Monday, April 12, 2010

Book Review: "Hand of Fate" by Lis Wiehl with April Henry

A suspected terrorist attack happens when outspoken radio talk show host Jim Fate is killed by poisonous gas while his show, "The Hand of Fate" is on the air. During the ensuing panic, downtown Portland is evacuated and FBI Special Agent Nicole Hedges is trapped in a high-rise building. Crime reporter Cassidy Shaw is the only journalist to report from the scene as chaos overtakes the streets. And federal prosecutor Allison Pierce ends up rescuing a toddler separated from her family and taking her to one of the city's overwhelmed hospitals. In the days following Fate's murder, the three colleagues and friends team up to uncover the secrets behind the attack - and reveal secrets of their own.

Lis Wiehl's connection with working in a major news network has given her great insight to writing a really good suspense novel. The story is very well written with a plot that is pretty much straight from today's news. News radio DJs carry a lot of influence in what they say and have the power to make the public mad or agree with their views. Jim Fate is one of those DJs and his reputation has build up a loyal audience of those who love and those who hate him. I was really amazed at the hatred that came out of the listeners. It's amazing how much hatred there can be in a person enough to cause harm to someone.

I really liked the book and didn't have any complaints with the story. It's edgy in that it keeps with reality and shows what really happens in the world. The story doesn't shy away from the hard life that is out there and doesn't sugarcoat things to make a happy ending. The characters in this book are flawed because they are human beings. They might do things that others don't approve of but in no way does it detract from the story. There's no talk about faith at all until the very end, and it feels like it was tacked on to show that this is indeed a book published by a Christian publisher. I just didn't feel that vibe from any of the characters throughout the book so it did feel a little fake at the end for it to randomly show up.

Actually the only really big qualm I had was with the endorsements. I totally understand that Lis Wiehl work on Fox News, hence all the endorsements from fellow co-workers, but I totally didn't get the Michael Bolton endorsement? I'm just saying, it would have been nice to have seen some from other authors or readers and not just people that you are friends with. Also this sounds very snarky of me, but I'm curious as to what April Henry's role as co-writer. I just wonder how much of the book she wrote, and how much Wiehl contributed. Other than this, I really liked the book and I'm looking forward to reading the third book in the series.

Hand of Fate by Lis Wiehl with April Henry is published by Thomas Nelson (2010)

This review copy was provided by the publisher

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