Vendetta, by Lisa Harris (Revell, 2015)
Missing persons investigator Nikki Boyd brings an extra empathy to her cases, since it was her own sister’s disappearance that led her to this career. Ten years after the fact, logic says her sister can’t still be alive when the other victims have been found dead, but Nikki’s heart won’t give up hope.
When Nikki and her friend Tyler are called to investigate a missing teen girl, it doesn’t take long for similarities in the case to make Nikki wonder if her sister’s abductor is back in action after years of silence. If it’s the same man, he’s grown sloppy. Or he’s playing with them.
Vendetta is a fast-paced, well-plotted novel, as Nikki, Tyler and their team race the clock to find the missing girl. A large part of the chase is set in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
As always, author Lisa Harris gives us lifelike characters with issues of their own. Nikki can’t let her personal pain affect her investigation, no matter what mind games the abductor plays. And Tyler’s still grieving for his dead wife, who’d been Nikki’s best friend. Nikki and Tyler are both struggling to know where God is in their hurts.
Although the novel is a really good read, I didn’t feel as drawn in as I did with the author’s Southern Crimes series. There may be too many flashback scenes, snippets of Nikki’s past, or perhaps it’s the number of characters. I did have trouble keeping the search team and volunteers straight, although the narrative only focused on a few. Nonetheless, Vendetta is the start of a new series I’d definitely recommend.
Award-winning author Lisa Harris has written almost 30 books, including the Southern Crimes series (Dangerous Passage, Fatal Exchange, and Hidden Agenda.) She and her family are missionaries living in Mozambique. For more about the author and her books, visit lisaharriswrites.com.
[Review copy provided by the publisher.]