November 13, 2011

Water's Edge by Robert Whitlow a solid 4 out of 5

Water's Edge by Robert Whitlow

Whitlow describes the lay off of the main character in a way that makes me feel like the writer has experienced just such a moment, something I also share. People often look at layoff and scoff, but trust me, it hurts every bit as badly as if you are fired. Whitlow manages to convey the heart break of the layoff so well, that you immediately begin to feel for the main character, Tom Crane.

As the story opens, Tom Crane's father was killed in a boating accident and Tom needs to go home to close his father's law practice. Tom, a lawyer himself, harbors hope that he'll be made a partner in the law firm that he works for. Unfortunately, Tom is laid off by the law office instead. To make matters worse, his materialistic girlfriend dumps him right after the layoff. Tom goes to his hometown to clear his father's files and ends up deep in a conspiracy that runs deep into some high and low places. To say more would spoil the plot.

When I first got this book for review, I thought there might be some Christian bent to the story, but I'd read plenty of Christian fiction that didn't preach, but only maintained a clean story line. Unfortunately, Robert Whitlow injected a whole lot of religion into the story starting at about page 100 - not light stuff, but heavy scripture-laden stuff. I nearly abandoned the story at that point, but had grown to like the main characters, a testimony to Whitlow's skillful characterization. Plus the plot was intricate enough that I wanted to see how things turned out, so I continued reading. I did turn a few pages when religion was inserted and moved on. I was rewarded with a lot of suspense, tension, and characters that I was sorry to say goodbye to when I turned the last page. Therefore, in spite of the heavily laden religious material, this story earned 4 out of 5 stars.


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