Review: Fatal Exchange, by Lisa Harris

Fatal Exchange, by Lisa HarrisFatal Exchange, by Lisa Harris (Revell, 2014)

Emily Hunt’s father is a retired police captain. Her sister’s a detective. Her brother was on the force and died in the line of duty. Emily has chosen a quieter way to make a difference: she’s a teacher.

Fatal Exchange is her worst nightmare. A trusted student takes Emily’s high school class hostage, demanding two million dollars in ransom. How can she talk Rafael down, and keep the others calm?

For undercover cop Mason Taylor, it’s personal. He’s mentored Rafael and thought the boy trusted him. He also has feelings for Emily, despite her sister blaming him for her brother’s death. He can’t walk away from this crisis, even though he should be with his dying father.

Mason is new to relying on God. Emily has known Him for years. The circumstances stretch their faith and reveal depths of courage they didn’t know they had. Thrown together like this, are they falling in love or just developing a rescuer/rescued bond?

Mason’s and Emily’s thoughts on faith:

Learning how to pray had become a sequence of baby steps as his faith grew. Letting go and depending on someone else to lead his life had been an even bigger challenge. But lately he’d found a deeper peace as he sought to let God become his biggest source of strength. He was tired of depending on himself. [Kindle page 90]

It was easy to trust when things were going okay. Today, she felt as if she were walking on a tightrope with no safety net to catch her. [Kindle page 190]

I enjoyed book 1 in the Southern Crimes series, Dangerous Passage, and Fatal Exchange is even better. The non-stop pace makes it hard to put down. In a plot that sounds too much like real life, Emily, Rafael, Mason and the other key characters are fully-developed individuals with their own internal struggles affecting their responses.

Dangerous Passage is a Christy Award-winner, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Fatal Exchange followed suit. I’m eagerly waiting for the next novel, Hidden Agenda, releasing January 2015. Author Lisa Harris writes from South Africa. For more about the author, her books and her ministry, visit

[Review copy from my personal library.]

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