cover image OUT OF THE SHADOWS


Sigmund Brouwer, OUT OF THE SHADOWSSigmund Bro. , $19.99 (334pp) ISBN 978-0-8423-3037-4

When he's hot, no one can craft a good Christian suspense novel like this prolific bestselling author, and readers will be delighted to find him in top form here. From the opening pages, Brouwer spins a riveting tale of intrigue and deceit set against the contemporary backdrop of wealthy Charleston. Nicholas Barrett is abandoned by the women he loves the most: first by his mother, who deserts him as a child, and later by his wife of only four days. Crippled in an accident that costs him everything he holds dear, Nick returns from global wanderings years later determined to discover the shattering truth about his past—and to extract revenge. He doesn't expect to find God. Strong themes about toxic family secrets and the power of forgiveness frame the plot, and Brouwer's vivid imagery is fresh and engaging. The characters' clipped, almost courtly dialogue occasionally flirts with stiffness, but fans of Brouwer's writing will find this comfortingly familiar. He sprinkles his story with just enough startling revelations to propel the reader on to the next page without giving too much away. Brouwer's portrayal of Nick wrestling with questions of life and faith is a tad forced, and he sometimes drags the pace with too much travelogue and philosophical reflection. But the unexpected plot twists and a strong finish will please his fans, who will find it difficult to put this novel down. (May)

Forecast:Brouwer's CBA readership has grown tremendously since he began writing Christian fiction for adults in 1995. For this, his 10th adult novel, Tyndale has a $100,000 marketing budget and an initial press run of 20,000 copies. Expect predictable interest and sales.