Miracle in a Dry Season    Dangerous Passage

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My Soul to Keep
by Melanie Wells

Reviewed by Dale Lewis

"Wells' writing is endearing, passionate and a pure delight to read. Superbly crafted! ... a swiftly paced, gritty, complex story."

Graduation day with its celebratory atmosphere at SMU is psychology Professor Dylan Foster’s favorite day of the academic year. After she hangs up her cap and gown, (to wait for next year), Dylan and her friends gather at a neighborhood park and celebrate Christine Zocci’s sixth birthday. Amidst a soccer game of older young people and kids playing in the playground, all chaos breaks loose when a little boy is snatched. Christine sees the kidnapper up close. Has Peter Terry, the pasty, elusive stranger, returned to wreak havoc once again in her life?

With very few clues, the local police are baffled. With Christine’s vivid, disturbing dreams providing the basis, Dylan begins a chilling investigation into the disappearance of Nicholas.

Wells’ writing is endearing, passionate and a pure delight to read. Superbly crafted! Her characters are richly real life, multidimensional and memorable. The reader will quickly empathize with the ever-complicated and fault-filled Dr. Dylan Foster. She often refers to her list of “Top Ten Terrible Traits” in a matter-of-fact tone. Here’s an excerpt describing her faith walk, “Because ‘spiritually sensitive’ or not, I’m a terrible Christian. In fact, if Christianity were a merit-based society, I would have flunked out years ago. I never go to Bible study, especially the ‘ladies’ ones at church—nothing scares me more than a roomful of women with muffins.”

The return of characters from Wells’ previous stories help continue their interconnected story. Layers of subplots and secondary characters are skillfully interwoven throughout.

My Soul to Keep is a swiftly paced, gritty complex story. It will only take a few pages for you to get hooked. Although I don’t bite my nails, this intense thriller could cause somebody to relapse into that nasty habit. I’m a big time fan and I can’t wait for Melanie’s next novel.

Dale Lewis now mans the front desk at the EFCA (The Evangelical Free Church of America) National Office in Minneapolis, MN. He was the graphic designer/pre-press production artist for over twelve years before being asked to step into this new role. Prior to that, he was the publications manager at his alma mater, Northwestern College in St. Paul, MN in the public relations office as well as the adviser to the college’s yearbook. He's a director/actor/writer for the Hope Church (Oakdale, MN) adult drama worship team and was the senior editor of the church newsletter. He's also written two collections of poetry, “Whispers of Assurance” and “On Life: Constant Communion Without Ceasing” as well as a devotional entitled “Eternal Education.” He and his family live in Oakdale, Minnesota.