Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Tale of Love and Forgiveness

The second book in the Ladies of Summerhill series is much like the first. A young woman, Charlotte Hale, wants to be a newspaper reporter. When offered the chance of an undercover assignment, she jumps at it, although he has qualms about the ethical nature of her assignment, particularly after she meets her handsome employer, Daniel Wilmont.

The plot is predictable and the book much too long. As a novella, it might work better. The author has a tendency to wander about in the middle and then rush the ending. The prose is stilted and the character's speech is very formal. I assume the author thinks this is the way people talked at this period.

The Newport setting is intriguing. I enjoyed reading about the manners of the denizens of the cottages and their relationship to the working class. The themes of forgiveness and a young woman finding her relationship to God are a plus and the author handles them with delicacy. If you like romance with a Christian undertone, you may enjoy this book.

I review this book as part of the Thomas Nelson Book Sneeze Program.  

Friday, December 24, 2010

An Exploration of Good and Evil

Three Seconds is a fast paced crime story, but much more. The plot revolves around the Eastern Europeon Mafia drug traffic. Infiltrators are used by the Swedish police to get information on criminal activities and in this book to attempt to stop the trade.

The central character, Piet Hoffman, works for the Swedish police as an infiltrator. A man with a criminal past, he is used by the police but also distrusted. In the course of his duties, he takes on a dangerous mission with the blessings of the highest levels of government authority. It is in this juxtaposition of the criminal world with the government bureaucracy that the exploration of good and evil occurs.

I found the book fascinating and highly recommend it to lovers of crime fiction and to those interested in character study. For the crime lovers, the clever ruses employed by the criminal element are delightful. (I just hope law enforcement officers are reading this as well as the criminals.) For those interested in psychology, the characters, from Piet, the infiltrator, to Grens, the harden cop, and of course, the beaurocrats, are well drawn and thought provoking.  

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What a Marvelous Way to Spend a Year

A Year With God is a unique devotional experience. The book uses God's words from the Old Testament to illustrate the themes of: love and hate, hope and fear, joy and sadness, perseverance and quitting, and many more.

I found the length of the devotionals exactly right for a few minutes of meditation in the morning, or any other time of day that is appropriate for the reader. While not being heavily theological, the devotionals were easy to read and gave you something to think about. I find it helpful to have something that starts my thinking on a topic. I don't like long treatises that try force you to adopt the writer's point of view.

For anyone who wants an uplifting start to the day and an assurance of God's love and care for us, I can highly recommend this book.

I reviewed this book as part of the Thomas Nelson Book Sneeze Program.