In the first book in the Detective Jackson Series, L. J. Sellers introduces the reader to a killer who is about the self preservation of family, and who thinks they have God on their side to justify their actions.
A bomb rocks a planned parenthood clinic in the city of Salem Oregon, then a young teen is found dead in a dumpster the same day. She was a patient at the clinic that was bombed and one of the nurses Kera Kollmorgan does not think that it is a conquasadence. On the other side of the line, Detective Jackson, has attended both scenes and does get the feeling that there are two offenders in town. Kera finds information that links some girls that have attended the clinic to a bible study group, but feels pressure not to reveal the information to the police from her boss. The more Kera uncovers, she becomes the sole target of "God's Messenger", and Jackson needs to act fast if he is not only to save Kera, but other teenage girls. What do a dead teenager, a ticking time bomb and a bible studies class have in common, you have to read to find out.
This book was a good read that was able to hold my attention, and for me it was something a little different than other books that I had read because of the good Christian woman, acting out Gods will, plus another perpetrator thrown into the mix as well. I would classify this book as a Medical Mystery (I do not think that the book had enough suspense to be classified as a thriller). Also the medical aspect is very general and does not become something that a regular person would not understand. It was interesting to see two different individuals who wanted to discover the same connections but they went about it in very different ways; one following the medical information, the other following the clues of serious crimes
There are essentaillly two main characters within this book, Det Jackson and Kera Kollmorgan who is a nurse for planned parenthood. Each character brings something different to the book but they both share some similar personality traits. They both have inquasative minds which is essentail for Jackson, but Kera mind in peaked because of a medical exams that she had performed on kids in their early teens, and she wants to help them out as much as she can. Kera, however, becomes the victim from the first scene where the clinic she worked in is attacked, however, this does not stop her but motivates her more. I also felt sorry for Kera as she wanted to help Jackson more with his investigation and the information that she had
This book had an interesting style of writing. There are two perpetrators within the book, you are aware of one, but not the other. You are aware that the bomber, Ruth, is an individual who has a very high belief in God and believes that God has shown her a way to expose and punish the sinners who work within abortion or planned parenthood clinics. It was very interesting to read chapters from Ruth's point of view and how she justified not only the bombs she was making but also her actions towards her children. However, the rest of the book is based around attempting to find the other offender, as the reader is aware but the characters are not, that they are not the same person.
I think that Sellers, was pretty realistic in the actions that the children were taking in order to have sex and that even though the children feature in this story are Christian, they are still looking for and wanting sex, especially when they think or find out that everything their parents have been teaching them is a lie as their parents were doing things that they have taught in their children as wrong because of what the bible said. Sellers did a good job of capturing the mindset and thought process of the youth of that age, that you could see the thought process of several of different children and why they joined and/or left the bible club. Unfortunately, the culture we live in these days promotes sex and even sex at a young age. This is not to say that every young teen is having sex, but it appears to be happening more often these days, from both religious and nonreligious children. I have a friend who work within a religious school system teaching kids in grade 7-9 and it is shocking some of the stories she has told me about children and sex, and her attempt to try and teach them them about not only safe sex and abstinence but even that sex is meaningful and should not be traded or bartered with and that it is not a game. (okay enough of my opinion today).
There are a few things that bothered me about the book. First, was Kera's lack of ability to inform the police about what she found because of doctor patient confidentiality. However, after the first girl died and there is a possible connection to the clinic, others could be in danger. Therefore, I believe the doctor patient confidentiality does not now apply because there is the potential danger to other individuals. The other aspect that I found inaccurate was that Jackson also seemed like a crime scene analyst, in which he collected his own evidence and even moved the body. I'm not sure if it is a smaller city thing or not, but I am pretty sure that most police forces have a crime scene unit who do those things in order to enure that evidence is collected properly.
I think that Sellers' book was interesting and even though it was a fiction book, it does raise the questions that every parent I am sure has had of really how well do they know their children and friends. This book was able to keep me entertained not only for the chapters where Ruth was the subject, but also attempting to figure out who the other perpetrator was, as there are several good candidates. I look forward to reading another book in the Detective Jackson Series.
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