Monday, June 9, 2014

Sidetracked (Book Review)


Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book, at no cost to me, for review purposes.  I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions in this post are my own.

From the publisher:
Thirty-four-year-old Delanie Miller has fled her dark past and is now settled into a quiet life in small-town Kentucky.  She has friends, a faux "family" who lives in her house, and a loving boyfriend who may soon ask her to marry him.  Her aching dream of a husband and future children are about to come true.  But protecting this life of promise means keeping a low profile and guarding the truth of her past—from everyone.

The town's peace is shattered when Delanie's friend, Clara, is murdered, and Delanie finds her body.  The police chief quickly zeroes in on Billy King, a simple-minded young man whom Delanie knows would never hurt Clara.  Delanie can hunt down evidence and speak out publicly against the chief—only at great risk of her own exposure.  But after suffering such injustice in own her past, how can she keep silent now?  Delanie must find a way to uncover Clara’s murderer yet save the life she’s created for herself—the deceit-ridden life that will forever distance her from others and God. 
With page-turning intensity, Sidetracked hurtles between Delanie’s trauma in Redbud and the chaos of her past.  Those experiences forced Delanie to reinvent her present—but at what cost to her future? 
Part of the Seatbelt Suspense collection from author Brandilyn Collins, Sidetracked fulfills Collins' promise for these books:  "fast-paced, character-driven suspense with myriad twists and an interwoven thread of faith."

Sidetracked begins quickly, with Clara's murder occurring on just the third page of Chapter 1.  Throughout this account we get hints about Delanie's mysterious past.  The rest of the book jumps between Delanie's past and present.  This sounds as though it would be disjointed, but it flows beautifully.

Sidetracked is a page-turner.  I read it in every free moment, and I finished in two or three days.  I couldn't wait to see how it ended, but I resisted the temptation to peek!

I appreciate that it's a standalone novel, and the author tied up the loose ends into a bow in the last two chapters.  I don't enjoy being suspended for months because the next installment hasn't yet been released.  I want to know what happens!

I also appreciate that Sidetracked is family-friendly.  Aside from a brief description of the murder victim's body, which was necessary to show the brutality of the crime, the book contains no gory scenes, no profanity, and no adult themes.  I wouldn't hesitate to let my 16-year-old read it if he wanted to.

Sidetracked is one of the first novels in the Jerry B. Jenkins Select Line from 1Source.

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