Cape Refuge

Cape Refuge (Book 1 in series)

Terri Blackstock
Zondervan, 2002, £7.99. Pbk., 400p.; ISBN 978-0310235927

I found this while browsing in my local public library in High Wycombe and a welcome find it was too. Amidst the masses of titles dealing with various unsavoury fictional scenarios I didn’t really want to delve into, this was a breath of fresh air.

While the subject matter is murder, the background is that of an American small town community largely unused to crime of this scale. The main characters are the daughters of a couple who run a halfway house ministry. After their parents are murdered, they spend the rest of the book dealing with their grief and trying to work out together who did it.

The subject is sensitively handled and the characters believable. The author keeps it simple and as a result the narrative is both smooth and entertaining. Yet there are real gems of insight into human nature and the grieving process. The author is quite explicit about faith, and the book deals with prayer in times of trial and suffering in a useful and constructive way. This is all done in the context of a novel which is at the same time thriller, romance and detective story.

As the section at the end of the book states, “[the author’s] books are about flawed Christians in crisis and God’s provision for their mistakes and wrong choices. She claims to be extremely qualified to write such books, since she’s had years of personal experience.” The narrative certainly bears this out, with each of the main characters struggling with one or several issues, and experiencing the full range of human emotion. There is also a section which helpfully mentions her own experiences of bereavement and seeks to comfort and encourage.

I found the book both gripping and touching and would thoroughly recommend it.

The author’s website is here

Contributed by: Nicholas Horley, BA, Msc(Econ), CLIS Treasurer who is currently studying for the Graduate Diploma in Law at the BPP School of Law.