Three Missing Days (Book Review)

  • Author: Colleen Coble
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson
  • Published: April 2021 (Buy Here)
  • Synopsis: In the conclusion to the Pelican Harbor series, Jane and Reid must vindicate their teenage son Will, who has been framed for murder.
  • I found this book at the public library and grabbed it because it was Thomas Nelson. What a treasure it proved to be!

Scripture Connection

Vindicate the weak and fatherless;

do justice to the afflicted and destitute.

Psalm 82:3

The LORD has brought about our vindication;

Come and let us recount in Zion

The work of the LORD our God!

Jeremiah 51:10

Jane, the main character, is chief of police and justice, and the corruption of justice, are central in the book.

Spiritual Themes

Trusting in God is a theme I frequently encounter in Christian suspense novels and, while this is certainly an important message, it can also feel a bit vague and overdone at points. I really appreciated Coble’s key spiritual theme, which takes the usual message a step farther. The novel emphasizes trusting in God for justice, when the world’s justice fails.

I find this message really refreshing, because western Christianity often conflates worldly success with godliness. Having a lot of money, for instance, is synonymous with stewardship, when it can actually be a sign of greed. In fact, Jesus praised those who trusted God for provision in the beatitudes, and James decries favoritism on the basis of wealth. So, I appreciated that the protagonist, in spite of her efforts to carry out justice, found that the world’s justice systems cannot be trusted. But God can.

What I Liked

This is my first time reading a novel by Colleen Coble and I really enjoyed it. Although this was book three in a series, it was pretty easy to piece together what had happened, so far.

I liked Jane, as a character. She’s a strong woman AND the chief of police, which felt like a slight break from the traditional suspense protagonist. It seems that women in suspense novels are usually the one being saved, or else they’re “hot” because of their strength and skill. (Even if the word “hot” isn’t used, this feels like a trend in the genre. The woman’s strength is what makes her so attractive to the man.) In this case, Reid certainly respects Jane’s career, even while seeking to protect her. Jane and Reid also have a shared history, and Reid knew Jane long before she joined the police force. I also feel that her cop, rather than an agent, broke from the trope.

The pacing is excellent, with alternating viewpoints that keep the plot going quickly. This was an instance where each scene feels significant, without having to wade through a lot of “fluff” to get to the next clue. Instead, each event and interaction ties meaningfully to the final revelation.

The character development felt realistic and the characters were believable. Jane’s dad, Charlie, for instance, is a hero to his grandson– and the man who ripped up his wife’s books. The relationship between Jane, Reid and Will is also very sweet and the emotions believable, making for a heartwarming and rewarding conclusion.

I appreciated that the spiritual content is woven throughout, not just added as an afterthought. This was what prompted me to review the title 🙂

Content Concerns

There’s maybe one (slightly) more intense kissing scenes, but the characters are committed to waiting until they are married to become more intimate. A few lines about Reid looking “good enough to eat,” which is more just a line that bothers me.

Violence is slightly on the graphic side, with a scene where the characters must look through some horrifying photographs from a murder.

Recommendation Status

Three Missing Days is a book that I would gladly recommend. In addition to the fact that it’s well-written and paced, the faith elements are intentionally and meaningfully placed. This is a case where I feel good about recommending the book on the basis of the spiritual content, as it is threaded throughout, not just tossed on top of the story.

Published by Stephaniesninthsuitcase

Hi, there! My name is Stephanie and I’m a Fresno, CA native. After studying at Biola University, I received my MLIS (Masters in Library Science) from San Jose State University. I live with my mom, poet Kimberly Vargas Agnese, and serve as her unofficial agent. We reside at MeadowArc, a food forest in its infancy. I am called to, and passionate about, purity. In fact, the name Agnes means “pure.” Before I was born, my mom felt led to include the name Agnes in her name, and in the names of her children. My full, hyphenated name includes 26 letters (but not the whole alphabet).

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