Tyndale House Publishers
Rene Gutteridge turns a man’s desire for a fresh start into a living nightmare in her newest suspense thriller, Possession. Vance Graegan is moving to California with his wife Lindy and his eight-year-old son Connor, trying to forget the haunting D.C. sniper shootings he investigated. But before Vance joins his family in Redwood City, Lindy and Connor get a surprise—the movers are holding their belongings for ransom. At first glance, Vance’s problem was signing a contract he didn’t read. But the threats he receives tell him the movers possess something from his past that would hurt him and his former detective partner, Erin, if it were revealed. Vance just wants to live a normal life with Connor and Lindy. However, the movers’ threats force him to resume his detective duties.
Through the ordeal, the least-worried family member is Connor, who became a Christian after watching a television preacher. Vance and Lindy learn from Connor to obey Jesus’ command in Matthew 18:3: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” When the Graegans choose to trust Christ, amazing things happen.
The major characters are believable and relatable. Seeing the Graegans try to cope without their belongings makes the reader appreciate God’s blessings and reconsider what is important in life. Fun minor characters add occasional levity. Vance’s upscale mother-in-law and Lindy’s talkative lawyer provide comic relief in tense situations.
Guttridge masters the suspense genre by turning the most trivial event into a life-threatening dark alley. Every knock on the door of the Graegan’s new condo is a threat. Gutteridge doesn’t shy away from graphic depictions to intensify the situation. We see a couple of freshly dead bodies and Vance’s flashbacks to the sniper shootings describe the attacks in detail. Because of these aspects, I would only recommend Possession for mature readers. The book also includes an interview with Gutteridge about her inspirations for Possession and discussion questions for a group. – Alexandra Mellen, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
In the aftermath of investigating the D.C. sniper case, police detective Vance Graegan is burned out on life and love. Hoping to save his marriage, he quits the force and moves his wife and son to the other side of the country. But when the movers decide to hold his belongings for ransom, Vance is determined to ensure that his family’s new beginning is not ruined. Soon, though, losing his possessions becomes the least of his problems as everything they are fighting for begins to unravel in the hands of Vance’s past. In an unforgettable climax, a little boy’s innocent faith brings a group of desperate people to their knees. What is at stake counts for everything, but nothing can prepare Vance for who is behind it.