In her third installment in the Call of Dusty series, DiAnn Mills introduces us to Special Agent Bella Jordan. Bella has traveled from Houston to West Texas to investigate the murders of three treasure hunters. To perform this investigation, Bella must return to the home she fled fourteen years earlier and the memories held there.
The murders occurred at a ranch owned by Carr Sullivan, a man who had escaped his own troubled past in Dallas. This makes Carr the prime suspect, a position that he is none-too-happy about. Carr has given his lift to Christ and has moved to West Texas to try to start fresh.
Together, Bella and Carr must work together to find the killer (or killers) and will also find redemption in each other.
I will be honest, this is the first book of Mills’ that I have read. I had not read the other books in her series. However, the books have more of a common theme (law enforcement as the background) as opposed to a connection to one another, so this book was able to stand alone.
There are many things that I liked about this novel. First, it really did keep me guessing until the end. I am not the type of person who tries to work out the details. I like to follow where the author takes me and watch the story unfold. Mills does an amazing job of keeping the story in place while giving just enough in the area of twists and turns to keep you guessing.
Secondly, with regards to the faith aspect, Mills doesn’t make life perfect for the Christians and difficult for those who have not yet followed Christ. She realistically depicts the struggles that come both as a person is seeking Christ and those that can occur even after a person comes to a saving knowledge of Him. She gives the reader characters to whom a person can relate.
Which brings me to the third thing I liked about this novel: a strong lead female character. Sometimes, women in Christian novels are seen in situations where they are almost whithering under pressure and stress. Not in Mills’ novel. Bella is a character who is strong and determined (and a little stubborn). She and Carr work through their feelings for one another the way it really happens: slowly, methodically.
The only issue I can really say I have with the novel is that it does drag along at some points. There is a lot of back story and action going on throughout the novel. Once the peak of the novel hits, the novel runs out of steam. There are 339 pages until the pieces fall into place, and then the novel ends at 368. That is essentially just under 30 pages to tie up all of the loose ends that are inevitably created in a novel like this one.
All in all, though, I really did enjoy reading this novel. I am certainly going to see about getting the first two, so that I can enjoy more of DiAnn Mills’ writing. I would certainly recommend taking the time out to read this novel. You won’t be disappointed.