J. Chris Richard’s debut novel, Shattered Trust is everything a suspense novel should be.Written for the inspirational market the journey to redemption by a police officer could not be more timely given the current events in our nation.
Officer Logan Taul realizes that he’s become a monster. Not a police officer out to protect the public but more to assert his authority. Confronting the evil within him is painful enough without the need to confront it from without and his transformation comes with a cost. Logan embraces this journey in spite of the pain and sacrifice to become the kind of police officer he intended to be when he started on the force. But his journey also reveals other areas in his life desperately needing reform.
A group of rag-tag teenagers adopt him and begin to show him what life and friendship are really all about. Although he’s tutoring some of them, he’s the one learning the real-life lessons he’d lost along the way. And when physical attacks come, and his reputation is torn to shreds, it is the faith of these young people who keep him moving forward to redemption.
He also confronts his real identity as a dead-beat father and strives to reconcile with his estranged ex-wife and children. This too is not easily done.
In our country, police are often malignedand while this story shows a corrupt officer, it is one of redemption, growth and earning the right to wear the badge. Officer Logan Taul shows how difficult and dangerous that struggle can be and his change and its ripple effect impact the lives of many around him.
This story grabs you and doesn’t let go. We all have monsters as part of ourselves and while this is a novel filled with suspense it is also one of hope and a story of healing and growth that is heartwarming. Kudos to J. Chris Richards for her rich characters and storytelling. Blue lives matter and she honors that beautifully.
Julie B. Cosgrove has written two fabulous romantic suspense novels with a plot involving human sex-trafficking. Freed to Forgive is the culmination of those two previous stories. The first was Hush in the Storm followed by Legitimate Lies. Marisol’s story is woven in small nuggets into the two previous books but due to the demands of her readers, Marisol’s journey is finally in print.
Marisol is a young woman being abused by her father and brothers in a small village in Mexico. Anger burns within her so when the opportunity to go to America is presented she believes the lies she’s told and leaves. The journey there is harrowing and she finds herself using the skills she learned in her village to try to save another young slave who is still a virgin. Eventually, however, she finds herself pregnant. She gives up her child hoping it can live a better life. In the process she escapes her captors and strives to live a life free of her shameful past.
Ten years pass and she learns over and over that men are not to be trusted. When Jesse shows interest she struggles to accept that he could truly want to know her and not just use her for her body. She struggles to keep her past hidden but her bitterness and resentment over all that has happened bubbles up to torment her and keep her stuck. Can God really help her forgive those who abused and trafficked her? And can she really move forward in freedom and the love of a godly man?
This story is an emotionally fraught one filled with some disturbing scenes.Julie does nothing to hide the horrors of all that Marisol and so many others in our own country endure at the hands of modern-day slave-traders. In spite of that she is not gratuitous or unnecessarily explicit in those descriptions but it is good for the reader to be aware. All the instances are necessary for the plot of the book.
The reality of human trafficking in America deserves fiction like this to help us understand the horrors. We all need to step up to stop this tragedy as well as help those either caught in it or recovering from it. Either through prayer, or awareness or engaging further in the fight. I’m glad Julie Cosgrove has had the guts to tell Marisol’s gritty tale. The reality is we are all at times trapped and wounded by the sins of others and the lessons Marisol learns are for us all. God forgives and there is freedom in Christ.