighteen, an unsolved crime that inspired her decision to join the police. One night, a callout to a store robbery introduces her to Bradley Yoder, a thirteen-year-old Mennonite boy who is searching for his birth mother following the death of his adoptive father. She befriends Bradley and his handsome uncle, Jonathan, and finds that Bradley is implicated in a series of accidents at the Yoder farm.

She has also started dating for the first time since Eric’s death, after being set up by a neighbour. Patrick is a marriage and relationship counsellor and a Christian (even though Ashley hasn't been on speaking terms with God since Eric died). He is on the town's revitalisation committee, which has plans to revitalise Montezuma by capitalising on its Mennonite heritage. But the investor wants to forbid the Mennonites from sharing the faith that defines them as a group, which causes friction.

I thought I knew where Hiding in Plain Sightwas going after the first few chapters, but then it changed to become more of a romantic suspense, with the addition of the farm accidents and occasional scenes from the point of view of the vandal, as we try to puzzle out his identity. I liked the subtle way the author introduced this, and the way it gradually grew in importance as the story progresses, while other plot points that I had thought would be important turned out not to be.

I really liked the way Hiding in Plain Sightdealt with Ashley's attitude towards God. She softens gradually throughout the story, in a way that felt a lot more realistic than many Christian authors manage. I also liked the strong underlying theme of faith and forgiveness, and the way the author built it in without preaching, but without compromise. 

There were a couple of conversations that I had to reread to work out who was actually speaking, although that could have been because I was reading an ARC with some formatting issues and a couple of typos. (An ARC is an advance reader copy of the book, provided to people like booksellers, librarians and reviewers in advance of publication. Sometimes these are the 'clean' ebook version of the printed book, but often, as in this case, they are unproofed copies so there can be mistakes.)

Overall, Hiding in Plain Sightwas a well-written book with a solid underlying Christian theme, and some lovely poetic language hidden between the more suspenseful scenes. Thanks to Harvest House and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

No comments:

Post a Comment