Sunday, August 28, 2011

X Plagues

X Plagues by Mary Nealy

A crazed killer invades the streets of Chicago, patterning his murders after the Old Testament’s ten plagues. Detective Keren Collins, gifted with the ability to discern good and evil spirits, is on the case, as is ex-cop, now mission pastor Paul Morris. Can they put their differences aside long enough to catch the maniacal murderer?

--X Plauges
by Mary Nealy
Copyright ©October 2011 by Mary Nealy
Published by Barbour Books

My Review

I finished this story a couple weeks ago but just realized I never wrote the review.

Chicago Detective Keren Collins is watching an old brownstone on the city’s South Side, keeping an eye out for Juanita Lopez, a young woman who’s gone missing. A couple of gang members are hanging out on the stairs, keeping her from going inside to look for Juanita. When a man comes running up the sidewalk and gets hauled inside by a couple of the thugs, she wants to help him, but isn’t about to take on a whole gang by herself.

Gifted with the ability to sense good and evil spirits, she can’t help but feel the evil in the air around her. Is it because the man might be meeting with an evil fate inside the brownstone or is it due to something else?

When the building suddenly explodes, she seems to have her answer. She springs into action, hauling out as many survivors as she can. The mysterious runner appears through the smoke, helping several gang members escape the inferno. They’re separated by another explosion, but later, Keren is stunned to find out the mysterious Samaritan is Paul Morris.

Five years ago, Detective Paul Morris almost destroyed her career. Now he’s Pastor Paul Morris of the Lighthouse Mission. As much as Keren doesn’t want his help, Paul is at the heart of the case and without him, and she and her partner, Mick O’Shea, will never find out whose recreating the ten plagues of Egypt in Chicago.

The story starts quickly with strong action and keeps moving straight to the end. Even the calmer, emotional scenes keep the story moving, something that’s not always easy to do. It’s an exciting read, well constructed with strong Christian themes, but isn’t preachy at all. Keren grew up with a gift to discern spirits, both good and evil, and always believed it was a gift given to her by God. Paul found Christ later in life and serves Him by giving to the homeless in his community. Mick is also a believer, but is quieter about his faith. It’s there, but it’s not in your face, so in my opinion, those with faith or without will enjoy this story.

I give this story FOUR STARS.

I received an Advance Uncorrected Proof from NetGalley.

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