Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Cape Refuge by Terri Blackstock

Good morning everyone! It's been one of those weeks so far... you know, the kind where something happens to (almost) ruin your day, every day. That's ok, though. It's HUMP DAY! I finished a very exciting book last night by an author I've never read before. Let's just say, I will definitely be reading the rest of this series and more of Terri Blackstock in the future. Cape Refuge is book one of the Cape Refuge series. It's one of those "I shouldn't stay up late at night reading this book but I can't put it down," type books. If I didn't have a research paper that needed to be done, I probably would have finished this book Monday instead of last night!

Cape Refuge (Cape Refuge Series #1)Overview: Mystery and suspense combine in this first book in an exciting new 4-book series by best-selling author Terri Blackstock. Thelma and Wayne Owens run a bed and breakfast in Cape Refuge, Georgia. They minister to the seamen on the nearby docks and prisoners just out of nearby jails, holding services in an old warehouse and taking many of the 'down-and-outers' into their home. They have two daughters: the dutiful Morgan who is married to Jonathan, a fisherman, and helps them out at the B & B, and Blair, the still-single town librarian, who would be beautiful if it weren't for the serious scar on the side of her face.
After a heated, public argument with his in-laws, Jonathan discovers Thelma and Wayne murdered in the warehouse where they held their church services. Considered the prime suspect, Jonathan is arrested. Grief-stricken, Morgan and Blair launch their own investigation to help Matthew Cade, the town's young police chief, find the real killer. Shady characters and a raft of suspects keep the plot twisting and the suspense building as we learn not only who murdered Thelma and Wayne, but also the secrets about their family's past and the true reason for Blair's disfigurement.

My Review: This book is fantastic!There are a host of characters represented in this book, but only five points of view. At first, I thought this would be confusing and make the story harder to follow. Boy, was I wrong. Terri Blackstock writes the book in a way that endears each character to you, while still following the same plot line. Morgan Cleary is kind-hearted, tender, and the complete opposite of her sister, Blair. She loves with her whole heart and wants to help everyone in need she meets. Blair Owens, who was burned in a bad fire as a child, carries around her hurt and pain like a shield. She doesn't let anyone get too close. Deep down, though, she is just as tender and emotional as her sister. Jonathan Cleary is Morgan's husband. He is strong and protective. He loves his wife and sometimes that clouds his judgement. Matthew Cade, aka Cade, is the chief of police in Cape Refuge. He works hard to prove he deserves his job, and it wasn't just given to him because he's the mayor's nephew. He also has a secret crush on Blair. Finally, Sadie is a scared, yet strong teenager. She yearns for someone to love and cherish her and she finds refuge at Hanover House.

After the murder of Wayne and Thelma Owens, the little town of Cape Refuge is thrown into disarray. Accusations start flying, people are on their guard, and the town struggles to find peace again. This book is full of mystery and suspense. The story kept me guessing until the very end. Terri Blackstock did a great job of not making the plot predictable. She also does a great job of keeping you engaged in the story.  You mourn the loss of Wayne and Thelma with these characters. Their emotions are heart-wrenching and real. The anger, sadness, and the sense of fear, uncertainty, and loss hangs heavy on each character. Who could have done this? Why would God allow this to happen?

Each character faces a spiritual struggle as well. The most prominent one, in my opinion, was Blair's. I believe her struggle is the most important because she doesn't "believe" at all. In a conversation Blair is having with one of the other characters, he states everyone believes in something. By choosing not to believe in anything, you choose to believe in something. She struggles with the concept that even though God is sovereign and knows all things, He allows man to make his own choices. A lot of people struggle with this concept, and I applaud the author with how she handled it. It didn't feel forced. It felt natural. And I can't wait to see how Blair's struggle continues in the next book.

Overall, this mystery/suspense book was fantastic. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves this genre. I will definitely be reading the next three books in the Cape Refuge series: Southern Storm, River's Edge, and Breaker's Reef so look for those reviews!

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