Miracle in a Dry Season    Dangerous Passage

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Kiss by Ted Dekker and Erin Healy

Reviewed by Vennessa Ng

"...Kiss is a worthy read. Dekker fans won’t be disappointed with this collaboration, and I am sure Healy will soon have a fan base of her own."

The brain never fails to fascinate me with its many complexities. I often ponder on how my husband can clearly remember so much of his early childhood while my own childhood is nothing more than vague puzzle pieces I often struggle to fit together. Instead of looking forward to family gatherings and recalling past holidays or other long ago events, I dread them. There is nothing more frustrating than having to admit to not remembering your past.

In Kiss, Shauna McAllister is faced with her inability to recall past events.

Six weeks after a car accident, Shauna awakes in hospital having suffered a coma. Not only does the night of the accident remain a mystery, but also the months leading up to the incident. Alligations arise which not only effect Shauna, but also her prestigious father, Landon McAllister, head of McAllister MediVista, a pharmaceutical research company, and a senator bidding on the White House.

Estranged from Landon since the death of her mother and his subsequent remarriage, Shauna is vaguely aware that something monumental looms over any hope of reconciliation between them. To make matters worse, her brother Rudy, her only ally and apple of their father’s eye, lays victim to the accident she is blamed for.

Sequestered from the public eye on her father’s estate, Shauna turns to Wayne Spade, her attentive but forgotten boyfriend, to help her piece together the events leading up to the accident. On her quest for answers, Shauna discovers a puzzling mental ability which raises even more questions. Her circle of trust soon narrows as it becomes apparent that some around her are determined to keep her from recovering the memories she desperately pursues in her search for truth.

Kiss is more than just great entertainment. I couldn’t help but relate to Shauna as she struggled to recall her past. As I read, I spent a lot of time pondering the scenario and the intricacies of the human mind. Don’t get me wrong, the book is far from heavy when it comes to the ins and outs of the plot device and is Dekker all the way—pure escapism with inescapable truth. The story is compelling, beautifully paced, and well told.

Dekker recently revealed on his message board that he planned to write three books a year in the foreseeable future, one of which would be co-written with his editor for the last ten years, Erin Healy. Kiss is the first offering from the two and Healy’s debut novel.

I’ve been a fan of Dekker books ever since I first discovered them in 2003, but I will admit to preferring the writing style contained in Kiss far more than I have previous Dekker books. I’m sure the smoother style is a tribute to Healy’s editing expertise and skilful blending.

Only one minor element marred my enjoyment of the story. On a whole, the characterisations are wonderful, and I was completely drawn to Shauna’s. However, the motivation behind one character did remain a little unclear at the end and continued to play on my mind well after closing the book. A subplot also seemed incomplete and has me wondering if Dekker and Healy plan a sequel or tie-in book.

Whatever the case may be, Kiss is a worthy read. Dekker fans won’t be disappointed with this collaboration, and I am sure Healy will soon have a fan base of her own. I am already looking forward to seeing what these two talented writers come up with next, either together or separately.

Vennessa NgVennessa Ng lives in New Zealand with her husband and three children. As an avid reader with a passion for Christian worldview fiction, she works to help authors improve their craft through her freelance editing service, Aotearoa Editorial Services (www.aotearoaeditorial.com), and helps publicize books and authors via her review site, Illuminating Fiction (www.illuminatingfiction.com). She has also reviewed for Focus On Fiction, Infuze Magazine, Novel Reviews, 1340 Magazine, and now TitleTrakk. In her spare time she pursues her own passion for writing and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.