Wednesday, June 16, 2010

FIRST Blog Tour & Review: "Fatal Loyalty" by Sue Duffy

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

Kregel Publications (April 23, 2010)
***Special thanks to Cat Hoort of Kregel Publications for sending me a review copy.***


Sue Duffy is an award-winning writer whose work has appeared in Moody magazine, The Presbyterian Journal, Sunday Digest, and The Christian Reader. Her first novel Mortal Wounds was published in 2001 and she has also contributed to Stories for a Woman’s Heart (Multnomah). She and her husband, Mike, have three grown children.

Product Details:

List Price: $12.99
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Kregel Publications (April 23, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0825425948
ISBN-13: 978-0825425943



In an instant, his world collapsed, and no one knew it but him. The giddy chatter of students rushing to and from the cafeteria swirled about him as he felt blindly for something to lean against.

Eyes locked on the overhead television screen, Evan Markham backed slowly toward a post in the crowded student union. Just moments ago, he’d been one of them, a Florida State student preparing for exams and the long-awaited summer break. But what he’d just heard ended it all.

He had only glanced at the News at Noon anchorwoman with the glossy lips as he hurried to class. He caught something about a shootout in Tampa, but kept going. As he reached the door, though, he heard a name that stopped him cold.

“. . . Leo Francini.”

Evan turned suddenly and stared at the screen as the woman switched the broadcast to an on-the-scene reporter. A cold sweat sprang from his brow as he moved quickly toward others gathering before the monitor.

“This quiet residential street in Tampa was the scene today of a bloody standoff between FBI agents and members of a drug cartel run by Miami racketeer Leo Francini,” the somber-faced young man announced. “Before the violence ended about nine o’clock this morning, two FBI agents and Francini’s son, Donnie Francini, were killed. It is believed that Leo Francini was in the area, though not involved in the shootout. An intense manhunt by the FBI and local police is now underway. A house-to-house search is being conducted in . . .”

Steadying himself against the post, Evan turned to see if anyone was watching him. How could they know? No one knows.

Then another name caught him.

“Florida Attorney General Tony Ryborg, visibly shaken by the deaths of the two FBI agents, just moments ago issued what he calls an iron-clad promise to the people of this state, saying, ‘Leo Francini will be brought to justice and pay the severest penalty for these deaths.’”

Two hours later, Evan was packed and ready to leave. For where, he didn’t yet know. He’d removed all his belongings from the apartment and left a note for his roommate, whom he hardly knew. He hadn’t allowed himself to get close to many people, switching roommates often during the three years he’d been enrolled. Still, the guy deserved an apology for the sudden departure.

Evan returned to the student union to close his checking account and put a hold on his mail, evading inquiries about why he would do so before final exams.

As he left the building, he saw her. As usual, she didn’t notice him. Andie Ryborg seemed as absorbed in a private world as he was. Only hers hadn’t just ended in a gunfight.

One last time, he hung back and watched her. Dark hair fell loosely about her face as she sketched beneath a tree, focused on the gurgling fountain in the center of the green.

They’ll find you. Get away!

My Thoughts:

First, let me say, when a novel takes place in present time, I think I expect more realism out of it and I'm a bit more critical of the storyline and the characters. With that said, this story takes place in present day Florida and centers on a drug cartel and politics. When dealing with these subjects, I expected a more "gritty" type of novel. Instead, the storyline seemed far-fetched at times, and a little too goody-goody.

The characters were likable, but I wanted more development and realism. Andie was portrayed as a strong woman, but there were a number of times I felt she was just down-right dumb with her decisions, which frustrated me. Evan's character was interesting and his mission was noble, but seemed a little weird to put so much on the line for someone that he thought didn't even know he existed.

Although I enjoyed this book, I found it slow and hard to "get into" in the beginning. As it continued, it really picked up, and became not only interesting but exciting and developed into a real page-turner. I think with a bit more realism, this could have been a great book. With all that said, I still found it to be a good and entertaining read.

Book was supplied by FIRST for me to honestly review.

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