Miracle in a Dry Season    Dangerous Passage





by Colleen Coble

Reviewed by Cheryl Russell

"...a chilling tale...will keep you guessing until the end."

Abomination opens with a macabre prologue. A man sits in a car, staring at a photo of his wife. Even though there is no one else present in the car, the stranger isn't alone. As darkness overtakes the moonlight, he drives to an isolated beach on the edge of a lake. There, he removes a blanket-wrapped body from the trunk. He tucks a partial peanut butter sandwich under her blouse before pulling his burden down to edge of a small pier. Before he dumps the corpse into a boat, he enters the co-ordinates into a GPS unit. He rows a short distance out, then heaves the body into the silent, dark waters. He returns home and uploads the GPS coordinates into the geocaching site. He also leaves a cryptic message: "ABOMINATIONS WILL FIND YOU."

She must run, but she doesn't know why. She is bleeding from a six inch gash in her chest, but how she was injured is a mystery. Keep driving! She has a small child in the backseat, but doesn't know her name or why she's in the car. Keep running! A road sign flashes by—Rock Harbor, 10 miles—but she doesn't know where Rock Harbor is or why she's headed in that direction. Don't stop! Headlights in her rearview mirror terrify her and she steps on the accelerator. Go faster! Her elation as they fade in the distance is short-lived as her car shudders and convulses to a stop. He's coming! The car gasps back to life long enough for her to get rid of it, but she loses consciousness in the process. Jerked back to reality by the toddler's screams, she realizes they can't stay out in the cold much longer. She staggers back to the road, carrying the little girl. Rescued by a woman and her son, she can only hope she regains her memory while eluding her would-be murderer.

Bree Matthews is fairly certain the wounded woman next to her in the passenger seat is running from an abusive husband; how else to explain the bruises, mud and filthy hair? But she can't be sure since the woman has no recollection of her name or where she or her daughter are from. She wants to take the woman to the hospital, but must take her to the restored lighthouse Bree and her family call home when the woman refuses all treatment. Bree and her park service husband Kade offer the unknown woman their home as a refuge while she heals and tries to discover her identity. When the killer makes it known he's found her, will he finish what he started before she can remember her name?

Abomination is a chilling tale of an elusive serial killer that taunts the authorities with his cryptic clues, derived from religious texts. It is a story of obsession and revenge, second chances and hope. The plot twists throughout the story kept this reader guessing at what would happen next. The killer's true identity was a jolt and threw me off for awhile. But as I kept turning over the *reveal*, my fog cleared and the details clicked into place. Of course that's the killer! Who else could it possibly be? Abomination--a creepy read that will keep you guessing until the end.

Cheryl Russell lives in the Midwest with her husband and three children. Her short stories, as well as a few articles, have been published in print and online. She's loved to read for as long as she can remember and puts all that time to good use writing book reviews for Infuze, Novel Reviews, and Title Trakk. She's also a member of the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, FIRST network, Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy Blog Tour and American Christian Fiction Writers. She's currently working on her first novel. If she could, she'd spend her time hanging out in the thermal areas of Yellowstone in general, Norris Geyser Basin in particular. Another favorite spot is Kennicott, an old copper mining town in Wrangel-St. Elias National Park, Alaska, which is at the end of a 60 mile dirt road, 8 hours west of Anchorage. She and her family are frequent hikers in the national parks, and have pounded the dirt trails in Virginia, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Montana, Wyoming and Alaska. You can visit her at her blog, Unseen Worlds or at her website.