For four years Kate O’Brian has lived a quiet life in the small town of Shelter Cove, Arkansas. Kate entered the Witness Protection Program after testifying against the man who attacked her and murdered her twin sister. When her attacker is released due to faulty evidence, Kate faces a subpoena calling her back to St. Louis to testify again. U. S. Marshal Tony Deluca, who guarded Kate during the first two trials, is sent to Shelter Cove to escort her back to St. Louis. When Kate’s attacker disappears, it becomes a race against the clock to keep Kate safe and stop the Blue-Eyed Serial Killer.
I recently discovered the Defenders of Justice series and I must admit that I am happy I did. This novel is the second installment in the Defenders of Justice series. In this story we have different main characters than we did in book one. There is Kate, a survivor of a vicious crime, and U.S. Marshal Tony Deluca, who helped her get through the original trials. Since the U. S. Marshals are involved in the Witness Protection Program I wasn’t surprised by the fact that Kate was in the program.
I found this novel to be well written and constructed, the characters are well developed and realistic, their struggles understandable and thought provoking. I also found the age gap between the two main characters to be interesting, and I enjoyed the fact that the character of Kate was around my own age.
The night that Kate was attacked, and her sister killed, was something straight out of “Criminal Minds,” though I was thankful that it was not overtly descriptive with all of the horrible things that happened to the two sisters. I love a good mystery, but, for me, the less blood and gore the better.
I live between St. Louis and Arkansas, so reading about the weather in this novel, as well as in book one, was interesting. Though I have not, and hope not to, live through the any mudslides caused by torrential downpours in Arkansas. I am well aware that this does, in fact, occur and can be extremely dangerous to anyone caught out in it. These details helped bring this book to life for me. I must admit though, when Batterson seemed unaware of the danger of the mudslide issue, I was surprised. I understand that the two locations are far apart, however, it struck me as odd.
As for the Blue-Eyed Killer, in the beginning of the novel, he did come off as a very realistic killer. The differences between previous cases and Kate’s attack are substantial, however, could easily be explained due to his own ignorance. Even the most careful killer is human and prone to mistakes.
By the end of the novel, the Blue-Eyed Killer had moved into an almost unrealistic, unbelievable realm. Though I suppose it is possible, it seems highly unlikely.
After reading book one, “Fatal Frost,” I had held some hope that my unanswered questions from that novel would be answered, in at least a small amount, in this novel but they were not, which was somewhat disappointing, though not unexpected. However, you do learn a little bit more about some of the characters in book one, and I hope the same thing will happen again in book three.
I would recommend this novel to fans of Christian romantic suspense.
I received my copy of this novel from the publishers at Bethany House through their book reviewer program for the sole purpose of providing an honest review. I also have permission from the publishers to use an image of the cover artwork above.
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