Unspoken by Dee Henderson

My wife and I have read and enjoyed Dee Henderson's O'Malley series.  Though many have tried, few successfully blend faith, action and romance as Ms. Henderson has.  Against this backdrop, I eagerly anticipated this new novel.

SPOILER ALERT: I have yet to figure out how to review a book of fiction without giving away at least some part of the story line.  For that, I confess my shortcoming and apologize in advance.

The description on the back cover states, "Charlotte Graham is at the center of the most kidnapping in Chicago history."  So, though I approached this book with anticipation based on past joy with Ms. Henderson, my joy wasn't unfair.  This line led me to believe there would be more action and suspense.  Unfortunately, the kidnapping had occurred years prior so the events are described reflectively, lacking the anticipation and energy I'd come to expect from Ms. Henderson's books.  Overall, the pace lacked briskness.

What I did enjoy about the book was the burden of a large inheritance.  If your desire is to dispose of a large inheritance in a responsible manner, what would you do?  What criteria would you use to choose meritful organizations or projects?  Would you drop a few large sums of money or distribute the money among many organizations?  Though few of us will have such a "challenge" in our lifetimes, I appreciated the opportunity to consider the dilemma and apply it to my own, lesser situation.  Am I being a good steward with my riches?

Charlotte Graham, the victim of the kidnapping, is at the center of this book.  All other characters' roles and purposes relate to Charlotte.  Bryce Bishop was brought into her life for a business exchange but their relationship grew in scope and complexity.  Because of the pains from Charlotte's life, their relationship grows slowly and never quite reaches vitality.  Though truthful to the storyline, the lack of passion in their relationship can be disappointing for readers.  The more interesting relationship, to me, was between Charlotte and John Key, her bodyguard, who became head of security for her enterprise.  John's past and skills are not fully developed, which left me yearning for a view behind his mystique.  Perhaps that will be saved for a sequel.

Overall, I don't some readers will enjoy Unspoken.  For me, whether because of undue expectations or otherwise, I found the book lacking.  However, I will continue to be a fan of Ms. Henderson and look forward to her next work.

[Henderson, Dee, Unspoken, Bethany House, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 2013]

NOTE: I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House for the purposes of this review.

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