My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I enjoyed this book but felt like I kept waiting for more. What I loved most was the setting in Greece and the tie in to Paul's exile on Patmos. It was so neat to read and be reminded that these are real places where the New Testament stories occurred. Unfortunately, the rest of the book was a little flat for me. The story follows Carey as she goes to Greece for a job opportunity only to find that the Institute has closed. Her childhood friend Nick asks her to help investigate the theft of religious icons which she does. This takes them off to the Islands of Greece and they meet Dmitri a fisherman turned tourist boat operator struggling to make ends meet and not lose his family's boat and dock space. Dmitri is drawn into a scheme to steal a letter written by Paul's scribe to Jesus' mother, a priceless icon. Dmitri's first mate, Sofia, and her husband Manos, island's policeman are also drawn into the story. I enjoyed a few of the characters (I think Sofia and Manos were actually my favorites, and they are really just supporting characters!) As I write this summary, I realize that I'm confused (and disappointed) in the ending of the story. Nick was asked to investigate the theft because high level people in the country were believed to be involved in the theft and it needed to be kept quiet. As I think over the conclusion, I don't think this was concluded at the end! The ending seemed rather anti-climactic. Minor characters (who weren't even named!) are arrested and no mention is made of the actual "bad guy" or of the other high level people involved. The "romance" in the story really didn't speak to me either. Carey had always thought herself to be in love with Nick throughout their childhood relationship, though he never saw her that way. When he shows interest in her, she realizes he is not the best man for her after all. Dmitri also shows interest in her but appears to be somewhat of a playboy. The characters and romance really don't seem to be well written, I wasn't invested in any of the main characters and the romance seemed fairly nonexistent to me. The ending of the book was terrible. In addition to the previously mentioned anti-climactic ending to the drama, the author doesn't even finish the romance story. Suddenly, both men propose to her and the book ends with no closure. She makes no decisions, however has a short conversation with a friend about these two proposals. The faith aspect of the book also seemed practically non-existent. I don't recall Carey doing much soul searching, or discussing faith much, yet suddenly she has a conversation with Dmitri (untold as well, he merely asks her to explain to him and it's implied that she does so) and later with Sofia. Carey doesn't witness or discuss her faith really yet supposedly both of these characters come to Christ through her.
So in summary, though the idea behind the book is good and the majority of it isn't terrible, it just seemed very superficial. It didn't feel like a book a well known author like Davis Bunn would have written, rather it felt like a beginner's novel. I really wouldn't recommend it.
I recieved a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
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