Summer Abernathy is looking forward to a lazy weekend with Kyle, her computer programmer husband, when she is rudely awakened by a mysterious man who claims her husband is whole lot less innocent than Summer ever believed. Not only is Kyle missing, but apparently he has some crucial documents that this man is desperate to find—and it doesn’t look like Summer has much time to fulfil his demands. Bemused and frightened, Summer unexpectedly finds herself under the protection of an “old friend” of Kyle’s, who turns out to be a US Marshall charged with protecting her husband—whose name, it appears, is actually David.
Although Summer is quickly reunited with David, she doesn’t entirely trust him. Has their entire marriage been built on a lie? Is the Kyle she married anything like the David who has been hiding from these overlords of organised crime? While on the run from the men intent on harming them, Summer doesn’t have much time to dwell on the lies she’s been told, but she isn’t sure if she can really trust David with her life. But does she have any alternative? Meanwhile, David just wants to set things right with his wife and put the past behind him. But will he get the chance to reconcile with Summer, or will their time together be cut short by the men hunting them down?
Since discovering Christian fiction in 2010, I’ve found myself firmly embroiled in the Amish and historical romance categories, and haven’t had nearly enough time to read some of the romantic suspense novels and mysteries that have come highly recommended. Lynette Eason is a favourite among my fellow reviewers, and after many encouragements to check her out, I decided to take my chances on No One to Trust. The blurb on the back of my ARC was short, but I was immediately intrigued by the simple premise of a woman being woken up by a dangerous criminal, only to be told that her husband’s entirely identity is a lie.
No One to Trust was full of non-stop action and suspense from the first page.
Mysteries might not be my main genre of choice, but I have read a fair few over the years and I’ve yet to come across a book quite like this, where the suspense just never slows down. There are some slower moments where the characters find time to talk about their options, but even then they’re still looking over their shoulders and planning their escape route. Initially I wasn’t sure if I was going to enjoy a book with such constant suspense, but given that the characters aren’t solving a mystery (we know who the antagonist is early on in the novel, and what his motivations are) it suited the story.
The constant action and need to flee from the gang members meant that Summer and David were forced to spend time together, whether they liked it or not. This situation was necessary, otherwise I imagine that Summer would have stormed off and refused to talk to David for at least a couple of days. But when men are threatening to kill you, you have to put aside your marital disputes for the sake of your own safety. The near-death situation also forced Summer to assess her feelings about David and decide whether she still cared about him, in spite of his lies.
I loved the fact that this book wasn’t about complete strangers being thrown together and falling in love while solving a mystery, as so many suspense novels are.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a story where a couple is forced together by mysterious circumstances and come to care for each other over the course of the story, but seeing a husband and wife having to figure out their problems while fleeing from harm was a refreshing change. Their journey to reconciliation felt realistic, given their circumstances. David’s desire to win back his wife’s trust was touching, and Summer’s backstory of previous betrayals gave her character much-needed depth.
This novel had plenty of secondary characters, and while it never felt overcrowded, I still feel a little conflicted about the way several characters were portrayed towards the end of the story. I don’t want to spoil the story for potential readers, but more than one character was revealed to have been disloyal in some way, and while it made sense in relation to the overall arc of the story, I wasn’t sure how entirely believable it was for that many characters to have become corrupt. Although it was definitely satisfied with the conclusion to the story, I felt conflicted about the way a few characters ended up.
My only other gripes with this story are pretty minor.There isn’t a particularly prominent spiritual element throughout the course of the story, but David recounts his faith journey to his wife while they’re on the run, and it helps her to understand how he came to the place he is now. It’s not the most exciting or original of faith stories, but it’s probably pretty realistic and something that many readers can relate to. There were a few times when the discussions about faith felt a bit forced or maybe occurred at unrealistic moment in the story, but overall, I can’t complain too much about it. It might have been unremarkable, but it wasn’t preachy in any way.
The one thing that niggled at me towards the end of the book was the treatment of members of the police force. In the preparation for the final standoff with the organised crime gang, David and his friends are determined not to involve the police and take matters into their own hands. I got the impression that they didn’t trust the police to handle the situation well, and that they could do a better job on their own. There were a couple of other moments were police officers handled things wrong or were discovered to be corrupt, and I did wonder about the message this sent about the police. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there are bad cops out there, and times when the police mess up, but the “We can do it better on our own” attitude didn’t sit completely well with me. This wasn’t a massive part of the story, just one of those things that bugged me a little.
I’m certain that No One to Trust won’t be my only foray into the Christian suspense genre for 2014.
Lynette Eason definitely kept me on my toes, and the conflict between Summer and David was touching and believable.
Although this novel has a few, small flaws, I’d definitely recommend it to fans of the genre and those who are considering dipping their toes into the world of suspense.