Favorite Quotes on Books and Reading

"A book is a gift you can open again and again." Garrison Keillor

Literature is a textually transmitted disease, normally contracted in childhood.” Jane Yolen

"It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." Oscar Wilde

"Books have furnished, burnished, and enabled my life." Julia Keller

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Day 80 - Book 82: DEADLY TIES by Vicki Hinze

Trying to categorize Deadly Ties is somewhat difficult. It is at times a light romance story but it also features heavy elements of thriller/suspense and inspirational fiction. 


The beginning chapter of this story doesn't make much sense and as a result throws the reader off -- or at least this reader. During this first chapter Annie Harper is seen a weak woman and it is unclear if she knows what is going to happen to her husband and child or not. She is constantly asking that she be allowed to go back 24 hours to make things better and this is BEFORE her husband is killed and her daughter kidnapped. This begs the question that if she knew what was going to happen why didn't she warn her husband? Another question this raises is why didn't she go on the trip with her husband and daughter?


The premise to the story is that Lisa Harper, a newly licensed physician, witnessed her father's murder at age 7 while on a road trip and was then kidnapped with the intent to be sold (as a child bride or slave is never made quite clear). She somehows escapes her kidnappers and is reunited with her mother, Annie Harper. Annie, who is written as a woman of extremely weak faith in the first chapter, has a heart attack subsequent to her husband's death, possibly suffers a miscarriage (not made clear although there is reference to her losing a child: miscarriage or reference to Lisa...this reader doesn't know), almost loses the family home and subsequently marries the first man to propose, Dutch Hauk, in her efforts to save the family and the house. Regrettably this man is not only domineering but verbally, emotionally and psychologically abusive to not only his wife but his stepdaughter. This abuse continues until Lisa turns 16 at which point her mother signs over custody to family friends and Lisa moves out. The abuse against Annie doesn't stop. Now she's depicted as a woman of presumably strong faith and refuses to divorce her husband because this is seen as displeasing to God, even though her husband refuses to allow her to see or speak to her daughter and keeps her a virtual prisoner within her home. 


Enter Mark Taylor, an special ops veteran and security expert hired by Lisa's surrogate father. Mark facilitates communication between Lisa and Annie by providing them both with cellphones. He also works out a system where he can check daily on Annie to ensure that she has not been injured or worse. Now if you think that Lisa suffered trauma as a child, imagine Mark being emotionally tortured as a child because everyone in his family blames him due to his mother's death after his birth. As a result, Mark has distanced himself from his birth family (I wonder why) and made his co-workers his family, specifically his ex special ops co-workers. 


Now we have the bad guys, a nefarious criminal organization referred to as NINA (Nihilists in Anarchy), which includes Dutch Hauk, the husband from hell. Dutch knows that something is going on between his wife and stepdaughter so he hires NINA to rough up his wife and then kidnap Lisa (apparently for the second time as he was behind the initial child kidnapping incident). He actually states that he wants his wife kept alive if possible but if isn't possible that's acceptable. Long-story short, Lisa is kidnapped again, fights against her kidnappers, and strengthens her faith through prayer and acceptance as a result of her trials and adversity.


There are times when the action stretches credulity, but this reader is aware that fiction does not always mimic reality. If we truly wanted reality then we would read nonfiction. Even with the weaknesses in the story, it somehow works as a story meant to inspire. This may not be acceptable reading material for everyone, but I honestly feel that it works well as an inspirational novel and could be read and hopefully appreciated by anyone of faith, be they Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Muslim or other. 

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