Miracle in a Dry Season    Dangerous Passage





Amber Morn
by Brandilyn Collins

Reviewed by Darcie Gudger

"The queen of seat-belt suspense delivers as promised. Her short sentences and strong word choices create a 'here and now' reading experience like no other."

Amber Morn is like a pyrotechnical engineer mixing the right amount of explosive chemicals to achieve a spectacular firework. Fireworks typically mark the end of something, and Amber Morn marks the end of the Kanner Lake series of thriller/suspense novels by Brandilyn Collins.

A big celebration is about to take place in Bailey Truitt’s Java Joint coffee shop. Which means all contributors to her ‘Scenes and Beans’ blog will be in attendance. Nobody in Kanner Lake could possibly predict the mayhem about to erupt among the roasters.

‘Scenes and Beans’ bloggers aren’t the only visitors to Java Joint on that sun drenched morning.

Before the special occasion can commence, several gunmen burst into the shop taking the whole gang hostage. Police Chief Vince Edward’s negotiation skills are tested beyond the book when the ransom demanded is impossible to pay.

The gunmen are serious. Someone from the inside is shot, the body tossed outside as a message to Vince. Collins adds to the suspense by cranking down a tight deadline on Vince and his team.

If the Kanner Lake law enforcement officers can’t deliver, the pile of bodies outside the entrance will grow.

The queen of seat-belt suspense delivers as promised. Her short sentences and strong word choices create a ‘here and now’ reading experience like no other.

Amber Morn’s plot races by like the white dotted lines on a freeway. It’s impossible to assume what action or twist will pop up in the next phrase.

Multiple points of view are exposed as the crisis expands. Despite the 3rd person pronouns, Collins maintains the unique voice of each character. Characters readers have come to love. Which brings me to the let down.

It’s over.

My only criticism of this tale is that I thought the gunmen were too wimpy. I expected them to be more cold and calculating. But on the flip side, Brandilyn does what she does best making it impossible for me to paint the big picture in my head until my eyes scan the last word.

All good things must come to and end. Sigh.

But let not your suspense-loving heart be troubled. Brandilyn won’t let you think you can unbuckle your seat belt any time soon.

Darcie Gudger is a freelance writer currently working on a young adult novel while trying to solve all the mysteries of motherhood with her adopted son, Kyle. In her spare time, she coaches the 2A Colorado State Champion Sheridan High School colorguard, judged equipment for the Rocky Mountain Colorguard Association and sings for the Bear Valley church choir and worship team. An adventure-seeker who lives and writes in the shadow of the Rocky mountains, Darcie loves hiking, camping, cycling, photography and keeping her husband guessing. Visit Darcie online at her blog, Joy in the Litterbox.