Don Brown. Detained. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2015.
Have you ever run across a topic that seems to pop up everywhere? My husband watched the television show JAG years before I knew him and continues his affection for the show in spite of my hesitance in watching it with him. However, when I received an advanced copy of Don Brown’s most recent novel on the same subject, it looked oddly intriguing.
Detained begins The Navy JAG Series by acclaimed Christian author, Don Brown. Following much-loved characters introduced in his earlier novels, Detained focuses on Navy JAG Officer Matt Davis, who is charged with defending two alleged terrorists at Guantanamo Bay Prison Camp. His clients are innocent Lebanese nationals caught in a web of false charges and politics that spans the world and threatens the lives of American citizens at home and abroad. When Emily Gardner, a TSA lawyer, is unexpectedly nominated as General Counsel for the Department of Homeland Security, she discovers the truth behind a widespread conspiracy and the real enemy at work behind Matt’s court case.
In a rapid-paced thriller reminiscent of Davis Bunn’s greatest novels, Detained encapsulates the best aspects of the Christian suspense genre. Filled with intriguing and unpredictable moments, Mr. Brown writes a convincing and well-developed tale of political maneuvering, legal cunning, and military prowess that will fascinate readers.
Overall, I very much enjoyed reading Detained and will likely track down Mr. Brown’s other novels at the library at the earliest opportunity. I found his characters to be well-rounded and interesting, while his pacing and storylines were also expertly done. One of my favorite scenes of the book also involved a high-speed car chase that made this Top Gear fan cheer! In terms of content, a movie-version of the book (which would seem entirely conceivable) would likely be rated PG-13 as a result of terror events and torture-related sequences, even with its clean language and content. Otherwise, my only issue with the book related to the very first chapter of the book, which contained nearly 100 pages, for no particular reason that I was ever able to figure out. The remainder of the novel contained standard chapter formatting and only a few typographical errors.
Readers who have enjoyed Mr. Brown’s previous novels following Navy JAG officers Zach Brewer and Diane Colcernian will love the continuation of their story and expansion of their world in The Navy JAG Series. Additionally, fans of Christian suspense novels, such as those by Dee Henderson and Davis Bunn, will also find Detained and Mr. Brown’s other books to be an interesting extension of the genre. After reading Detained, I have the distinct feeling that my husband and I will be watching JAG and he’ll likely end up reading this novel and Mr. Brown’s other books, too.
Special thanks to BookLook Bloggers and Zondervan for the advanced copy of Detained!