Justice Betrayed Review

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Justice Delayed is the first book I’ve read by author Patricia Bradley, and I am so delighted to note that this story was exceptional.

About the book:

It’s Elvis Week in Memphis, and homicide Detective Rachel Sloan isn’t sure her day could get any stranger when aging Elvis impersonator Vic Vegas asks to see her. But when he produces a photo of her murdered mother with four Elvis impersonators–one of whom had also been murdered soon after the photo was taken–she’s forced to reevaluate. Is there some connection between the two unsolved cases? And could the recent break-in at Vic’s home be tied to his obsession with finding his friend’s killer?

When yet another person in the photo is murdered, Rachel suddenly has her hands full investigating three cases. Lieutenant Boone Callahan offers his help, but their checkered romantic past threatens to get in the way. Can they solve the cases before the murderer makes Rachel victim number four?

My Thoughts:

I immediately bonded with the heroine, and not only because we share the same first name. 😉 Rachel Sloan was flawed and relatable. She’s been searching for overdue answers concerning her mother’s death, while working as a homicide detective. We glimpse a lot of her professional demeanor, but her soft-hearted nature emerges when interacting with those she loves. I especially adored her relationship with Erin, a special needs young woman. Rachel’s life brimmed with complicated associations from her strained relationship with her no nonsense father to her superior in the homicide department, Boone Callahan, whom she dated prior to her transfer to the department.

Boone Callahan was protective and consistent. I enjoyed reading as the two main characters worked together untangling the scrambled case. Honestly, at first I thought that this story was going to be predictable, but—woah—I was clearly wrong! The plot had twists and turns and a jaw-dropping conclusion.

The romance was a great complement to the suspense factor. The relationship between the two main characters was believable and tender. The pacing of this story was superb and just right for this genre. I truly enjoyed this novel and can’t wait to see what this talented author will come up with next!

I received this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Purchase your own copy of Justice Betrayed here!

About the author:

Patricia Bradley is the award-winning author of Justice Delayed and Justice Buried, as well as the Logan Point series. She is cofounder of Aiming for Healthy Families, Inc., and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. She lives in Mississippi. Learn more at www.ptbradley.com.

 

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Find Your Sword

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Discouragement. The persistent nemesis that endeavors to score our souls, aiming to shred our faith. No matter where you are in life, discouragement seems to find you. Threaten you with its taunting lies, pressuring you to succumb to its doubt-laden grip.

Recently I had entered the sparring ring with this ugly foe, going several bouts before realization hit—I’m not prepared for such a fight. Not on my own. So I called for back-up, meaning I prayed. And the answer came in such an unusual, magnificent way.

But first, a little background. I kinda want to set the stage.

David was a man who knew triumph and loss. Hope and discouragement. So I’ve been reading through Psalm and other books that listed David’s life. And I came across this.

Only a few chapters after David gets blessed by Jesse and then sequentially killed the giant Goliath, he finds himself in a tough spot. So tough he actually declares “that there is only one step between me and death.” (1 Samuel 20:3) David was out of sorts. Saul was trying to kill him, and David was struggling. How could he honor the king that God had anointed while that very same man had been plotting his death?

So then David visits the priest. While there, David asks, “Don’t you have a spear or a sword here? I haven’t brought my sword or any other weapon…” (1 Samuel 21:8) Now, David is a warrior. In fact, he is the captain of the king’s army. Saul is after him. Saul’s men are after him. David should know better than to remain unarmed. Wouldn’t you think the guy would have some sort of defense?

Then it struck me. When the craziness of life hits, how often do we find ourselves unprepared? Scary circumstances arise, and we look at our empty hands and think, “I got nothing. I can’t stand against this.”

But don’t give up hope! Because you’re about to get your sword.

The priest replied to David, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah, is here; it is wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you want it, take it…”

The VERY sword David slew Goliath with, had been wrapped up in cloth and basically shoved in the closet! Not set under glass and on display. Not carried in parades all over Jerusalem. That sword represented one of the greatest showdowns in history, and it was buried under cloth. Forgotten.

How often do we do that to our God-given victories—just wrap them up into the folds of our minds, forgotten and unappreciated. It’s time to shake the dust off and bring them to the front of our thoughts.

So of course, when David realized the sword had been stored there, he nabbed it. Saying, “There is none like it; give it to me.” He knew it was special. When that sword was placed back in his hands he probably relived that moment of glorious triumph over the enemy. Remembering the awesome victory God had worked in his life, being infused with faith afresh.

Just like David, we need to grab that sword and carry it with us, being ever ready to wield it against discouragement’s attacks. Your sword would most likely NOT be one of steel or iron, but perhaps it’s a memory. A time when God had miraculously delivered you in a tough situation. Or maybe it’s an actual object. Like mine.

My sweet daughter was diagnosed autistic when she was three. There were developments supposedly beyond her reach. Challenges, professionals had projected, she may never overcome. One of those obstacles was potty-training. This one is personal for me, because it was rough. Rough on my daughter because, at the age of seven, she knew it wasn’t normal to be in diapers. At that time, she was mostly non-verbal, but just because she couldn’t express her frustration with words didn’t mean it never shown in her dejected expression, her sorrow-filled eyes. We prayed and believed. Month after month. Diaper box after diaper box. And even though it felt hopeless, we continued to hope. Then one day, it clicked. And she never had an issue again. She never even had an accident! When God does something, it’s HUGE.

But like most, I’d forgotten what a colossal triumph that was for our daughter.

One recent afternoon, I was feeling discouraged about our daughter’s progress. It just seemed she had SO much more obstacles to overcome. Every hindrance seemed to glare at me, mocking. With my eyes watering and my hopes floundering, I went into the garage for something…then I saw it.

The diaper box.

I’m not exactly sure why we still had one. It was broken down and stuffed into another box but I had spotted it. And I remembered. I thought of those days we struggled and cried. Those moments I’d gathered my daughter close and whispered God would help us.

Faith rekindled.

That diaper box had become my sword. A reminder of God’s mighty hand in our lives. Since that encounter in the garage, I had used that to fight discouragement when a situation arises which tries to knock me out of faith. God is listening and He is faithful. So when God works the miraculous, I choose not to wrap it in unbelief, but rather put it on display in my mind.

Just as the Psalmist says, “I will remember the works of the Lord; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.”

So tell me, what’s your sword that you wield in the face of discouragement? OR what has God done lately in your life that you find oh-so-awesome?