Exposure, by Brandilyn Collins (Zondervan, 2009)
Exposure is the sixth Brandilyn Collins novel I’ve read, and I think it’s time to officially call myself a fan. After reading Dark Pursuit, I started asking “when’s the next one coming out?” and picked up Exposure and Always Watching (co-written with daughter Amberly Collins) as soon as they released.
Always Watching is a fast-paced young adult read, and it’s now circulating among my nieces.
In Exposure, Kaycee Raye’s syndicated column on fighting fears helps a lot of people. But the realization that a person’s worst fears can come true has turned her private world into a terrifying place. A fearful woman… doesn’t sound like an ideal protagonist for us to bond with, but Brandilyn Collins pulls it off in her usual “seatbelt suspense”® style.
As terrified as Kaycee is, she’s determined to fight this inner battle because something more important is on the line. Her best friend’s young daughter disappeared on the way to Kaycee’s house. Hannah is nine years old—the same age as Kaycee when she realized she’d absorbed all of her mother’s fears.
But Kaycee’s mother never saw things that weren’t there—someone watching, a camera, images. Is Kaycee cracking up, or is the old joke true: “Just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean there isn’t someone out to get me”?
Kind police officer Mark says he believes her, but he’s also the one who accused her of making money from other people’s fear. And she can’t offer proof of what she’s seen. Even her trusted friend suggests it’s a product of her own mind.
As these scares pile up, the search for Hannah intensifies. And there’s another plot thread running through the novel, complete with stolen money, mobsters, and a mother and child on the run.
Brandilyn Collins brings everything together for a tense and satisfying conclusion that I did not see coming. I was so pleased with myself for deciphering some of her clues… and completely missed the twist at the end.
Exposure is a fast-paced read that I didn’t want to put down. Yes, it’s intense, thanks in part to the author’s masterful use of deep point of view to pull readers into Kaycee’s heart and head, but it’s not the traumatic type of scary.
Brandilyn Collins is a multi-published, best-selling author. For information on her other books, visit her website. Click here to read an excerpt from Exposure. Better still, grab a copy of the novel, buckle your seatbelt, and as Brandilyn Collins’ tagline warns, “Don’t forget to b-r-e-a-t-h-e!”®