Bombed churches, an alcoholic ex-FBI agent turned consultant, an abused family, a senator bribed into leading an attack on Christianity, and a prisoner trapped in rage are the five strands that Julie Cave weaves together in Pieces of Light. The third in the Dinah Harris Mystery series, Pieces of Light explores the hatred of Christianity and where it leads.
The story begins in the mind of the church bomber while in prison a year after the main story occurs. This personís anger and emptiness recurs throughout the book.
After a bomber targets a church in Washington, D.C., Dinah Harrisís former FBI partner, Ferguson, hires Dinah as a consultant on the case. Dinah, a widow and a new Christian, finds herself working with the shockingly handsome Special Agent Aaron Sinclair.
During this time, the McMahon family faces the challenge of recovering from the death of their abusive husband and father, Reginald McMahon. The deceased had excelled at appearing as a wonderful Christian to the world outside their home. Though his wife Rosa honestly grieves for him, their adult children, Isabelle and Michael, are still angry and glad he is gone. For their motherís sake, Isabelle is trying to hold her family together while struggling to appease her controlling husband, Scott.
U.S. Senator David Winters, an antagonist of Dinahís from previous books and an egotistical White-House hopeful, agrees to influence a Supreme Court justice on a religious freedom case in exchange for a half million dollars. The organization that bribes him wants religious groups that meet social needs, such as drug counseling or halfway houses, to be refused taxpayer funds that secular groups would receive for the same function.
As each of these subplots unfolds, Ferguson, Dinah, and Aaron Sinclair close in on the bomber. When the takedown comes, Dinah puts her life on the line to save others.
Cave writes well. She uses the subplot with Senator Winters and the legal attack on religion not only to tie the plots together, but also as an apologetic on why Christian organizations should not be excluded from the public square. Andy, a friend of Dinahís uses Joshua 4 and Matthew 5:13, the Constitution, history, and court precedent to examine the question. Although the dialogue is a little stiff, especially in the discussion on religious freedom, Cave does an admirable job of showing how the church engenders hatred and anger when it closes its eyes to sin, injustice, and evil.
Cave also clearly explains scripturally through admirable characters who help Dinah understand why she should not date Aaron Sinclair. She portrays Dinahís struggle and Sinclairís response realistically. In fact, her characterization is one of her strengths.
The greatest weakness in the book is that the villainís identity is too predictable. In spite of this, I look forward to reading other books by Cave. I appreciate her examination of important themes and questions, her characterization, and a twist at the end in one of the subplots that totally caught me by surprise. Ė Debbie W. Wilson, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
CAN REDEMPTION OVERCOME HIS RAGE?
Washington D.C. is gripped with fear at the hands of a deadly serial bomber. Religious icons and buildings are being targeted at an alarming rate, and lives are being lost. Former FBI agent Dinah Harris begins consulting on the case, sorting through both clues and unexpected challenges, professionally and personally, determined to find the kiey to solving this crisis.
The past impacts the present as a troubled family and a marriage fall slowly apart from the burdens of guilt and the pain of domestic violence. Confronting doubt and troubling questions of faith, Dinah will struggle to triumph in a story that highlights the redemptive grace of Christ to change even the most broken or evil life.
Through the painstaking investigation, it becomes clear that the bomber is angry at God and on a twisted mission as an avenging Ďangel of justice.í Dinah focuses on the bombers disturbingly humanistic motives, while authorities race to stop the violence. Will the bomber complete his deadly goal or can Dinah save the next victim - and herself - before time runs out?
The final chapter is this thrilling fiction trilogy!