by Erin Healy
Print Length: 357 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (January 7, 2014)
Genre: Christian Suspense, Crime
My Rating: 4.5. of 5.0
In the burnt-out hollow, a house of dark secrets and an eerie beauty beckon.
Serena Diaz’s life is imploding. A troubled student has accused the young biology teacher of sexual misconduct, cutting off her promising career just as it was starting to blossom. But that’s just the beginning of Serena’s problems.
When a therapeutic walk in the woods leads her to a ruined house overtaken by criminals, Serena is assaulted and finds herself witness to the senseless murder of the one man who tries to help her.
Hurled into a world of false accusations and hounded by the press, Serena must confront evil itself to unravel the mysterious visions—and terrifying danger—that pursue her. But she can’t ignore the most haunting question: Why would a mysterious stranger give his life to save hers?
The answer, if she can find it, will point the way to her freedom from evil men in a lascivious trade.
“With her typical flair and eloquence, Healy takes readers through an incredible journey that will leave you thinking long after the last page closes.” —Lifeisstory.com
“Healy’s latest is thought-provoking and engaging, and becomes even more so as the story progresses. The author uses courageous characters to address the sex trade crisis. Themes of hope and redemption are seamlessly woven with spiritual elements and a touch of the supernatural.” —RT Book Reviews, 4 stars
Serena is a dedicated teacher who cares about her teen students. One of those students gets angry when his teacher’s grade threatens his scholarship. He speaks to his corrupt uncle to try take revenge by making false accusations against Serena.
Serena is shocked by the accusations and takes a drive out to a secluded wood where she likes to walk and reflect. She stumbles upon an old dilapidated house which seems to shimmer into something marvelous under a golden beam of sunlight. Serena isn’t aware that the house has been commandeered by criminals who are involved in human trafficking. A creepy man comes out of the house and grabs her, but another strange man steps out of the woods trying to pull her away. Serena witnesses the murder of the strange man who steps in front of her.
Serena is glad to have the help of her lawyer boyfriend. He has promised to resolve the accusations against her and to let the authorities know about the murder without getting her involved. Yet he doesn’t seem to be making progress and is dodging her many questions.
Soon Serena is tangled between the predators and the forces who are trying to stop them. She is experiencing confusing visions of young girls in fear and danger and young girls sharing laughter.
The author provides strong descriptions and the plot is well developed. This story is well written and full of good suspense with interesting twists and supernatural edges. I liked the characters and the struggles against the sinister leaders of the human trafficking ring. I also liked the faith aspects. I recommend this to readers who enjoy suspense with supernatural and faith elements.
Source: I picked up the print version at discount at Christianbook.com in 2016 for Ladies Book Club. This qualifies for 2018TBR.