Title: Gone Without a Trace
Author: Patricia Bradley
Publishing House/Publication Date: Revell/July, 2015
Genres: Christian Fiction; Romantic Suspense
Time Period: Modern Day
Number of Pages: 336
Series: Book #3 in the ‘Logan Point’ series
You should read this book if… You enjoy stories filled with suspense, heart-pumping action, mystery, and a little romance, too. Added to this exciting mixture is the underlying structure of Christian faith, meaning that if this book were a movie, it would not be rated R! Also, if readers have enjoyed the previous two books in the series, this story will provide an enjoyable visit with numerous recurring characters (although it does not seem necessary to read the books in order).
Tone and Mood: Since it is a murder mystery, the tone of this novel is often one of subdued anticipation, striving to break free of the past, and at times even despair. Of course hope is not completely absent, especially as the case draws to a close, but without a doubt this book is a darker read in comparison with other Inspirational genres.
Characters and Point of View: An extremely unusual feature of this book is the vastly varying points of view used to bring the story to life. Two leading ladies, Livy and Robyn, share the spotlight with two male protagonists, Alex and Chase, though Alex holds a more prominent role. Each one tells a third-person view of the story, along with one more character whose name is not revealed until the end… Shockingly the villain – both murderer and kidnaper – relates his story along with the ‘good guys’, giving readers a unique and sometimes disturbing look inside his mind.
Storyline: Without giving away too much of the interwoven chain of events, Livy Reynolds, homicide detective, finds herself working with private investigator Alex Jennings, when their two cases appear to be connected. When history repeats itself, the two enter a race against time to solve this years-old mystery before another murder can be committed.
Themes and Morals: 1) Forgiveness, of yourself and others. 2) Stepping out of the past, including past mistakes, and moving into the future God has prepared for you. 3) Finding your place in the world, and discovering how to fully embrace it. These three ideals provide the main themes of the story, and although they are not dwelt upon with a lot of depth or insight, they are still present and provide food for thought.
Inappropriate Content: This book often comes very close to the borderline of appropriate/ inappropriate content, but in reality steps across it only occasionally. Various references to the horrible fates of kidnapping victims are hinted at, but only spelled out once or twice. In addition, disturbing thoughts and actions on the part of the villain may prove hard to deal with, especially for sensitive readers, but obviously are to be expected in a suspense-filled mystery such as this.
Conclusion: I tend to read historical fiction much more often than modern stories, and so a suspense-mystery set in present day was a big change of scenery from my typical reading habits! However, I enjoyed this book as an exciting, heart-pumping change from my usual choices, and was pleased that the content remained relatively clean when it had the potential to be otherwise. Overall, this book is certainly a page-turner, at times a scary one. If you enjoy stories like this, or like me you are looking for a change, don’t hesitate to give ‘Gone Without a Trace’ a try!
I received this book courtesy of Revell Publishers, in participation with the Revell Reads Fiction Blog Tour during the month of July 2015. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.