I was captured by this novel.
Ten years ago a school bus was stopped at a railroad crossing. On board was a Texas football team, cheerleaders and staff returning from a game. A masked gunman entered the waiting bus and murdered the cheerleading coach and wounded a student. The cheerleading coach was young, just out of college. Claudia had become her good friend in the short time the spirited teacher had been there. Claudia held her dear friend as the life seeped out of her.
Go forward ten years. Claudia is married to the assistant DA and has a young daughter. Claudia still gets panic attacks, never having resolved the deadly scene. Her husband decides to help Claudia by reopening the case, as the murderer had never been identified and arrested. As he begins to interview people and poke into some new places, Claudia can't stand it and threatens to leave.
As we experience the investigation into the old murder, we also get glimpses into the thoughts and feelings of the dying teacher. It becomes clear that evidence was suppressed, the autopsy was rigged, and some important people had never been interviewed.
Jakes has created a very good novel. It captured me at the beginning and was a page turner to the end. I read the entire book in a day (retirement is wonderful). The way the truth of that day ten years ago was revealed is clever and very well done. The struggles the survivors were still experiencing were real. Several characters in the book are Christians and the way they lived out their faith, doubts and all, was well done.
For a debut, this is a great novel.
Serita Ann Jakes is the wife of Bishop T. D. Jakes. She has served alongside him throughout their marriage of nearly thirty years. She is the executive director of the WoMan to Woman Ministries of The Potter's House of Dallas, where her husband is the senior pastor.
WaterBrook Press, 283 pages.
I received a free copy of this book from WaterBrook Publishers for the purpose of this review.