Thriller DebutScott, Jessie and Ashley Miller are the perfect family. Scott loves his wife and eighteen-year-old daughter, and little interrupts their idyllic life … until Ashley disappears one night while visiting her boyfriend, Brandon Johnson and the reader realises the early introduction of an ominous tone was foreshadowing her kidnapping … or her murder.
Miller is Catholic and appears to believe in karma as much as he believes in God. In the beginning, The Earth Bleeds Red isn't so much Christian fiction as relatively clean general market fiction written from a Christian world view, but by the middle we see Scott rediscovering his faith. I haven’t read The Shack, but I suspect there are similar elements in the plot. The difference is The Earth Bleeds Red doesn’t have any of the theological ‘issues’ reviewers reported with The Shack, the faith journey feels real, and the writing is good. Better than good.
I did not see her sleep, or wake, or even fade away. I did not see my girls talking, or keeping to themselves. The things I did not see are all I remember.
The first portion of The Earth Bleeds Red is written in first person, from Scott’s viewpoint, and the writing here is strong and full of imagery:
She dreamed in a world where everything was black and white, and no one carried their own shadow.
The second part of The Earth Bleeds Red was written in third person, and the writing here wasn’t as strong. I think these sections could have been better integrated with the first person section to build suspense (as it was, the third person scenes acted almost as flashbacks, which detracted from the forward motion of the story). While the plot was generally structured well, there were sections in the middle which dragged.
However, I really didn’t like the end of the story. I don’t want to give away spoilers, so I’ll try and be vague, but I think there were a couple of a couple of minor plot points that detracted from the overall ending, at least for me. One of these came out of nowhere and (I thought) should have been signalled earlier. In addition, there is some sensuous content and some swearing including use of the ‘f’ word.
Despite this, the story overall was well-plotted and well-written with interesting character who were forced into an impossible situation.
Thanks to the author for providing a free ebook for review. You can find out more about Jackson Paul Baer at his website.