Review & Giveaway: Fatal Strike by DiAnn Mills

FATAL STRIKE

by
DiANN MILLS

Genre: Romantic Suspense / Clean Romance / Christian
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Date of Publication: September 3, 2019
Number of Pages: 400
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There’s a killer on the loose in Galveston, targeting law enforcement officials and using a fatal injection of snake venom to take them down. Authorities have reasons to believe the Veneno gang is behind the hits, and FBI Agents Leah Riesel and Jon Colbert team up to track down those responsible. Their best lead is an eyewitness who identifies a young man dumping the third body on a church doorstep. But their suspect has gone into hiding, and those closest to him are reluctant to reveal anything that might help investigators find him.
 
As Leah and Jon check connections among the victims and dig deeper into motives, they discover appearances may be deceiving. Someone is desperate to keep their secrets hidden, and Leah and Jon must face their greatest fears in order to stop the next fatal strike.

 

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review

It is one type of author that can write characters that are believable and worth caring about, and it is another type of author that can do that and make the setting a living, breathing character in the story as well. As I read this book, I had no doubt in my mind that Mills was very much acquainted with Galveston and the surrounding areas of Houston. She describes the locations in a way that engages all of the senses – from the sounds of waves crashing near the coast to the sticky heat that Houstonians know all too well. (Also, all the restaurants that are mentioned!) And it is while Leah and Jon navigate the different geographies of our great state that you get to know them; first, at the surface level and, later, their deepest regrets and fears.

At the surface, the new partners are pretty similar: good-looking FBI snipers with tough reputations who are hesitant to work together because of personal baggage and the stories that they have heard about each other. Deep down, they both harbor guilt for past decisions that are quite different. However, the two are able to relate to each other and help the other heal in ways that no one else had ever been able to. Sounds like a lot to process, right? Well that’s just the side story to a very complex mystery of why three highly respected people in the Galveston community are murdered in the span of three days.

I was amazed to realize that about halfway through the novel, I still had no idea who the bad guy was and what the motives for the murders were. Conservatively, I had a hunch (that proved correct) about 75% of the way in. As someone who prides herself in predicting plot twists and whodunit, this book had me stumped. And it’s not because the author wrote an ending from way out of left field or anything. Mills does an amazing job of reeling you in, tugging at your heartstrings for a character, and then with either Leah or Jon’s internal dialogue or a quick aside to each other, you question everything you have come to believe thus far.

If Christian books aren’t your thing, don’t worry. I feel like this book has spiritual elements in it that help the story along but aren’t the focal point. If you liked the rush and mystery of The Da Vinci Code, then I think you would enjoy this book as well. I also enjoyed reading a “clean” book that still transported me through the shocking underbelly of Galveston. Many authors write about gory crimes, usually committed against women, with a heavy hand that seems almost gratuitous. Other authors take another route and write steamy scenes under the facade of romance that make me equally uncomfortable as well. I really appreciate Mills’ ability to write about difficult or deep situations and emotions without cheapening any of them.

If you’re a crime show fan like me, I think you will love Fatal Strike. Every DiAnn Mills book that I have read has made me hold my breath in anticipation and doubt my predictions.

 

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She weaves memorable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels. DiAnn believes every breath of life is someone’s story, so why not capture those moments and create a thrilling adventure?
Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol Award contests.
DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. She is the director of the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference, Mountainside Marketing Retreat, and the Mountainside Novelist Retreat with social media specialist Edie Melson where she continues her passion of helping other writers be successful. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country.
DiAnn has been termed a coffee snob and roasts her own coffee beans. She’s an avid reader, loves to cook, and believes her grandchildren are the smartest kids in the universe. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas. She’s very active online and loves to connect with readers.
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FOUR WINNERS: Personalized Hard Copies of Fatal Strike
+ $25 Starbucks Gift Cards
September 3-13, 2019
(US Only)
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2 Comments

Filed under Book Reviews, Giveaway, Lone Star Book Blog Tours

2 responses to “Review & Giveaway: Fatal Strike by DiAnn Mills

  1. diannmills

    Thank you for hosting me and your great review of Fatal Strike!

  2. YES! I have to read this book — sounds like Mills does it right. What you said about the gratuitous stuff that gets written into so many books really makes me nuts. Thanks for an awesome review.

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