Cop runs over man shot in storm; woman's newborn is kidnapped -- author Blackstone explores Christians in crisis
Released earlier this summer, Southern Storm is the ideal summer read for the Christian, or anyone else, who likes a good mystery.
The second in the Camp Refuge series, which focuses on the residents of an island community near Savannah, Ga., author Blackstone demonstrates her growing reputation for portraying Christians and non-Christians in crisis mode.
The storyline is straightforward. In a driving storm, Police Chief Matthew Cade hits a pedestrian while driving to detour traffic around a downed power line. The victim is transported to the hospital, where it is discovered he has been shot.
Cade makes a statement about the man's death to the press, and shortly afterwards the chief disappears. He was last seen near the dock speaking with a woman with long dark hair, and leaving with her in a PT Cruiser.
Blair Owens, the town librarian and law enforcement junkie, knows something is wrong with the picture. She has a crush on Cade, but does not know if the feeling is reciprocal.
Frustrated with the local police and FBI's concern with having probable cause, Blair takes the bull by the horns, and begins to watch the home of the widow of the dead man, located in Savannah.
In the meantime Blair's sister and brother-in-law, who run a Christian-oriented shelter for persons in crisis, take in a pregnant Black woman. Within 24 hours of delivery the baby boy, it is taken by an apparent female nurse, with long dark hair, so a doctor, who is not really there, can check the child.
Is there a connection between the two disappearances?
Several other sub-plots involving teenage infatuation and rebellion, community gossip, city politics without a mayor and police chief, lack of a newspaper, and slanted reporting out of Savannah, wind through the story.
Being the second of four in the Cape Refuge series, Southern Storm is best read after reading the first volume, Cape Refuge.
But Blackstock, a proliferous writer, has crafted a story that stands well on its own, whether you read the entire series or not.
Southern Storm, Book Two of the Cape Refuge Series; Terri Blackstock; paperback; 374 pages; Zondervan; $12.99.