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Book Jacket

Softcover
348 pages
Jan 2009
Harvest House Publishers

Inside Story

by Susan Page Davis

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Review:

In Inside Story, author Susan Page Davis tells the story of ambitious global journalist Claudia Gillette and Lieutenant Bill White, a member of a naval special ops team. The two meet through family connections but become closer as their respective assignments bring them together in various remote locations around the world. Claudia eventually uses her military contacts to land an interview with a woman on Bill’s team, causing Bill a great deal of frustration when she’s dropped in the middle of a special mission and the team is attacked by rebel armies. As Bill is caught between wanting to protect Claudia and needing to finish the mission he started, their relationship becomes strained, and Claudia is uncertain of her place in Bill’s life.

Davis incorporates action sequences into the novel at every opportunity. Unexpected guerrilla attacks, violent attacks by rebel armies, and frightening encounters with terrorist groups keep the story moving quickly. This fast pace is accentuated by the book’s short chapters, making it easy for readers to move through the story. However, the high speed and intense action leave little room in the story for the full development of Claudia’s and Bill’s relationship. The author maintains a focus on the internal struggles of the characters and the external events that guide their relationships, rather than showing developmental interaction between the two characters. Even the ending lacks true resolution, coming to an abrupt close on the last page.

The spiritual concept of unequally yoked relationships between Christians and non-Christians is strong throughout the novel. Bill accepted Christ earlier in his life and is dedicated to serving the Lord, but Claudia sees no need in her life for the religion of her sister and brother-in-law, or Bill. However, Claudia decides she will be able to handle Bill’s tendency toward prayer and Bible reading and pursues a relationship anyway. Bill, who longs for the company and love of this intriguing woman, struggles with the command clearly laid out in 2 Corinthians 6:14, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (NIV) Davis directly addresses Bill’s personal struggle, allowing the reader truly to see his internal conflict. The gospel is never explicitly explained in the story, but its presentation is alluded to and the effects of this exchange are evident later in the story.

Both characters in this story possess strong personalities. Even though Claudia has never adopted the religious codes of her closest family members, she isn’t even tempted by the drunken party lifestyle of the staff photographer she works with, a man she desperately wants to help. Bill, a solid Christian man, decides that God is more important to him than anything, or anyone, and takes action to live out that belief. However, both main characters approach the events in the story with attitudes that make them seem almost too perfect. Neither Bill nor Claudia expresses genuine fear through their actions or words, even in situations that would make the normal person shudder. Neither character reveals serious doubt about their relationship, even when mixed signals and abandonment would create severe tension and conflict in a real relationship of the same intensity. They lack the real human factor.

This novel definitely targets an audience interested in romance and military-related adventures, requiring readers to stomach some intensely violent situations. Davis never describes the violence in truly explicit terms, but it’s still present. Not your normal romance, Inside Story addresses an issue that many Christians struggle with: the desire to choose another human being over God. This material remains prevalent in our society and offers Christians struggling in similar situations encouragement to follow God, even in the midst of terrifying events, because ultimately He will lead His people, guiding them in the direction He has planned for their lives. – Nicole Miller, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com

Book Jacket:

Following up on the adventures of men in uniform in Frasier Island and Finding Marie, Susan Page Davis offers readers another suspenseful novel of international diplomacy and romance.

Claudia Gillette, an upscale magazine correspondent, will go to any lengths for a good story. Bill White, a navy lieutenant, performs secret missions all over the world. Attraction sizzles between them, but these two can’t synchronize their globe–trotting watches long enough for a date. Claudia also has more than romance in mind...she wants the inside story on Bill’s exotic assignments.

When she goes over his head and obtains permission to join his outfit on a sensitive mission in the Philippines, Bill is both angry and afraid for her. Will her presence endanger his team? When things go badly, only faith in God can give them hope for tomorrow...but even if they both make it, what’s the inside scoop on Bill and Claudia having a future together?