The concluding line of Deadly Ties by Vicki Hinze is a fitting synopsis for this fast paced romantic suspense that revisits the Crossroad Crisis Center in the panhandle of Florida and the characters associated with it as they struggle to bring reconciliation to their lives. At the center of the story is Annie, her daughter Lisa, and an abusive husband by the name of Dutch who loves his own power and control far more than his wife. Having given up custody of her daughter to a friend years earlier, Annie and her daughter have been kept apart until recently by their fear of the man who will allow stop at no ends to posses Annie all to himself. Throw into the mix a former Special Operations officer who has loved that daughter from a distance, a group of his ex special forces buddies who call themselves the Shadow Watchers, and a nefarious anarchist organization dedicated to nothing but money, death, and power and you have a perfect recipe for a gripping story.
While the plot of an international anarchist group like NINA, Nihilists in Anarchy, and the Shadow Watchers determination to bring it down may seem like the big story it really serves as a vehicle to plunge us into the lives of characters conflicted by their own hearts. That isn’t to say this is not a rousing story of good vs evil because it is. NINA was introduced more in less detail in Hinze first story of the series, Forget Me Not, but becomes a full-blown portrait of the human heart given to nothing but greed and unbridled power in this successful sequel. One member of NINA, in particular, offers a perfect picture of what happens when people try to compartmentalize their lives in such a way they think their dark actions have no relationship to the rest of their live or the people they love.
Hinze touches on a number of themes including love, trust, faith, and hope. More than one character in Deadly Ties is trying to escape their past while all the time running headlong into it. Our main character, Annie, has real emotions, the kind that dares to show a believer in Christ questioning why God allows the terrible things that happen in her life. When Annie contemplates the events that led to her marrying her abusive husband she asks what believers have been asking since David in the Psalms – Why? “Why, God? Why didn’t you send me at least one bad feeling? Couldn’t you spare me even one piddling stomach flutter? I’ve been loyal, obedient. Why didn’t I get something?”
While romantic suspense is not my first choice in fiction, writers like Hinze, Terri Blackstock, and Robin Carrol keep me coming back because they touch on themes about the life we live from day to day. The good romantic suspense authors understand the trick to making these themes that are common to all us compelling fiction is through plot, pacing, and enough suspense to keep us wondering what will happen next while rooting for the hero to overcome the complexities of his or her life. Hinze has all of these nailed in spades as she reminds us – deadly ties might be hard to endure, but from them can spring ties of hope and joy
Reviewed by Tim George
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Multnomah Books
Publication Date: February 2011
Advanced reader’s copy provided by Multnomah Books
This entry was posted on Monday, February 14th, 2011 at 9:50 am and is filed under Book Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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