Review: Threads of Suspicion – Dee Henderson

Dee Henderson. Threads of Suspicion: An Evie Blackwell Cold Case. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2017.

Hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!  I’m happy to return with our regularly-scheduled book review this week, featuring Dee Henderson’s latest release.

Ms. Henderson follows her acclaimed Traces of Guilt novel with Threads of Suspicion, which continues the tales of the cold cases of Evie Blackwell of the Illinois State PoliceBased on Evie’s previous successes as a cold case investigator, the governor has appointed her to the new statewide Missing Persons Task Force.  Evie and the team are under pressure to produce results in these cases, even as they face tremendous odds and communities that are suspicious that these murders can ever be solved.  Along with her new partner, David Marshal, Evie arrives in suburban Chicago to solve two of these cases, one involving a missing college student and the other focused on a skilled private investigator.  When the two cases collide, Evie and David must use all of their knowledge and abilities to finally bring resolution to both local mysteries.

Filled with moments of suspense and faith, Threads of Suspicion marks the return of Evie Blackwell and Ms. Henderson’s world of crime-fighting and mystery-solving characters.  Fans of Traces of Guilt and Ms. Henderson’s other novels will be thrilled to see more high-stakes suspense from this acclaimed Christian author.

Overall, I was quite excited to finally have the chance to read Threads of Suspicion.  Ms. Henderson’s suspense novels are consistently among my favorites of the genre.  In general, the Evie Blackwell Cold Case novels have been nice, as they continue to build upon the world of characters featured in Ms. Henderson’s previous novels, especially those released by Bethany House.  As I have really enjoyed those main characters, I appreciate their periodic reappearances in these most recent books.  However, the character of Evie Blackwell sometimes comes across as being somewhat one-dimensional in comparison to the other characters in this novel, as well as those found in Ms. Henderson’s other published stories.  Threads of Suspicion features Evie’s case-solving abilities and the cases themselves, but does not include as much content focused on Evie’s relationship with the rest of the task force and other people of interest.  Instead, the strongest relationships and personal interactions exist between the other characters, leaving Evie to appear less interesting and well-rounded than her partner and more minor characters.  For fans of Ms. Henderson’s work, Threads of Suspicion functions as a continuation of the author’s high-caliber storytelling abilities in the suspense genre, independent of one’s attachment to the characters themselves.

Fans of Ms. Henderson’s work, especially Traces of Guilt, should definitely read Threads of Suspicion.  Additionally, readers who enjoy Christian suspense novels will find Ms. Henderson’s novels to be well-worth checking out in the near future.

Special thanks to Bethany House Publishers for the advanced copy of Threads of Suspicion!

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Amazon – Threads of Suspicion

Review: Traces of Guilt – Dee Henderson

Dee Henderson. Traces of Guilt: An Evie Blackwell Cold Case. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2016.

This May has been filled with a particularly excellent group of books.  If you regularly keep track of the Books and Biscuits Blog, you have already seen historical, romance, and contemporary genres represented this month.  Dee Henderson’s latest release also adds a touch of mystery and suspense to this month’s featured books.

Illinois State Police Detective Evie Blackwell arrives in Carin, Illinois, for a working vacation.  As a potential member of the state’s new task force focused on solving previously unsolved cases, she has her eye on several crimes that have left local enforcement officers completely stumped.  Carin County sheriff Gabriel Thane soon finds himself with an ambitious detective ready to dive into the community’s past, even as families of victims are hoping to finally receive resolution on cases that have shaken their hometowns.  With the help of Gabriel and his brothers, Evie soon discovers that several missing person cases may be intertwined as new evidence surfaces from unexpected places.

Ms. Henderson returns with this captivating novel that introduces an entirely new cast of characters, while also featuring a few old friends from her previous books.  One can only hope that Traces of Guilt serves as only the first of many stories featuring Evie Blackwell and her incredible detective skills.

Overall, I very much enjoyed reading Traces of Guilt.  Ms. Henderson consistently produces some of the best Christian suspense novels in the genre and this novel is no exception.  While her previous works have primarily taken place in and around Chicago, Traces of Guilt offers a more rural setting.  Likewise, Evie Blackwell’s focus on cold cases presents a different type of story for Ms. Henderson’s fans, even as it continues to build upon characters and themes that have become essential elements of her previous works.  In contrast to Ms. Henderson’s most recent novels, Traces of Guilt also follows a larger cast of characters and relationships, which are designed in such a way that they require a multi-book series to fully develop.  Based on the fact that the novel’s cover page features the phrase “An Evie Blackwell Cold Case,” as well as the general story arch of the novel, readers are definitely left with the impression that Ms. Henderson will continue to build upon Evie’s character and many of the other characters introduced in this novel.  Based on the excellent quality of Traces of Guilt, I eagerly await Ms. Henderson’s next work regardless.

Fans of Ms. Henderson’s previous works, especially those published by Bethany House over the last several years, will definitely want to read Traces of Guilt.  Likewise, fans of Christian suspense and romance genres should add this novel to their must-read piles.  Ms. Henderson offers an intriguing and well-developed suspense storyline, while presenting a relatively clean (read: not gory or crude) and realistic depiction of her characters’ work on cold case investigations.  Additionally, she consistently presents Christian-oriented elements and clean language that her readers particularly appreciate.

Special thanks to NetGalley and Bethany House Publishers for the promotional copy of Traces of Guilt!

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Amazon – Traces of Guilt

Review: Taken – Dee Henderson

Dee Henderson. Taken. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2015.

Several times a year, I find myself looking forward to the release of books by certain authors. Those authors are particularly dependable at delivering spectacular Christian fiction that continues to push the boundaries of the genre and I enjoy being able to support their work by pre-ordering their books every year. For the last several years, Dee Henderson has been one of the foremost authors in that select group.

Ms. Henderson’s latest novel, Taken, returns her readers to the suspense-filled lives of many of her much-loved characters based in Chicago. Matthew Dane, a private investigator and close friend of law enforcement characters introduced in Ms. Henderson’s earlier novels, finds himself encountering one of the Midwest’s most sought-after kidnapping victims at a conference in Atlanta. Shannon Bliss, the sister of Illinois’ future governor, has been missing for eleven years after a ransom-kidnapping went horribly wrong. Having worked for the Jacoby crime family during the years of her captivity, Shannon holds many of the family’s secrets and evidence that has the power to put the Jacoby family members away for decades. With the possibility that the Jacobys realized Shannon survived her escape, Matthew must use every connection at his disposal to ensure that Shannon safely regains a normal life and law enforcement catches the family of criminals before they find her.

Filled with jaw-dropping detail and heart-pounding scenes, Taken continues a series of novels and characters that have made Ms. Henderson a best-selling author in the Christian romantic suspense genre. Shannon’s story will capture readers’ imaginations and satisfy their insatiable need for further development of Ms. Henderson’s cast of Chicago-based characters.

Overall, I would highly recommend Taken for any fan of Christian suspense. The novel presents a unique take on the stories that Ms. Henderson’s fans love, while further developing incredibly intelligent and realistic characters that bring her stories to life. Personally, I greatly appreciated the length and complex development of Taken, although I could see some readers struggling with some of its themes and difficulty level. Additionally, those who are more accustomed to a strong romantic emphasis within Ms. Henderson’s stories may be marginally disappointed with certain aspects of Taken. However, I found the novel to present an intriguing variation on the relationship-oriented stories that Ms. Henderson’s fans have come to expect. As always, Ms. Henderson never fails to keep me intrigued and guessing at every twist and turn.

Fans of Ms. Henderson’s books, especially Full Disclosure and Unspoken, will love Taken. Likewise, readers who are curious to try suspense novels in the Christian genre should definitely look into Taken and Ms. Henderson’s other books. With complex story development, interesting characters, and expert pacing, Taken will definitely become a much-appreciated addition to the canon of excellent works by Ms. Henderson!

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Amazon – Taken – Taken