There’s a Thin Line is the first book of the Legal Reichs series. The series concerns Josef, a man groomed to be the leader of the neo-Nazi White supremacy hate group, the Aryan Brotherhood Nation, and Blaire, who is supposed to be a highly trained assassin sent in to neutralize the ABN by a covert government group called Shadow. The first chapter sets the tone for that premise with Blair strapping two infants [!] to herself as she escapes and neutralizes assassins sent to kill her and take the twins. At the end of the chapter, we get a scene between demonic and angelic forces behind this escapade, including an old woman praying for Blaire’s safety, even though she knows not why. As a Christian, I wasn’t put off by the attempt to toss in a spiritual warfare element to the novel. Frank Peretti has done so with marvelous success, after all. What follows promises to be a thriller with a spiritual warfare element. It had conspiracies, betrayal, action… all the good things a thriller needs.
The trouble was that the book then takes a turn in which a highly trained assassin cannot recognize the face of her enemy’s firstborn son and falls in love with him. And Josef somehow falls in love with her even though she’s black and he’s the leader of a white supremacist neo-Nazi hate group. [Sounds legit].
This is where the book just absolutely falls apart for me. Blaire stops being a highly trained government agent and the reader becomes trapped in a raunchy rom-com for most of the rest of the book… right up until the graphic mobster ending, really. The sex scenes are numerous and superfluous to the plot for the most part, which makes them merely gratuitous, especially the last one [which is between minor characters no one cares about]. There is also some graphic violence [torture] and mild cursing.
The book also suffers from numerous spelling, grammar and formatting problems that are often distracting. I also can’t stand the cover [and the paperback cover isn’t much better]. Typical for a PublishAmerica book, even if they changed the name to America Star Books.
I wish I could say otherwise, because I was looking forward to seeing how it was incorporated, but the spiritual warfare component was also largely superfluous to the plot. The authors did have a lot to say about race and I applaud their efforts to include faith discussions in their book. As a someone who grew up in church and then drifted away from it only to return after a long while, I connected with Blaire’s situation. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to save the book for me.
From the Bookwyrm’s Lair
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”