Friday, March 19, 2010

Book Review: "Coral Moon" by Brandilyn Collins

Leslie Williams hurries out to her car on a typical workday morning and discovers a dead body inside. Why was the corpse left for her to find? And what is the meaning of the message pinned to its chest? In Coral Moon, the senseless murder of a beloved Kanner Lake citizen spirals the small Idaho town into a terrifying glimpse of spiritual forces beyond our world. What appears true seems impossible. Or is it?

Kanner Lake doesn't seem to be a place that welcomes newcomers. Dead bodies pop up as often as they do in Cabot Cove, home of Jessica Fletcher. It's sad because the setting of the town seems like it would be the perfect place to settle down no matter what stage of life you are in. The characters in the story really make the novel. I really like hanging out with the crew at Bailey's. I could totally see myself hanging out there, grabbing a cup of coffee and catching up with the local gossip. Collins creates a wonderful blend of small town charm with spine tingling suspense. The actual mystery of the book is very well done. The book delves into topics that are normally shied away from in Christian fiction, as it deals with some slightly paranormal/supernatural subjects. Conservative readers might be wary but for someone who doesn't see that often in CF, I loved it. I myself didn't find it TOO scary but it does make a great page turner.

I really enjoy Collins' writing. She really knows how to create suspense and write a good plot that intrigues the reader without resorting to using language or being too gory. To some readers who are used to the graphic descriptions found in mainstream suspense novels, this book will seem almost like a cozy mystery in comparison. However to readers who are used to clean fiction, this book raises the bar and could be seen as a book that could keep you up at night. The story keeps the reader's attention without having to depend on cliches that are often found in either Christian fiction or mystery and suspense novels. While this is the second book in the series, they can be read as stand alones. Reading the first book will help to understand the characters better but you won't feel lost if you just jump into this one. Overall I'm really enjoying the Kanner Lake series and am looking forward to reading the rest of the books.

Coral Moon by Brandilyn Collins is published by Zondervan (2007)

This review copy was provided by the publisher

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