Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Review of Violet Dawn
I really don't like reviews much. They're such downers in general. A reviewer can say basically good things about my book and point out one bad thing--and it's the bad line that'll stick with me most. I know I'm not alone in this; I think it's a universal author thing.
Truth is--reviews are so subjective. They reflect one person's opinion, that's all. Some will agree with that person; some won't. Or they may agree with certain points but not others. Bottom line, I think in every novel there's going to be strengths and weaknesses. I just don't want to have any weaknesses in mine. They're all supposed to be perfect, dontcha know.
In my next life.
Anyway, my publicist alerted me to this review. I pass it on to you because I found it interesting, coming from the perspective of a nonChristian. [Besides, it's positive, and that ain't a bad thing either.] It came from www.who-dunnit.com/reviews, and was written by Alan Paul Curtis. I thank Mr. Curtis for taking the time to read and review Violet Dawn, particularly since he doesn't usually chose to read Christian novels.
Violet Dawn is the first book of the Kanner Lake series by Brandilyn Collins. Ms. Collins has also written at least three other series – Hidden Faces, Bradleyville, and Chelsea Adams books. Brandilyn Collins has chosen to write for Zondervan - the Christian division of Harper Collins - due to a sudden release from a debilitating case of Lyme disease. She attributes disappearance of the symptoms to prayer and God's power. Whatever beliefs you have in any power stronger than human, and if you are spiritual rather than Christian, you may ignore her references to Christianity. Ms. Collins still writes a scary, beautiful book, with characters and plot twists to enthrall – and you can pass over the minor references to God if you prefer. Ms. Collins is a very talented lady.
At the beginning of Violet Dawn, we're introduced to Paige Williams, who has moved to Kanner Lake in Idaho from a mysterious past – a past she wishes to remain undiscovered. Unable to sleep, she goes out to her deck in the wee hours to her hot tub, and after climbing in, discovers she has company – the dead body of a famous woman.
Then we meet Bailey Truitt, owner of the Java Joint and an incapacitated husband. Bailey is struggling to meet her bills with the increased responsibility of additional medication for her husband. And we're also introduced to Vince Edwards, chief of police for the area who lost a son just a year ago in Iraq. Leslie Brymes is a young journalist – a reporter for the Kanner Lake Times, eager to find a story that will give her a break. Then there's a man called Black Mamba – evidently out to blame Paige for the murder of the actress he himself has killed – among others. Finally we're taken back in time to Rachel Brandt – who lives with an abusive mother constantly high on drugs with a series of unspeakable live-in boyfriends.
All these people are important to the story, and come together in the most surprising twist near the end. Each has a definite personality, which Ms. Collins aptly defines.
As I've already mentioned, I don't normally care to write reviews for Christian publications. Having once been Christian myself, and gone on to what I believe is something better, I do not want to encourage anyone to change their beliefs regardless of what they happen to be. Brandilyn Collins is an outstanding author who has chosen to believe in a personal God, and I applaud her for her choice – some individuals are meant for certain beliefs and others not. But whatever your chosen spiritual line, this is an author you shouldn't ignore. Disregard Ms. Collins references to the God power if that turns you off, but do read Violet Dawn. It's a fine murder mystery.