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Swope's Ridge (Lije Evans Mysteries)

1 rating: 2.0
A book by Ace Collins

September 12, 2001. Four members of the Klasser family are found dead outside Dallas, Texas. In the wake of 9/11, the Klassers' neighbor, Omar Jones---an American citizen of Arab descent---is convicted of their murder. A month before Jones' execution, … see full wiki

Tags: Books
Author: Ace Collins
Publisher: Zondervan
1 review about Swope's Ridge (Lije Evans Mysteries)

Slow starting but well worth the read

  • Apr 12, 2010
Swope's Ridge, by Ace Collins, is second in the Lije Evan Mysteries series, following closely on the end of Farraday Road. It opens, rather like many TV series, with a "Previously in the Lije Evans Mysteries Series" page which sets a scene for what must surely have been a cliff-hanger ending in book one (though, not having read it, I'm uncertain whether the fateful shot rang out before or after the last page was turned). I felt slightly uncomfortable starting to read in the middle of a story, though the first scene, where an Arab American is arrested as a terrorist, certainly grabbed my attention, turning it well away from any thoughts of what I might have missed.

Chapter ten brings the reader back to the fate of the erstwhile terrorist, now in jail awaiting execution, and at this point in the book I found myself hooked. While I, and the characters, would have liked to believe in Omar's innocence, the evidence certainly seemed compelling. But leads are followed and the reader becomes suspicious of the truth just as Lije and his colleagues make their guesses. The racial profiling and easily excited fears of post 9-11 are well-depicted, with citizens and newspapers rallying against the lawyer who might dare "defend" a convicted terrorist. Characters from as far apart as Britain, Germany, Mexico and the Middle East bring their own thoughts to bear, and the story ends in a race against time to save far more lives than one.

There's a thread of faith in this book that's nicely done, and very wisely not overdone. The reader is invited to question the characters' beliefs and motivations, but the author never threatens to preach. I found the story surprisingly satisfying, and despite my initial misgivings will hope to read Farraday Road as well some day. Lije Evans and friends are an interesting and enterprising group to read about.

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