DANGER IN THE SHADOWS by Dee Henderson
SERIES: O’Malley prequel
GENRE: Romantic Suspense (Christian)
PUBLISHER: Tyndale House
RELEASE DATE: July 28, 1999
Sara’s terrified. She’s falling in love. And if that’s not bad enough, it’s with former pro football player Adam Black, a man everyone knows. That fact could cost Sara her life. Sara has been invisible, hidden away in a witness protection program from the man who kidnapped her and her sister twenty-five years ago, who caused her sister’s death, and who so traumatized Sara that she blocked out the memory of his face. But Sara knows that he’s still doing everything possible to find her – and finish her off before her memory returns. Her only safety is in staying invisible, but Adam won’t listen, or give up on what they can have together. Soon they’re both caught in a chain of events that brings Sara face to face with terror – and with the sure knowledge that only God can save her and set her free from the Danger in the Shadows.
Introducing the O’Malleys, an inspirational group of seven, all abandoned or orphaned as teens, who have made the choice to become a loyal and committed family. They have chosen their own surname, O’Malley, and have stood by each other through moments of joy and heartache. Their stories are told in CBA best-selling, inspirational romantic suspense novels that rock your heart and restore strength and hope to your spirit.
For this first Favorites Friday review, I am going to talk about Danger In The Shadows, the prequel to the much beloved O’Malley Family series by Christian romantic suspense maven Dee Henderson. Anyone who is familiar with the Christian romantic suspense genre knows Henderson’s books, and Danger In The Shadows is, in my opinion, one of her best. It has everything – humor, suspense, romance, suspense, faith, suspense (did I mention suspense already??). And just to show you how long it has been a favorite of mine, the cover of my copy looks like a well-read version of this:
Sixteen years, my friends! Sixteen years and Danger In The Shadows has maintained its very solid place on my favorites shelf. (Update from 2023 Carrie – it’s now been 24 years and it’s still one of my very very faves ♥)
Why it’s a favorite:
1) The relationship between Sara and her brother (who is the hero in the first O’Malley Family book). My own brother and I have always been very close friends. Well… okay… maybe not when either of us were teenagers… but we got past that stage and as adults we truly enjoy being around each other. Sara and her brother have a similar relationship, and I think that really drew me to their characters (and this story) right away.
2) How Sara deals with her fear-flaw. She is sophisticated, beautiful, gracious, and talented both as an author and illustrator. Yet, she has a flaw – debilitating fear. When I first read this book, I too suffered from the kind of anxiety/fear that paralyzed me at times. It would keep me inside the house on days when I had other plans. It would distract me to the point of obsession if I was forced to carry on with plans instead of hiding. This kind of fear had held me captive since childhood, like Sara, and it took me down personality roads that I never dreamed I would travel. Sara’s raw honesty about her fear and her broken courage in spite of it encouraged me at the time, and though it would be several more years before I found freedom from my own chains I needed to know I wasn’t alone – even if my compatriot happened to be fictional.
3) Darn good writing. I just plain did not want to put it down, and it has stood the test of time with me. Danger In The Shadows is a book that I still pick up and read every now and then, and I’m just as engaged today as I was 16 years ago. Even though I know how it ends. Even though there aren’t any surprises anymore. To me, this is the mark of a stellar author – to be able to still hold your attention when all the cards are already on the table.
Bottom Line: The action in Danger in the Shadows by Dee Henderson starts almost from the very beginning and keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very end. You can’t ever relax. Trust me on this one. If you should ignore my warning and think it’s safe to get comfy, don’t blame me for any startled flailing that might commence. I did inform you thusly. The tender romance starts also almost from the very beginning and winds throughout the book as Sara tries to figure out how to juggle her growing feelings for public figure Adam (and his persistent ones for her) with the safety measures that must be kept in place for her security. The story behind why exactly she needs all of this security – and her double identity – unfolds as the book progresses and will have you in tears if you are prone to that sort of thing while reading. (I am and it did.) The way Ms. Henderson crafts this tale is really just masterful and could easily be played out on a movie or television screen with great success.
(I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book which I purchased long ago for my own collection. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 5 stars / In a class by itself!
KissingBook Level: 3+ / will forget to breathe on occasion
Dee Henderson is the author of the Uncommon Heroes series of military romance novels and the O’Malley series of romantic suspense novels. She is the daughter of a minister and has a special interest in church planting. Henderson lives in central Illinois.
What about you? What makes you want to read Danger in the Shadows by Dee Henderson?