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Hand of Fate by Lis Wehl and April Henry

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The Advocate



Hand of Fate by Lis Wehl and April Henry

Reviewed by Karri Compton

"...this series would probably be a good alternative to Patterson's [Women's Murder Club] series."

The murder of controversial radio talk show host Jim Fate brings three friends closer together as they work on solving the case. Nicole Hedges is an FBI agent who must help evacuate downtown Portland when it is thought to be contaminated with sarin gas. Cassidy Shaw, a journalist for Channel 4, braves the chaos to report live from inside the danger zone. Allison Pierce, a federal prosecutor, invests her time not only in searching for the killer but also in rescuing a young girl and reuniting her with her family.

The idea of the Triple Threat Club (the name the three friends call themselves) seems like a cheap counterfeit of Patterson and Paetro's Women's Murder Club series, except with less worldliness. Only one of the three friends is a Christian. She never preaches or pushes her friends, but they can see her quiet strength in the face of danger and uncertainty. Their relationship with each other is strained at times, perhaps on purpose. It's like they can't decide if they've been thrown together, or they choose to hang out because there is dessert involved, or they have really bonded as friends. I found their individual stories and issues at times distracting from the murder investigation.

The conclusion was, thankfully, unexpected and handled well, all the way to the revelation of and apprehension of the perpetrator.

In all honesty, I only wanted to read this book because it was written in part by a Fox News anchor whose face I recognized from television. I didn't read the first book, Face of Betrayal, and I'm not sure if I'll pick up any of the subsequent books, either. Hand of Fate was a nice story, but not quite interesting enough for me to continue with the series. For those readers who like clean mysteries with female characters that have a lot of issues to work through, this series would probably be a good alternative to Patterson's aforementioned series.

Karri ComptonKarri Compton, wife and mother of three teens, two cats, and a beagle, devours Christian fiction whenever possible. Her favorite genre is suspense/thriller, especially Ted Dekker and Steven James novels. Since promoting biblical worldview fiction is dear to her heart, she reviews on her blog, Fiction Fanatics Only! and is a staff reviewer for such sites as The Christian Suspense Zone and Fiction Addict. Her stab at writing a novel confirmed what a tough job it is, and so the work is shelved for now, allowing the pros to do what they do best. When she isn't reading and reviewing, Karri stays busy at church and performing in various community theater companies.