A Bit of a Thrill Ride – Review of Under Duress

underduress Book InformationUnder Duress
Author – Meghan Carver
Publication Information – Love Inspired Suspense(February 2016, $5.99 print, $4.99 digital)

Reading Challenge Book? No.

I enjoyed Meghan Carver’s blogging about life, faith, and homeschooling even before she got her publishing contract with Love Inspired. Though I’m at a different point in my journey, I’m also a lawyer turned mom at home and I’ve appreciated her wisdom more than once.

When I learned that Carver had a novel coming, I knew I had to read it. I enjoy mysteries, and this tale of a woman on the run from kidnappers sounded interesting.  And it mostly is.

The author drops us right into the middle of the action as attorney Samantha Callahan goes to pick up her ward, Lily, from school. She arrives just in time to foil a kidnapping in progress.  Neither she nor ten-year-old Lily has any idea why armed thugs would want them, but Samantha instinctively flees the danger. Unfortunately, the ensuing chase sends her right into the back bumper of a Jeep belonging to Reid Palmer, a former law school classmate. Luckily for Samantha, Reid decides to help and actually has some helpful skills to do to.

What follows is a fast-paced story indeed.  Samantha and Reid’s flight from kidnappers and attempts to figure out why they are being pursued presents readers with all kinds of action and the story also contains a strong biblical message at its heart. Samantha and Reid both have gone through difficult things in their pasts, and both have also been on paths of maturing in their walks with Christ. The kidnapping tests them both, and seeing how they come through those tests as people of faith was one of my favorite story arcs in the book.

Though probably(almost certainly) not the courtship my parents would have intended, Samantha and Reid learn a lot about their own and each other’s faith throughout their ordeal and unlike in many action movies, I could believe that these two could have a marriage based on the bedrock that it should be. The romance is not explicit in any fashion, but even though that portion of the book is understated, it still felt a bit rushed to have the leads’ feelings for one another change from friendship to love so quickly.

With regard to the suspense plot, this is perhaps where the fact that this is a debut novel showed most. Carver does a wonderful job of dropping readers right into the action, and keeping that going throughout the book. However, as we neared the solution to the mystery, the suspense plotting started to feel disjointed and I found the ultimate wrapup of the kidnapping plot a bit less than satisfying. Writing a good suspense plot takes practice, and Carver’s writing has a solid voice to it, so I think with practice, her suspense novels will be ones to watch. <b>Rating: 3.5 stars</b>

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3 thoughts on “A Bit of a Thrill Ride – Review of Under Duress

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