All Things Hidden by Judy Candis Walk Worthy Press/Warner Books September 2004 $13.95, ISBN 0-446-69315-4
Candis, owner of Bar-B-Q-King in Tampa, Florida, demonstrates in her debut novel that a story about danger, suspense and romance can be convincingly told without vulgar language, graphic violence and steamy sex scenes.
All Things Hidden shares the story of Jael Reynolds, a no-nonsense detective committed to two things: her career, inspired by a childhood tragedy, and her young son, whom she raises alone after a bitter divorce. Just as she has achieved balance--working toward a promotion to lieutenant, serving at her church and tolerating her ex-husband--Jael finds her world rocked by a string of murders in the city. Her faith in God and strength of spirit are put to the ultimate test, as the killer gets personal.
Candis's work is gripping. She does a phenomenal job developing the characters and giving the reader a reason to pull for her protagonist. Her lead character is a black woman many can relate to; she's unabashedly spiritual, strong-willed yet vulnerable when it comes to matters of the heart, as we learn when a handsome FBI agent comes to town to assist...