Pieces of Light- Julie Cave

Leah Courtney
Pieces of Light (A Dinah Harris Mystery)

I am actually very hesitant to write this review today.  I haven't read any of the other Dinah Harris mysteries by Julie Cave, but I was excited to have the opportunity to review this one because it sounded very good, and it was my first book to review for the New Leaf Publishing Group.  The reason I am reluctant to write the review is because I actually happen to agree with the beliefs expressed in the novel.  I agree very much.  However, I'm going to write a fairly negative review.

Dinah Harris is an ex FBI agent.  She has the opportunity to partner with one of her old friends and associates to solve a string of church bombings.  As she does, she grows in her new found faith and has the opportunity to share that faith with a man who is a prisoner mentally and physically.

This sounds like an exciting novel.  Suspense, mystery, intrigue- all elements that make for a good read.  However, the characters were not very realistic.  The events were forced and not very believable.  And, the message was very preachy.  The Christians in the story were too "good."  The way they talked and acted seemed scripted to be "good Christians", not very believable as real people.  The story line was suspenseful but would veer off on tangents that were somewhat difficult to follow.  And the story jumped back and forth from a current telling of a prisoner on death row to events that happened one year earlier in a way that sometimes lost coherency.

The thing that bothered me most about the book was how "preachy" it was.  And the fact is, I agree with everything.  But, the author's political and spiritual agenda was very prominent.  Characters in the story would launch into these monologues detailing the author's views fairly often.  It just didn't fit in the story, and the book was not enjoyable for me.  When I read fiction, I prefer a good story.  Christian fiction, in my opinion, should have a good, clean story line with spiritual teaching/encouragement that flows with the story.  I think the message in this book would have been much better in a non-fiction, apologetics book.

It is with great disappointment that I give this read a not so very big thumbs up.

I received a free copy of this book from New Leaf Publishing for review purposes. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Leah Courtney / Author & Editor

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