Unholy Hunger

Heather James. Kregel, $13.99 trade paperback (272p) ISBN 978-0-8254-4291-9
There is something unpalatable about this inaugural novel in the Lure of the Serpent series by first-time novelist James, and it partly centers on Evelyn Barrett. Barrett’s four-year-old daughter, Corinne, is abducted and murdered, and the agonized mother jumps right into craziness. Barrett screams at her mother during Corinne’s funeral, steals the case file from detectives, murders a suspect, leaves her husband, discovers she can smell pedophiles, and routinely butts into police business. She’s rude, demanding, and willful, too. Combine an unlikable protagonist with overwrought writing (“I let hot, voluntary tears commingle with the trickling water because even I couldn’t tell which was which”) and readers face trouble. Admittedly, Evelyn faces her demons and gives voice to the age-old battle between justice for wrongs and faith in God’s way. But readers will find this a difficult tale to swallow and difficult to feel anything but incredulous exasperation for the main character. Agent: Greg Johnson, WordServe Literary. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/19/2012
Release date: 12/01/2012
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