- Author: Lynette Eason
- Publisher: Revell
- Available Now
- Synopsis: Hostage negotiator Julianna Jameson of the CIA finds her cases taking a personal turn, in the days leading up to the anniversary of a school shooting. Her path intersects with hat of Clay, who is a school resource officer.
- Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher. Opinions conveyed are my own.
Be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you.Eph. 4:32
Julianne is a believer and prays, throughout the novel. Clay has distanced himself from God, in response to a tragic incident.
Forgiveness plays an important role in the novel, as does grace/mercy. There are multiple references to the sanctity of life, which I enjoy seeing in a Christian novel– all the more after the miraculous overturning of Roe.
There is also some discussion about free will and God’s sovereignty, as well as a scene I really enjoyed that touches on trusting God and not honoring bad circumstances over Him.
What I Liked
This is my second time reading a novel by Lynette Eason (my first was the first book in this series), and, again, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Eason has such a strong handle on the craft, and after beginning the book, I couldn’t help but think of the words of Josephine Barry (aka Diana’s Aunt Jo) in the Kevin Sullivan adaptation of Anne of Green Gables: “I like people who make me like them. Saves me so much trouble forcing myself to like them.”
As I thought of it, Crossfire was a book that “saved me the trouble” of making myself like it. There are so many books that start out slow and then pick up traction as you go along; this was not one of them. Eason swept me right into the action, from the start of the book, which is so refreshing!
Friends and Family
Book one introduced the friendship between four remarkable characters: Penny, Julianna, Grace and… Raina. Book one is about Penny and book two is about Julianna, so my guess is that the following books in the series will follow the other ladies.
There are several things I like about the characters’ friendship:
- The women have been friends for almost two decades, and they became Christians, together (long before the start of the book)
- It’s nice to read about a friendship where the characters don’t all live super close to one another. While I enjoy reading about girlfriends who can meet up for coffee whenever they feel like it, I like this realistic portrayal of friendships, since people aren’t always in close proximity to their friends
- And yet, in spite of the distance, the friends are very much there for each other (including Grace driving several hours to Julianne’s house, in the middle of the night)
- I like that there are four best friends, as opposed to two sets of best friends. It’s fun to read about a group of girlfriends.
Additionally, I liked the family relationships portrayed in the book. I think books often explore sibling relationships, or parent-child relationships, but I enjoyed Eason’s twist, with two older siblings who watch out for their younger siblings. (And, in Julianne’s case, she is basically her sister’s guardian). It was also really fun that the little sisters, despite the five-year age gap, became friends with each other.
I believe there were five perspectives in the book, although the bulk of the focus was on Juliann and Clay. Eason did a fantastic job of building intrigue this way, as there were two minor characters, whose connection to the main characters was not initially apparent. And the shift from third to first person at one point. That totally threw me off, but in a good way, as in “this seems like a potentially risky choice on the author’s part, but it works!”
After reading book one, I really felt the need to keep on my toes. I kept shuffling through possible suspects, as I didn’t want to be surprised by the revelation. (When an author does a good job surprising me, I’m impressed, but also sometimes offended haha. I want to figure it out!) I really enjoyed trying to figure out what was going on, and the mystery element was so well-written. As far as mystery/suspense goes, Eason has already become a favorite author.
There are multiple hostage situations, including deaths of hostages.
This is clearly referenced on the back cover, but I definitely wouldn’t recommend this book to someone who has experienced / been personally affected by a school shooting. We get several flashbacks to Julianne’s memory of the event.
There is a little bit of narration from the villain’s perspective. From what I recall, book one was “worse” in this regard and a lot creepier, overall. Comparatively, book two was less graphic/gruesome (although there was still a bit of death).
I think there was a little bit of kissing. Nothing too memorable which, for me, is a good thing!
There was one line about a character “always” having another character’s back. This is something I do see a bit of in Christian fiction, but I do believe that God is the only One who is ALWAYS there. This isn’t to discount the covenant of marriage, but humans are… human.
As much as I liked book one, I feel that I can more easily recommend book two. The plot was a lot less creepy, so I didn’t feel as weird about reading it. Additionally, I feel that the spiritual elements were a bit more memorable, in this book. I’m really enjoying Eason’s books and look forward to number three!