Thursday, June 26, 2008

Anathema Review

From time to time in addition to reviewing Love Inspired Suspense books, I will also let you know about other suspense books I've read and enjoyed. Here's one I raced through:

If you've read my blog or reviews, you've probably figured out I'm a fan of Colleen Coble's suspense. They are all so good! Sometimes I wonder when -- if -- I'll be disappointed. Her latest release, Anathema, tops them all.

In Anathema, Colleen brings her fiction to Indiana for the first time, this time in the heart of Parke County and a close-knit Amish community. Here's the quick summary:

After years of running, Hannah Schwatrz has finally built a life for herself--far from the insecure husband who bullied and abused her. Far from the close-knit Amish community who raised her, then shunned her. Still haunted by nightmare memories of her parents' murder and the guilty secret that made her anathema--a true outcast--from her friends and family.

Only love can bring her home again. Love for a child she had feared was lost forever. And love for the peaceful people who shaped her life. But can love heal old wounds . . . or keep the community safe from a deadly danger?

This book is richly layered with conflict. But it's not all external conflict related to finding the killer and staying alive. Instead, as I've come to expect in Colleen's books, the internal conflict is as compelling -- maybe even stronger -- than the problems plaguing Hannah and Matt.

Hannah is so conflicted about the Amish faith she abandoned and the problems that she created for herself when she left. She has a hard time separating those she controlled from the ones she didn't ask for...and is left paralyzed. She's also running scared from her abusive husband, but he's found the one tool that could drag her back to him -- the idea that her daughter is alive. Could he be telling the truth?

Matt hides a secret from Hannah that can only destroy the relationship they may have. But he doesn't see that he has a choice. He's also torn between duty and the past.

Add in a host of supporting characters, and the texture and twists of the plot form a tangled weave that pulled me through the pages and chapters. I have to admit, I did not fully guess the killer. I was close -- only the person I thought was the killer was the accomplice.

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