Author Mindy Halleck / Reviewed by Felita Daniels / 480 Pages
This is a great thriller novel. The chapters are labelled when the point of view changes from the main character Theo Riley or the villain, Genghis Hansel. There are also times when we are in a character’s past. It is a difficult task to decide exactly where to start a story. The author shares a portion of Theo’s childhood before we are given a hint the current conflict and main story line. I understand why the author might have thought we needed to know his backstory. But she shared two different time frames before immersing us more in the present day. I found that this jumping from childhood to present, teen /early adult to present, made it awkward to really get into the story. I would have much rather have seen the character’s present inconsistencies and then discover where they came from. This may have just been me though. But if you have some of the same hesitancy in the early chapters, please keep reading. The story line is worth the time spent on the foundation building.
“Let’s face it, I wasn’t supposed to be drafted or in love. I was supposed to be a priest.”
With these two short sentences we see a great deal of surprise and conflict. How our life is assumed to play out and how others and events influence it. Sometimes we put ourselves in self-imposed boxes. Theo didn’t exactly feel ‘called’ to become a priest as other clergymen may have been. Other labels to describe him were that he was a war hero and a boxer. Violence is not a word one typically associates with a priest. His potential for violence was one of his demons.
The balance between the protagonist and the serial killer was well drawn and anyone that reads thrillers and likes books set in the 1950’s will enjoy this book greatly.
About the Author
Mindy Halleck is a Pacific Northwest author, blogger and writing instructor. Her short story, The Sound of Rain, which placed in the Writer’s Digest Literary Contest blossomed into her first novel Return to Sender. Halleck blogs at Literary Liaisons and is an active member of the Pacific Northwest writing community. In addition to being a writer, Halleck is a happily married, globe-trotting beachcomber, antiquer, gardener, proud grandma, and three-time cancer survivor.