DREAD CHAMPION

Brandilyn Collins, Author . Zondervan $12.99 (432p) ISBN 978-0-310-23827-0

The quality of Collins's writing slips in this evangelical Christian thriller follow-up to Eyes of Elisha, but she still spins an interesting tale with plenty of suspense. Californian Chelsea Adams has the supernatural gift of visions that show her events others are unable to perceive. She's dismayed to be selected as a juror at the murder trial of Darren Welk, whose wife, Shawna, has disappeared. Chelsea's visiting niece Kerra Fraye attends the trial and strikes up a romance with a man whose innocence is increasingly under scrutiny. Chelsea and Kerra's lives are about to intersect with that of 20-year-old Rogelio Sanchez, the birth father of a baby girl whom he signed away for adoption—a decision he now regrets. The story is compelling, but the prose is not up to Collins's usual standards. She overdetails physical movements ("air puffed from Erika's offended mouth"); characters repeatedly blink and their throats, stomachs, guts and mouths do peculiar things ("Rogelio's stomach gelled"). There are odd, lengthy descriptions ("The jury pulled at his eyes, but he focused on the judge as she positioned her computer keyboard just so and generally settled herself like a hen over eggs"). Collins inserts plenty of intrigue and false trails, although the novel's ending fails to take into account one character who is notable by her omission. Evangelical Christian readers will applaud the character of Chelsea as an example of how God uses ordinary people in extraordinary ways to accomplish his objectives, but Collins fans may be wondering why her strong writing skills are not showcased here. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 09/16/2002
Release date: 09/01/2002
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 978-0-310-85844-7
Paperback - 414 pages - 978-0-692-50296-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-5113-7333-3
Compact Disc - 978-1-5012-1269-7
MP3 CD - 978-1-5012-1332-8
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