Bethany House (October 1, 2010)
While this is fiction I found it more than believable, it truly read as realistic – something that could happen to anyone. Just some adjustments to the social status and character tweaks would be needed to fit an everywoman/everyman scenario. This was my first experience reading Heitzmann but I am certainly hooked and would read future releases of hers. The story starts off with a “bang” yet remains vague up to the “revelation scenes” where everything connects and the truth begins coming into focus. Noelle has lived a very sheltered life protected from much of the real world struggle adults in general face. Perhaps that is why no one least of all her suspects the extent of the danger she is facing. Though she has an undeniable and imperative sense that flight must occur now or never – she must force herself to truly hide. The normal activities and necessities of life must be undertaken but without leaving any trail that could lead trouble right to her new doorstep.
While her only plan is nebulous the danger chasing her is just as hazy. Perhaps the fact she runs without a destination in mind helps to protect her from immediate pursuit. She can no longer trust even those closest to her yet is forced to risk trusting complete strangers in the hope they will believe her and aid the goal of eluding the imminent yet ambiguous danger she is sure will be on her heels eventually. Though this novel is primarily a thriller Heitzmann has infused the lighter elements of romance and character development as Noelle discovers a dream and talent she never explored or even knew was buried. Self discovery and the progression of a new belief system for her are intertwined throughout the plot line. Despite the story being one of action, intrigue, and the constant premonition of something horrible snapping at her heels, Noelle finds a strength and character that may have remained buried without the trials she faces. The doubts regarding what is real and what is a well staged act by those surrounding her also develops a refined sense of discernment and seeking ultimate truth that must be heeded if she is survive this chapter in her earthly life. (ISBN#9780764208454, 384pp, $14.99)