Book Review: Burning Proof by Janice Cantore

July 16, 2016 Christian, contemporary, Janice Cantore, mystery/suspense, romance 4

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about the book

After months of investigating the brutal homicide of a young girl, Detective Abby Hart finally has the evidence she needs. But when the arrest goes terribly wrong, Abby begins to doubt her future as a police officer. As she wrestles with conflicting emotions, old questions about the fire that took her parents’ lives come back to haunt her.

“There is proof.” PI Luke Murphy can’t stop thinking about what Abby’s former partner, Asa Foster, mumbled just before he died. When he uncovers a clue to the murder of Abby’s parents and his uncle, he’s reluctant to tell Abby, despite his growing feelings for the beautiful detective.

A decade-old abduction case brings Luke and Abby together, but will his secret tear them apart?

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SERIES: Cold Case Justice #2
GENRE: Mystery/Suspense
PUBLISHER: Tyndale
RELEASE DATE: March 1, 2016
PAGES: 400

“He raised his gun and fired. So did Abby.”

*this review originally posted on Straight Off The Page*

While Burning Proof is more about suspense and less about romance, the relationship tension in this book – the will-they-wont-they – is palpable enough to rival any of the great crime-fighting duos on TV. Castle and Beckett. Bones and Booth. Scarecrow & Mrs King. In the first book, Drawing Fire, Janice Cantore introduced us to Abby Burning Proof book reviewHart and her parents’ cold case.  We also met Luke and Ethan – Luke being the guy who makes her heart flutter (and incidentally can’t stop thinking about her) and Ethan being her longtime sweetheart-turned-fiancé who wants her to quit being a cop and become a missionary with him. She and Luke share a bond over the restaurant fire that killed her parents and his uncle.  She and Ethan share a history.  Both want a future with Abby and, in Burning Proof, this plays out in a way I would expect to see on TV but have rarely seen in novels.

I loved it and hated it all at the same time.

Don’t get me wrong – Cantore did a phenomenal job of writing the tension, including a plot twist I didn’t see coming.  Said plot twist accounts for the “hated” part of my conflicting reactions.  Not because I don’t like the book (quite the opposite) but because the addition of beautiful blogger Faye makes my heart sink. Ethan may or may not be out of the picture, but now Luke has an interest other than Abby… and … just … ARGH.

The professional reviewer in me should say here that – clearly – Janice Cantore is skilled at drawing an emotional reaction from her readers and creating characters in whom readers can invest. The romantic, OTP-loving, bubble-heart addict in me just wants to wail at the unfairness of it all.  (By the way, in case you’re like I was before I started hanging around some YA bloggers and you don’t know what OTP stands for either, I’ll tell you.  One. True. Pairing.  I feel a little like the girl in “Sleepless in Seattle” right now.)

But I did say that this series is only minimally about romance, didn’t I? It really is more about suspense, action, and faith than about whether Luke and Abby will ever see WHAT’S RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM!!! Ahem. Sorry.

Burning Proof picks up almost where Drawing Fire left off and, while it’s not quite as action-packed as its predecessor, there are still plenty of edge-of-your-seat moments!  Both cold cases are riveting – the current one that Luke and Woody are researching for beautiful blogger Faye (woeful sigh) and the ongoing arc of the murder of Abby’s parents’ and Luke’s uncle.  The latter case keeps gaining new layers to peel back, new aspects to investigate, and a stunning development or five that I thought were really well done. Cantore’s history as a law enforcement officer is reflected in the plot construction, the characters, the action, and the procedures. All of these elements combine to make a really entertaining suspense read.  The high-stakes action is so well-crafted that it often feels as though you’re watching it all play out on the TNT channel instead of on the page in front of you.

The message of faith is the novel’s foundation, and “foundation” plays a key role in that message. The author weaves the faith threads naturally throughout the story, and it provides a reprieve of peace from the tension and suspense.  Themes of trusting God’s justice and finding the solid foundation He’s given you are sure to resonate with readers at many different stages of faith.

Bottom Line: Overall, Burning Proof is entertaining, well-written, suspenseful, and intriguing.  It will also twist your heart if you’re prone to attach yourself to romantic pairings, and it will leave you waiting eagerly for the next book in the series! Which, incidentally, comes out September 1st!! So you don’t have too terribly long to wait. Fans of TV’s Castle will really enjoy this series, as well as suspense fans in general. Cantore’s experience in law enforcement brings authenticity as well as humanity to her writing, and her books are always a good choice!

(I received a copy of this book in exchange for only my honest review.)

My Rating: 4 stars / Loved it!

KissingBook Level: 3 / THE TENSION, y’all!

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about the author

janice cantore

A former Long Beach, California, police officer of twenty-two years, Janice Cantore worked a variety of assignments, including patrol, administration, juvenile investigations, and training. She’s always enjoyed writing and published two short articles on faith at work for Cop and Christ and Today’s Christian Woman before tackling novels. A few years ago, she retired to a house in the mountains of Southern California, where she writes suspense novels designed to keep readers engrossed and leave them inspired.

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Other Books by Janice Cantore

 

   

What about you? Who’s your favorite will-they-won’t-they-admit-they’re-in-love crime fighting duo?

Carrie

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