Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Review: High Stakes

This is the fourth book in the Baxter Series by Kathy Herman.  In this book Angie Marks arrives in town as the trial of Billy Joe Sawyer draws near.  She has tattoos and body piercings, which causes the locals, who are focused on her appearance, to gossip about her and reject her.  She has a hard time finding a job, until Mr Bailey hires her as a live in housekeeper, causing his family to question his judgement.  She is in town for a reason that only she knows, but when there are attacks on key witnesses in the murder trial people begin to suspect her involvement just because of her appearance.  
When Angie is implicated in a gruesome murder the community feels they were right to suspect her.  And because the accused killer has taken her into hiding with him she is unable to try to prove her innocence.  At the same time the real killer is out there and she is not safe.
This is a story of looking past appearances and into the heart.  Once again, not letting yourself become judgmental of people who are different than yourself.  I have to say this was not one of my favorites in the series.  The suspense conflict is resolved by the middle of the book and the author then focuses on the mystery of why Angie is in Baxter to begin with.  It becomes a story of family reconciliation.  I do have to say there is more of a whodunit in the mystery of who really committed the murder.  But the way it was resolved seem too convenient, almost unbelievable, and it was almost as if the author wanted to get that part of the story over with and concentrate on the story of Angie.  I do like the relationship that developed between Mr Bailey and Angie.
All in all I would have to give this book 3 stars. I did find it ironic that this book was actually listed as a suspense book on the website where I found lists of Christian Suspense authors and their books, while the first books in the series, which I found more suspenseful, were not.  The website is called The Suspense Zone.

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