The opening pace is maintained throughout the book, which manages to tell two stories convincingly interwoven - the story of the Hope Diamond itself, and the story of the attempt to steal it and the consequences.
There is plenty of suspense and tension, and some nice twists. I wasn't totally convinced by the resolution to Alex & Abby's relationship at the end of the book, especially Alex's responses but I could suspend my skeptiscism! Mainly because the author knows how to tell a story well!
As a mystery/suspense novel it works very well. Enjoyable, pacy reading with engaging characters and enough complication to keep it all interesting, without it becoming impossible to hold on to all the threads.
However, the 'Christian bit' just doesn't work for me. It feels 'bolted on' and superficial. In fact, the faith element is really condensed into just one paragraph where Abby verbalises her prayer, which I feel adds nothing whatsoever to the story. It's like the book suddenly becomes a 'christian novel' well over 300 pages in. For me, the faith elements need to be woven in all the way through or not at all. There are references to church from time to time, but not in a way which made me think of Abby as believing in God.
The back cover copy refering to Abby's faith being put to the test therefore to me seems rather misleading as I wouldn't have said that Abby appears to have any kind of faith through most of the book.
That said, this is one of Abingdon Press' first fiction offerings, and on the strength of this one, I would happily look at more - especially from this author.Rating: 4/5
Published by: Abingdon Press (Distributed in the UK by Alban Books)
Available through any good bookshop, online, or via Alban Books: http://tiny.cc/eog760
Review copy supplied by Alban Books, with thanks.