Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Hiding Places - Erin Healy

Hiding PlacesTitle:               Hiding Places

Author:            Erin Healy

Publisher:        Thomas Nelson

Market:           Christian

Genre:             Christian Fiction

Length:            368 pages

Pub. Date:       September 8, 2015

Description (from Amazon):

Eleven-year-old Kate Whitby leads an invisible life, the youngest member of her odd family. They live in their historic small-town hotel, where she is an expert at keeping everyone’s secrets: her sister’s a thief, her great-grandmother isn’t as crazy as people think, her mother lives in the past, and her beloved grandfather might have killed his best friend.

Devoted to the people she loves—more than they have ever been to her—Kate vows to protect each one.

Charlie Fuse has lived on the streets since his alcoholic father threw him out. When Charlie’s powerful street family tests his loyalty by demanding that he kill the son of a rival gang leader, he refuses. They frame him for the murder, forcing Charlie to run.

When Kate finds Charlie injured and penniless, she hides him from his enemies and her uncharitable relatives, unaware that he has a connection to her family as old as the hotel itself.

The murderous gang tracks Charlie down. To flush him out, they take the clueless family hostage and threaten young Kate. Even then, Kate keeps Charlie hidden, putting all her childlike faith in one terrible hope: that the family who has never been able to protect her before might learn how to do it now.

My Review:

When I saw that Erin Healy had a new book out, I was thrilled.  I enjoyed her previous books written with Ted Dekker.  But I believe that might have set me up for some disappointment.

This is the story of a young girl, Kate, who lives with her very dysfunctional, multi-generational family in their historic hotel.  And also the story of Charlie and his search for freedom and family.  Let’s also throw in the story of Fox, bent on revenge.  And we can throw in a pawn shop murder and a swindler for good measure.  Basically, there’s a lot going on in this book.  Too much to make it truly believable or enjoyable.

Kate is more precocious than your typical 11-year old; her character felt a bit over the top.  As did most of the characters and a lot of the situations and events they found themselves in.  It was just too much.

I think the book would appeal to more YA readers than it did to me.  However, a caution would be there is some drinking/drug use referred to, gang activity, and violence including murder.  None of it was over the top descriptive though.

Overall, I was disappointed in the read.

I received this book as an Advanced Reader Copy via the publisher at NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

***This review is also posted on The Christian Manifesto and at Goodreads


  • Easy and fast paced read


  • Caricatures more than characters
  • Too much going on to fully develop anything or anyone

My Rating:      1.5 out of 5 (poor)

Hidden Agenda - Lisa Harris

Hidden Agenda (Southern Crimes, #3)Title:               Hidden Agenda

Author:            Lisa Harris

Publisher:        Fleming H. Revell

Market:           Christian

Genre:             Christian Fiction; Suspense

Series:             Southern Crimes #3

Length:            305 pages

Pub. Date:       January 1, 2015

Description (from Amazon):

Michael Hunt is alive--and on the run. Presumed dead by friends and family, the undercover assignment he's been working for the past eight months has just been blown. With a hit out on his life and corruption inside the Atlanta police department, Michael finds himself hunted by both the cartel and the law. His only hope is the daughter of the man who wants him dead.

This nonstop chase from taut suspense writer Lisa Harris will leave readers breathless as they race to connect the dots before it's too late.

My Review:

When I picked up this book, I didn’t realize it was third in a series.  This happens to me a lot.  In this case, it was okay.  While I knew I was missing some details that might have enhanced the reading, I wasn’t not at all lost or confused in the text.

I liked the characters – both the heroic and the villainous. 

I didn’t find the story particularly suspenseful.  I felt enough clues were left along the way that I had most things figured out before they were revealed.  However, I think it was still an entertaining read.

I received this book as an Advanced Reader Copy via the publisher at NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.


  • Fast paced
  • Interesting characters


  • Predictable

My Rating: 3 out of 5 (liked it)