Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Before I Wake

by Dee Henderson
Published by Tyndale House Publishers (2006)
416 pages

“I still don’t understand why God lets evil … exist. It hurts. How can God let us get so hurt if He loves us?”

That is the question Rae Gabriella is asking herself when she moves to the small town of Justice, Illinois. Physically, emotionally, and spiritually wounded, the former undercover agent arrives in town just in time to get caught up in another mystery. Young women, with no obvious connection, are suddenly dying of seemingly natural causes. Rae, with the aid of town sheriff, Nathan Justice, and private detective, Bruce Chapel (former fiancé), tries to discover the underlying truth about these deaths. Will she become the next victim?

Throw in a union strike that could potentially decimate the small town, several deaths from a designer drug at a rave party, plus a potential love triangle and you’ve got the foundation for the typical page turning Dee Henderson novel. What is not typical is how the book ends. It is not the neat cookie cutter ending often expected in so many novels and it leaves you hoping for another book – soon.

As usual, Henderson strengthens her novels by using exhaustive research. She seems to be very familiar with the methods of law enforcement, making her stories believable. Yet, she does not bore the reader by being overly detailed. Her characters are generally likable, if not a bit too perfect at times. Fans of Dee Henderson’s The Witness novel and the O’Malley series will also notice familiar names woven into this book and makes you wonder if they will play a part in future novels.

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