Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Amber Morn Review

On a beautiful Saturday morning the nationally read “Scenes and Beans” bloggers gather at Java Joint for a special celebration. Chaos erupts when three gunmen burst in and take them all hostage. One person is shot and dumped outside. Police Chief Vince Edwards must negotiate with the desperate trio…What they demand, he can’t possibly provide. But if he doesn’t, over a dozen Kanner Lake citizens will die.

Brandilyn Collins has done it again. Amber Morn rocks from the first page to the end. The pacing is tight with short chapters that pull you through – it’s so easy to think “I’ll read just one more.” And the chapters alternate between the bad guys and Scenes and Beans crew at the beginning, adding to that sense of momentum.

This book, while the fourth in the series, stands on its own. If you’ve read the other books, you’ll enjoy seeing all the characters back in action. If it’s your first foray to Kanner Lake, you haven’t missed anything that would make this book a challenge to read. And the book flows between the perspectives of all of the characters in a way that isn’t jarring.

Vince Edwards, the police chief, is placed in a horrible position throughout the book because of the notoriety he and the town have gained through the first three books. I agonized through every decision he had to make, every sentence he had to speak as if I were the one talking to the gunmen. The writing is vivid, pulling you into the emotions and thoughts of the characters to the point you can smell the stale air in the café and feel the sweat trickle down your face.

In classic Collins’ style there is a twist at the end which turns the book on its head, yet works.

This book is a keeper. And one I’ll read again. And again. And again. If you love suspense, too, go buy this book!

>Brandilyn Collins is a best-selling novelist known for her trademark Seatbelt Suspense™. These harrowing crime thrillers have earned her the tagline

“Don’t forget to b r e a t h e …®”

Brandilyn writes for Zondervan, the Christian division of HarperCollins Publishers, and is currently at work on her 19th book. Her first, A Question of Innocence, was a true crime published by Avon in 1995. Its promotion landed her on local and national TV and radio, including the Phil Donahue and Leeza talk shows.

She’s also known for her distinctive book on fiction-writing techniques, Getting Into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn From Actors (John Wiley & Sons), and often teaches at writers conferences.

Brandilyn blogs at Forensics and Faith. Visit her Website to read the first chapters of all her books.

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