Robin Caroll’s Fear No Evil is a suspenseful thriller that examines how God can exist in a perverted world. In this sequel to Deliver Us From Evil, Lincoln Vailes, park ranger turned Louisiana cop, finds himself protecting a local social worker from increasingly dangerous “accidents” while grappling with family issues that cause him to question his faith, raising questions that everyone – Christian or not – has pondered.
Lincoln finds himself in the midst of a gang upheaval centered on Jade Laurent, a local social worker assigned to her first case. As he investigates several shootings and attacks on Jade that eventually put her in the ICU, he must come to grips with his own roiling emotions and anger with God. Similarly, Jade must learn to trust in God and those He sent to care for her, despite her heartbreaking past.
In an effort to develop the characters more fully, the narrator jumps from scene to scene, granting views into the lives of several leading characters, including Lincoln, Jade, and Guerrero, the president of a Philadelphia gang. We also see snapshots from a menace plotting mayhem and a gangster turned born-again Christian to complete the set. While at times this made the plot more predictable, Caroll does a great job of illustrating awkward first meetings just as easily as she does changing relationships. The only exception to this is in regard to the main love interest, which was as fast-paced as the novel itself and fairly unrealistic in light of the personalities and pasts of the characters involved. However, the concern and panic Lincoln feels when Jade suffers from a flash explosion is undeniable and almost tangible in its sincerity.
This was an enjoyable plot, action-packed and fast-paced. In addition, Caroll shows how a wide variety of people can all find, return to, or strengthen their relationship with the Lord, while others facing the same situations choose a much different path. Most of the characters dwell on the past and face difficult emotions and situations but come to terms with their predicaments, and many of them seek to discover more about God. The story is a great setting for portraying biblical principles that include trusting in a just and merciful God and finding strength in Him.
The theme comes from Psalm 23:4—“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Similarly, each chapter begins with a verse that correlates with the chapter’s material and lends a ray of light for the more sinister chapters. Caroll draws from both the Old and New Testaments, pulling the love of God into the story to encourage and uplift the reader. This book is great for young teens and anyone who struggles with understanding God’s justice when terrible things happen. – Kate Sozansky, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
With his father in a nursing home and his mother needing support, former Great Smoky Mountains park ranger Lincoln Vailes moves to the bayou town of Eternal Springs, Louisiana, to become a police officer. Recent college graduate and eager social worker Jade Laurent has also moved there to try and right the wrongs of an abusive past. But someone is running her car off the road and pointing guns in her direction. As Lincoln investigates her case, he uncovers ties to big-city gang warfare up north that appears to be making its evil way down south.