FACING THE ENEMY by DiAnn Mills
GENRE: Romantic Suspense (Christian)
PUBLISHER: Tyndale House
RELEASE DATE: September 5, 2023
For the past five years, FBI Special Agent Risa Jacobs has worked in the violent crimes against children division of the Houston FBI. She’s never had reason to believe there’s a target on her back . . . until now.
When the long-awaited reunion between Risa and her brother, Trenton, ends in tragedy, Risa is riddled with guilt, unable to cope with the responsibility she feels over his death. On leave from the FBI, Risa returns to her former career as an English teacher at a local college, only to see her past and present collide when one of her students, Carson Mercury, turns in an assignment that reads like an eyewitness account of her brother’s murder, with details never revealed publicly.
Alarmed by Carson’s inside knowledge of Trenton’s death, Risa reaches out to her former partner at the FBI. Special Agent Gage Patterson has been working a string of baby kidnappings, but he agrees to help look into Carson’s background. Risa and Gage soon discover their cases might be connected as a string of high-value thefts have occurred at properties where security systems were installed by Carson’s stepfather and children have gone missing. There’s a far more sinister plot at play than they ever imagined, and innocent lives are in danger.
For fans of romantic suspense comes a heart-pounding thriller about loss, betrayal, and finding the strength to trust again.
A hit-and-run murder. A baby kidnapping ring. FBI agents being targeted. All this – plus a sweet romance and thoughtful explorations of grief and loss – awaits you on the pages of DiAnn Mills’ latest suspense, Facing the Enemy.
Our first encounters with Agent Risa Jacobs are a roller coaster of emotions – cautious hope to joy to unspeakable grief… all in one day. My heart went out to her, and I wished I could reach through the pages and hug her tight. On top of all this, she is threatened with harm to other people she loves if she doesn’t resign from the FBI immediately. Talk about major upheaval in such a short time! Cut off from everyone in her inner circle – for their safety – she battles grief and guilt in isolation even as she’s determined to find justice for her brother’s death. And then…. one chilling short story flips the script yet again and we’re off and running, back with her partner Gage (with whom she’s in love) and hunting a consortium of ruthless killers with heart-stopping danger at every turn.
Just about the time I thought I had things pieced together, another twist upended my mental jigsaw puzzle and sent me – and Risa & Gage – back to square one, with a few more pieces completed than I had before… once the dust settles, that is. The villains in Facing the Enemy are truly vile with no respect for human life and willing to use gruesome means to get rid of whoever might stand in their way. Be prepared to have the wind knocked out of you a few times in this one. Needless to say, I cheered quite loudly (in my head) when these particular bad guys were brought to justice, and I was quite proud of Risa for some kick-butt defensive strategies there at the end. And while the active criminals in this novel are resolved quite satisfactorily, it does leave some doors open for possible future books, too. (Gage in particular has a loose thread that I’d love to see tied up someday.)
Bottom Line: Facing the Enemy is another thrill ride from DiAnn Mills, a high-stakes suspense that engages your emotions as it barrels to a harrowing conclusion. Some of the dialogue is a bit choppy at first and I struggled to understand some of Risa’s early decisions, but both of those issues disappeared as I became absorbed in the story. The romance between Gage & Risa is sweet, and I liked that we switched back and forth between their first person POVs because it gave me insight into Gage’s feelings too. I also appreciated that counseling is highlighted as a way to help process loss and grief – “Honesty brings us one step closer to healing and giving the tragedy to God.” – and that we get a front row seat to Risa’s renewed relationship with God. All of this makes the characters that much more relatable and gives the novel a balanced perspective that speaks to our hearts.
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4 stars / enjoyed it!
KissingBook Level: 3 / may forget to breathe on occasion
DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She creates action-packed, suspense-filled novels to thrill readers. Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists and won two Christy Awards, the Golden Scroll, Inspirational Reader’s Choice, and Carol Award contests. DiAnn’s latest novel, Facing the Enemy, releases from Tyndale in September 2023. Connect with DiAnn at diannmills.com.
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