Monday, December 10, 2007

Evidence of Grace by Teresa Slack

Everyone in Jenna’s Creek seems to have a high opinion of Noreen Trimble. No one has a bad word to say about her, and yet she is in prison after confessing to the murder of her best friend. It was a confession that came almost thirty years after the fact, a minor detail that didn’t help her case very much. But now a mysterious call has come late at night to her former boss, Noel Wyatt, claiming that there was an eyewitness to the murder. The eyewitness said it was self-defense. Unfortunately, the caller will not identify himself or the witness. Is this a hoax or real?

Meanwhile, Christy Blackwood has had her whole world cave in thanks to the treachery of a man she trusted and loved. As a result of her misplaced trust, she has lost her job and may never find another one to equal it. She also lost her apartment, her savings, and her bank account. With too much pride to return home to Jenna’s Creek, she sets out on her own and ends up with even more tragedy. Unable to turn to any one else, she has to call her mother in spite of the anger and lack of forgiveness she feels towards her.

This is the third in the Jenna’s Creek series. As I have not read the other two, I don’t know if any characters or situations carry over from one book to another. However, whether they do or not, this story can stand alone quite well. I didn’t feel like I had missed anything. While the main intrigue has to do with the murder of Sally Blake and the guilt or innocence of Noreen Trimble, there are several side stories with loose connections. Christy’s problems, a case of adultery resulting in a baby, a missing will and the harbored resentments of a family over its possible contents, regrets over marriage decisions long ago, and families torn apart. Greed, bitterness, jealousy, and lack of trust all show themselves in the people of Jenna’s Creek. The issues are real ones faced by many today, set in a small fictitious town in Ohio. Several real places are mentioned, such as University Hospital in Cincinnati, giving the setting more credibility. Surprisingly, the year is 1976, allowing for a slight distance between the reader and the story. The themes of forgiveness and grace are uppermost in this novel on both human and divine levels.

Overall, it was a very enjoyable story. I wasn’t sure what to expect in the end, and some of the events weren’t quite what I had anticipated. That’s always good for a suspense novel. I came to feel a certain compassion for some of the characters, enough that I wanted to know what would happen to them. My only complaint is that some of the climax happened a bit abruptly, so much so that I thought I had missed some pages.

Although it deals with some adult situations in a tactful way, I would suggest that parents read it first to determine whether or not to hand it to their teenagers. In my opinion, it is written mainly for adult women. If you like contemporary (or near contemporary) suspense, this book should be right up your alley.

Evidence of Grace
Teresa Slack
2007 Tsaba House
Reedley, CA
Paperback: 340 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1-933853-48-2
You can visit Teresa or read more about her books at

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