Critical Threat (Book Review)

  • Author: Lynette Eason
  • Publisher: Revell
  • Available Now
  • Synopsis: Grace Billingsley, a profiling psychologist with the FBI, tracks a serial killer whose methods are strikingly similar to those of a convicted (and incarcerated) criminal. Sam, the son of the convict, and a fellow psychologist, contributes to the search for justice.
  • Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher. Opinions expressed are my own.

Scripture Connection

For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.

For God did not send His Son into the world to judge the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him.

John 3:16-17

Spiritual Themes

The John 3 verses are included as the epigraph before the start of the book, and I found it be a fitting passage. Verse 17 is about God’s desire to save, not judge, the world, and Grace’s desire as an agent is to be part of God’s work of redemption. Verse 16, a beautiful, familiar verse, is about God’s love for the world in sending His Son to save it.

Compared to (my memory of) the first two books, I think that Critical Threat contained slightly more in the way of spiritual content. I really appreciated the discussion between Grace and Sam’s family about why she entered the profession and how her faith informed her work. I also liked the synopsis Grace gave of the Garden of Eden, when she was talking to Eleni, in this same conversation. It was neat to see the direct connection between that event and Grace’s job choice.

What I Liked

The Extreme Measures series has been my first exposure to Lynette Eason’s work, and I have been delighted to review each book in the series, as it comes out. I was so excited to join the blogger team for Critical Threat. In fact, because I wasn’t ready to go back to work after break, one of my personal incentives was that I couldn’t start Critical Threat until after work had started up again. I had the pleasure of reading the novel during a three-day weekend. After getting about thirty pages in one night, I finished the rest of the book the next day. As I expected, it was a lot of fun to read.

Series

Reflecting, first, on the series, I like that each book is a definitive standalone, without spoilers about other books (aside from spoilers about the romances. However, there’s no “mystery” as to who the characters will end up with, while reading). I also enjoy stepping back into the same world each time, as we gain the perspective of one of four women: Penny, Juliana, Grace and Raina. Each book, we get to see their friendship and support of one another, while following a specific woman in her work.

Additional Elements

I liked the twist the author took with Sam’s character, in making him the son of a serial killer. I encountered a similar character in Terri Blackstock’s Restoration series, but in that case we didn’t really get to see the longterm consequences that the character’s action had on his son.

Sam’s children had such cool names: Xander and Eleni! On the note of Sam’s family, I also really appreciated the family’s living arrangements, which I won’t spoil here. But that was neat!

The mystery and pacing, as usual, were highly engaging. Eason is a tricky writer, but I did figure out a little more before the reveal this time, so I was pleased with that.

I’m going to take this as an “Easter egg.” There’s a reference to “Carrie Parks’s forensic art class.” In addition to the fact that she endorsed Life Flight, Carrie Stuart Parks is also the author of the recent Woman in Shadow, which is a mystery about a forensics artist.

Content

There are a few exclamatory uses of “gah.”

The novel contains several kissing scenes, but they weren’t over the top, for me.

Recommendation Status

Lynette Eason has quickly become one of my favorite suspense authors. The spiritual content, while light, adds meaning and texture to the plotline of Critical Threat.

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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