Sunday, March 18, 2012

"Waking Hours" by Lis Wiehl review

Waking Hours review
Author: Lis Wiehl
3 out of 5 stars

Disclosure: I received a complimentary galley of this book from the Amazon.com Vine program in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: A high school girl is found dead in the town park. And forensic psychiatrist Dani Harris wants answers. All the suspects are teenagers who were at the party with her the night before--but who woke up the next morning with no memory of what transpired. Even though evidence confirms they were all at the scene of the crime.

My Thoughts: This is Book 1 in the East Salem trilogy, and is considered to be a Christian thriller. While I’m not normally a fan of Christian thrillers, I found this one mostly readable – it is not preachy, and it’s characters’ Christianity is not overwhelming, but rather simply a part of their lives. However, there were parts that really made me angry – for instance, one character was talking about how “Saint” Adrian destroyed paganism in England by showing the pagans how much better Christianity was – because their gods only caused misfortune and disease while Yahweh was about love. Love? OK, “I love you, so do exactly what I say or I’ll burn you forever in fire”? That sort of love? As opposed to the eternal bounty of the Earth? Yeah, whatever. But I digress... (I tend to do that)

There are distinct aspects of the paranormal in this story – Dani has several highly meaningful dreams, there is an appearing/disappearing angel, and a mysterious force that walks through walls in the middle of the night. There are plenty of red herrings in the search for the murderer, but eventually it becomes pretty obvious whom the culprit is. I liked the forensic psychiatric aspects of the story and found that very interesting. I also rather liked most of the characters; Tommy, especially, is hilarious. He made me laugh all the time. Fans of Christian fiction will enjoy this book, fans of paranormal thrillers will probably find it readable. While I enjoyed it well enough, I don’t think I’ll be continuing the series, as it seems like it is going to go into end-time theories and that’s not something I am really interested in reading.

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