Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Strand of Deception by Robin Caroll

This is the last in The Justice Seekers Novels, but can certainly be read alone.
In this novel, we follow Maddie Baxter, sister to Riley, who we met in To Write a Wrong. Maddie is a forensic expert with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. When the daughter of a prominent senator is found murdered, Maddie analyzes the evidence.
Her job is complicated by the FBI agent assigned to the case, Nick Hagar. Maddie is attracted to Nick, and he to her. Their romance blossoms as the investigation proceeds.
At the center of this novel is DNA testing. On the one hand, Maddie finds that recently found DNA material frees a man wrongly accused of a crime years ago. Maddie knows the man is evil and struggles with her work setting him free.
Yet it is cutting edge DNA testing that ultimately points the way to the murderer of the senator's daughter. But Maddie is troubled when the familial DNA results indicate a man she used to date.

This is another good novel from Caroll. There are several subplots that run through the novel, such as Maddie's life being threatened because her work set an evil man free from prison. Another subplot is the question of why God allows terrible things to happen.

The Christianity of the characters is clearly presented in the novel, as is the gospel. Non-Christian readers may find it a bit “preachy.”

The only aspect of the novel less than perfect, I thought, was that Maddie and Nick, in their developing romance, were a bit childish as one is hurt by the other. At their ages, they should have been more mature and understanding.

All in all, a good novel. And I learned about familial DNA testing, something that is new and not being done everywhere yet.

Robin Caroll was born and raised in Louisiana. She has 16 published novels and has finaled or placed in several contests. Robin is conference director for ACFW. She and her husband have two daughters and two grandsons and live in the south. You can find out more about her and her work at www.robincaroll.com.

B&H Books, 352 pages. Publisher's product page.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

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