City politics, news and death mix in mystery

Tuesday, February 8, 2005

In this, the third book in Blackstock's Cape Refuge Series, readers can continue the story of the Owens sisters, Morgan and Blair, and their island community off the coast of Georgia.

Morgan and husband Jonathan are excited as they learn they are pregnant, only for Morgan to be devastated by a miscarriage within 24 hours.

While Jonathan is involved in a three-way race for mayor with Ben Jackson, Morgan is not deterred from trying to contact Jackson's wife, Lisa, who had miscarried four times. The Jacksons' attempts to have a child is not common knowledge in the small island community, but Lisa had previously shared her distress with Morgan, breaking down in a bathroom during a social gathering.

But Lisa is not to be found. Ben loses interest in the political race, focused on finding his wife.

Police Chief Matthew Cade, Blair's love interest, begins investigating the disappearance. Ben had previously been highly critical of Cade's work, especially since he returned after undergoing considerable surgery after his own disappearance. But the two men bury the hatchet as Cade becomes convinced that Ben is not responsible for his wife's vanishing.

Blair, who recently purchased the community newspaper, begins her own pursuit of the story. Lisa's business partner, Rani, a one-time model, is completely baffled, noting that it was totally unlike Lisa to miss an appointment costing her a real estate commission on a $500,000 sale.

A psychic consults with Rani, stating his belief that Lisa is dead, and pin-pointing where her body would be found.

Convincing evidence that Ben is implicated in his wife's murder escalates the local scandal into a national media circus. But Cade and Blair dig deeper, uncovering several suspects while straining their own relationship.

The psychic makes a prediction, and Blair questions if the man's psychic abilities are truly from God, as he claims.

Does Lisa's death have anything to do with the mayoral race, an alleged affair by Ben or her decade-long struggle with infertility?

Whoever the killer is, he is about to take the story to another lethal level.

Blackstock, whose books, under two more pseudonyms, have sold more than 3.5 million copies. Her books tell stories of flawed Christians in crisis and God's provisions for their mistakes and wrong choices.

Her style is gripping and realistic, making for a great read on a cold winter's night or on a summer beach.

River's Edge; by Terri Blackstock; fiction, softcover; 363 pages; $12.99 Zondervan.

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