Monday, May 27, 2013

The Face of the Earth by Deborah Raney

Mitch Brannan's life changes forever when he comes home from work one evening to find that his wife, Jill, is not there. Her phone message had cheerfully announced she was leaving the conference she had attended and would be home by dinner. Hours go by but she never arrives home. Mitch contacts the police but they have no leads. Then a day goes by. Then two.

Frustrated by the lack of progress the police are showing, Mitch tries to find out himself what happened to his wife. He even gets Jill's best friend, their next door neighbor Shelley, to help.

Weeks turn into months with no clues to Jill's disappearance. And Shelley is such a help to Mitch and his two college age kids. Then Mitch realizes his feelings toward Shelley are not exactly those of mere friendship. And she
seems to be reciprocating.

Raney has penned a good study in character. What is a Christian man to do when his wife has been missing for nearly a year and he is having serious feelings for the woman who is his wife's best friend? I always find it interesting when an author writes a novel with the main character of the opposite sex. I think Raney did a pretty good job, however, on portraying the male lead character. But then, I'm a woman.

And the plot is not all that unrealistic. Thousands of people go missing each year with hundreds of the cases remaining open, never having been solved. I did feel like the novel was a bit long for the plot line though. But I can see that if a Christian man is going to have romantic feelings for a woman, it had better be months and months after his wife has gone missing.

I did feel like the way the mystery was solved was a bit out of left field. That was probably the most unrealistic aspect of the novel for me. Then, poof, the novel is over, after such an agonizingly long wait. That didn't work for me.

This is a pretty good novel but not the best I have read from Raney.

I am taking part in a blog tour of this book. You can read more reviews here.

Howard Books, 368 pages. Please visit your local Christian bookstore to purchase this book.

Deborah Raney is the award winning author of several novels. Her first novel, A Vow to Cherish, was the inspiration for World Wide Pictures' film of the same title. She has also written nonfiction books and articles and often speaks at women's retreats and writer's conferences. She and her husband have four children and live in Kansas. Find out more about her at

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

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