Strong Romantic Suspense
I don’t know why I requested a review copy of Beowulf, as I didn’t particularly enjoy the last Ronie Kendig book I reviewed. Perhaps I thought I should give Ronie Kendig another chance. I’m glad I did.
Timbrel Hogan is a dog handler with private firm A Breed Apart, working with Beowulf (surprise!), an explosives detection dog. James Anthony “Candyman” VanAllen is more than half in love with her, even though she won’t give him the time of day. When Timbrel and Beowulf are assigned to Tony’s unit, the two are forced to work together in a suspenseful plot that moves from Iraq to the US.
There were still aspects of Beowulf that didn’t appeal to me. I thought there were too many minor characters, and I had trouble working out who many of them were (and were they even relevant to the story?). There was a glossary of military terms at the start of the novel: I would have found a list of characters far more useful. And while I know Ronie is known for “rapid-fire fiction”, there were times I felt the writing was too rapid-fire. It almost felt as though she hadn’t finished one thought before moving on to the next. In particular, I found the parts where we moved to Iraq confusing, as it wasn’t clear who the viewpoint character was, or what their connection was to the main plot.
But I really liked Timbrel and Tony (although I didn’t quite get what Tony saw in Timbrel at the start). They were both flawed but real characters, both with their own internal struggles. Tony has a strong Christian faith; Timbrel moves from not believing in God at the start of the book to a Christian faith at the end. And I really liked the progression of their relationship, and the way Tony demonstrated endless patience with Timbrel, reflecting God’s endless patience with us. This, to me, was the strength of the book.
Thanks to Barbour Books and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review. You can find out more about Ronie Kendig at her website.