Monday, March 1, 2010

'Deliver Us From Evil' by Robin Caroll - Book Review

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I always like to learn about the life of the author of the books I read.  I have been following Robin Caroll on Twitter and Facebook for a while; one gets a pretty accurate (albeit not complete) portrait of people that way.  I also took a peek at her website (  On the top right hand corner is Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  That verse has special significance for me, being an ambassador to the Christian ministry geared to elite athletes, Team 413.  So I was very excited about the prospect of reading her latest novel, ‘Deliver Us From Evil’!

I love book trailers; the one for ‘Deliver Us From Evil’ is particularly well done:

The main character in the novel is Brannon Callahan, a search-and-rescue helicopter pilot based in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  I absolutely love that part of the country, so that is another reason for loving this novel!  And I did!

The story revolves around a very difficult topic – child trafficking.  Thai children are the victims of this particular ring.  Brannon’s mission is to rescue a donor heart and get it to its recipient, the main witness in the case against the child traffickers.  Another helicopter carrying U.S. Marshall Roark Holland and the donor heart had gone down in a severe snow storm.  The first half of the novel covers Brannon and her partner Lincoln’s attempt to recover the survivors of the crash and the donor heart. 

Robin’s writing brought to my awareness an actual organization called the Coalition to Fight Against Child Exploitation (FACE), a non-governmental organization (NGO) which was founded in 1995 to monitor the legal/justice mechanism in Thailand.  And the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime launched the Blue Heart Campaign in 2008 to raise awareness of the issue.  I appreciate the fact that organizations of this kind exist, and that Mrs. Caroll brought it to the attention of her readers.

Brannon and Lincoln are both strong Christ-followers, and they make Him a part of their everyday lives.  On a regular basis, they quiz each other on Bible verses.  One of them will quote one, and the other will have to recite the ‘address’ of the verse.  I thought that was a unique way to introduce scripture in a non-fiction work.  Their back-and-forth had an impact on U.S. Marshall Holland, whose faith had been shaken by a tragic event in a previous case.  He was reminded that the Lord is with us always and is always in pursuit in His gentlemanly manner.

Here is a passage in which Roark makes that very point:

Roark chose to ignore the praying comment Demott had spit out so second naturedly.  He was accustomed to his boss’s religious statements and normally ignored them.  But after being around Brannon and Lincoln, the comments seemed to jump out and smack him between the eyes.  Was somebody trying to make a point?  Was there a message he was supposed to get? (p. 168)

I found this story to be very engaging – both in its many action sequences and in its human interactions.  Mrs. Caroll does a wonderful job in bringing her readers right into the action.  In fact, I think this book would make a thrilling movie!

Robin is the author of eight previous books, including ‘Bayou Justice’ and ‘Blackmail.’  The next novel in her portfolio is called ‘Fear No Evil.’  It will feature Brannon’s partner, Lincoln Vailes, who will be relocated to become a police officer in a small bayou town.  That compelling story will be available on August 1, 2010.  I look forward to continue to follow the characters in this novel – and hope Brannon and Roark show up again!

This book was provided to me by B&H Fiction for review purposes.

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