Violet Dawn by Brandilyn Collins
Usually 'Christian' books frustrate me. (How can a book be 'Christian' anyway?) Traditionally, they can be oversimplified, with a totally, two dimensional good guy fighting a similar, only evil, bad guy. They also remind me of someone visiting a used car dealer friend at home, and he just keeps trying to sell him a car. In other words, they are always trying to 'close the deal' and get the reader to make a decision for Christ. Being a writer, what we hear all the time is 'show don't tell.' So shouldn't the story 'show' the advantages of being a Christian without jamming it down the readers' throats?
A speaker at the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference said he couldn't sell his books at his own church's bookstore because they weren't 'Christian' enough. Huh? No language or sex issues, they just didn't exude enough used car salesman for his church. Amazing.
But Brandilyn wrote a breath of fresh air. A woman moves to Kanner Lake, Idaho to escape...something. She steps into her hot tub one night, and finds a dead body floating in it. Instead of calling the police, she hauls the body out and takes it to the lake, weighs it down with an anchor and chain, dumps it in the lake and returns home to 'normalcy.' However, it becomes clear that someone is trying to frame her for a murder, except where did the body go?
The story unwinds and tension weaves and builds throughout. Good stuff.
Is the protagonist a two dimensional good guy? Well, no, since she tampered with a crime scene and disposed of a dead body in a lake. But as the curtain of her history slowly parts through the story, it begins to make sense.
And, what do you know? Barndilyn didn't try to 'close the deal' at the end. Let the story be the story.