Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Blood Lines: My Review

I don't know why I requested this book. It is nothing like what I usually read. I looked back at the offering email and I still didn't know what possessed me to respond. When I got the book in the mail I wondered if some publicist had sent it to me unsolicted but when I checked my sent mail folder, I realized I had indeed asked for it. Despite my underwhelming desire to read this book once it showed up, I really enjoyed it.

Looking back on it, maybe one reason I requested it was that I was curious how the "Christian" aspect fit into a book described as "Commander Will Coburn's NCIS team is investigating the carjacking and assault of a young Marine and his wife. All evidence points to Bobby Lee Gant, son of the notorious criminal and suspected international drug smuggler Victor Gant. When NCIS agent Shel McHenry is wounded during a botched arrest, the team rallies around him even as Victor threatens retribution. Meanwhile, in west Texas, Shel's father, Tyrel McHenry, struggles with his own demons as buried secrets from a war long since fought come to light. The path he chooses will change his—and Shel's—life forever. "

As I noted, this book isn't typical of the type of thing I read so I'm not sure quite how to go about evaluating it, except to say that yes, I liked it and no, it wasn't preachy. As noted in the blub above, the main characters are members of NCIS, an investigative arm of the navy. Shel, one of the team members, is a Marine, and has a distant realationship with his father, a fact that still bothers him after all these years. He and his partner are trying to arrest Bobby Lee Gant, things go wrong, Shel has to kill Bobby Lee and, during the operation, Shel is injured. Bobby Lee's father, head of a notorious motorcycle gang, vows revenge on Shel and his family. We learn that Bobby's father and Shel's father had been together in Viet Nam and that something happened that changed Shel's father forever. The team attempts to capture Gant, and Shel tries to find out what happened that day in Viet Nam.

Where does "Christian" come into this, since it is marketed as a Christian novel? Well, Shel's brother is a preacher--but we don't hear him preach. A few characters pray, but we aren't treated to pages of their prayers. There are a couple of brotherly conversations and a growing awareness of God's presence, and they come at a time in the story when I think looking beyond where life is now would be a normal thing to do.

As I said, I don't usually read this type of book so I don't know how it compares to secular crime thriller books or to other Christian books of this genre. I do know I enjoyed it and if you are looking for a clean read with manly adventure, this should fill the bill.

This will be toured by First Wildcard January 6. Check back then to read the first chapter.


  1. Sounds like something my teens would enjoy... thanks for the review

  2. Mel Odom is a very talented writer. This was a great review considering you don't normally read this type of story. I read the last book in one of his young adult series not long ago, and it was my first introduction to his work - - this man is all about suspense/thriller/action!!

    I look forward to blogging together!


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