If your week starts with finding a big, strong stranger standing over your fourteen-year-old sleeping daughter and threatening your son, your week just has to get better, doesn't it? Not if you're Brandilyn Collin's forensic artist, Annie Kingston, in Dead of Night.
Redding, California, has been gripped by terror as a serial killer stalks the city's young women for torturous murders by strychnine poisonings. Now the killer's rate has picked up. He drops his next victim in Annie's back yard. Why Annie? Is she now a target? Does she know the murderer? Is this a threat against her?
Annie has been drawing the dead girls for identification in the newspaper over the past few months. Tensions rise at the police station as the murderer continues his rampage.
On top of work, Annie faces a local drug dealer's threats to her seventeen-year-old son Stephen who has gotten in trouble with the law before. Stephen's rebellion complicates the story even as Annie and her sister Jenna try to keep him alive.
Add to these problems the romantic attentions of her neighbor and her mentor at work and Annie finds a new level of prayer needed. But when the churches organize prayer vigils for the capture of the murderer, his hatred of God forces him to strike back.
Collins devises strong characterization, plot complications that the average person can relate to, and the bizarre strychnine poisonings to form a fascinating story. The characters and plot highlight Collins unobtrusive teaching on prayer which she deftly weaves into the story. As the murderer's hatred for the church and his contempt for God increase, Dead of Night becomes a larger picture of the war between good and evil.
Readers of suspense novels will enjoy Dead of Night. -- Debbie W. Wilson, Christian Book Previews.com
All words fell away. I pushed myself off the path, noticing for the first time the signs of earlier passage—the matted earth, broken twigs. And I knew. My mouth turned cottony. I licked my lips, took three halting steps. My maddening, visual brain churned out pictures of colorless faces on a cold slab—Debbie Lille, victim number one; Wanda Deminger, number three . . .
He’d been here. Dragged this one right where I now stumbled. I’d entered a crime scene, and I could not bear to see what lay at the end. . . .
This is a story about evil.
This is a story about God’s power. A string of murders terrorizes citizens in the Redding, California, area. The serial killer is cunning, stealthy. Masked by day, unmasked by night. Forensic artist Annie Kingston discovers the sixth body practically in her own back yard. Is the location a taunt aimed at her?
One by one, Annie must draw the unknown victims for identification. Dread mounts. Who will be taken next? Under a crushing oppression, Annie and other Christians are driven to pray for God’s intervention as they’ve never prayed before.
With page-turning intensity, Dead of Night dares to pry open the mind of evil. Twisted actions can wreak havoc on earth, but the source of wickedness lies beyond this world. Annie learns where the real battle takes place—and that a Christian’s authority through prayer is the ultimate, unyielding weapon.