12 August 2013

Review and Giveaway: Carolina Reckoning by Lisa Carter

Alison Monaghan has just found proof of her husband’s infidelity. She hasn’t loved him for a long time, and this is the end. But instead of confronting the controlling fault-finder, she is awakened to the news Frank has been murdered, leaving her an almost-destitute widow with two teenage children.

Detective Sergeant Mike Barefoot is in charge of the murder investigation, but finds himself more interested in the beautiful widow and her growing Christian faith, a faith he rejected years ago. He finds himself competing for her affections with a mature Christian—and protecting her from an unknown threat.

While I found the book easy to get in to, I did feel it was let down by the writing. Too many characters were introduced in too short a time, and it seemed most of them had red hair. It was difficult to keep them all straight—a particular problem in a mystery, where one of the characters is likely to be the murderer (and others may well be additional victims). And Alison suffered from TSTL syndrome (too stupid to live). I know conflict is the essence of good fiction, but when the 911 operator says stay outside away from the intruder, why did she have to go inside?

I’m not convinced Carolina Reckoning knew what it was doing. At first it seemed to be a mystery, with a dead body and a cast of interesting characters, many of whom were hiding secrets. But at times it seemed to be more of a romantic suspense, as it didn’t follow some of the conventions of the mystery genre and the love triangle seemed to take on more importance than the underlying mystery.

The Christian aspect of the novel was strong and generally well-presented. Frank’s murder challenged several characters to reconsider their faith. A solid debut in Christian mystery, an under-represented genre.

Thanks to Abingdon Press and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review. You can find out more about Lisa Carter at her website.


Abingdon Press have kindly offered a free paperback copy of Carolina Reckoning for one of my blog readers. The only catch is they can only post to US addresses. So, if you live in the US, leave a comment below with a contact email address before midnight on 18 August to be in with a chance to win. I can't accept entries without a contact email address because otherwise I have no way to contact the winner (which is what happened with my last giveaway).

1 comment:

  1. I do read romantic suspense sometimes. Your comment about not going inside, and then she goes inside anyway, does sound like she wasn't using her logic very well. Maybe if I read it in the context of the story, I'd understand better. I enjoyed reading your review.