Without a Trace

Thoughts   Without a Trace by Colleen Coble, Thorndike Press (large print*) 2004, 480 pages

MOTIVATION for READING:    I have a friend who loves to read.   However, we don’t read the same books and of all the book conversations we’ve had, we rarely can find any titles we both can say we’ve read.      It’s obvious we have different tastes and perhaps I should have known better when she told me she couldn’t get into The Help and didn’t finish it.

Read for the New-To-Me-Author category of the Twenty in Ten Challenge.

However, after she wrote down a few titles and the author name Colleen Coble on a slip of paper, I decided to try Without a Trace.   It was available at the library.    I saw the rating of 4+ on goodreads;  what could go wrong?

WHAT’s it ABOUT:   A search and rescue team, Bree and her pup Samson, start off searching for a few lost kids in the forests of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and we meet a whole slew of people.    And, since I didn’t realize but soon discovered why this is in the Christian Mystery genre,  we are introduced to how wonderful God’s plan is for us if we only believe, which whatdoyouknow Bree doesn’t and is annoyed by all these loving trusting people who keep telling her to pray and read bible verses.     Bree’s husband and 4 year old son crashed their plane a year prior and Bree and Samson continue to look for their remains.     Oh yea!   those kids lost in the forest at the beginning of the book?   They meet a crazy lady living in the forest who has a small boy with her – – Bree, the sheriff, the lost kids’ family dismiss this and think it only wild child imaginations.   (sigh)

Well…   maybe I’m not a plot-driven mystery reader.     This story was very much propelled by what happens and what happens next and clues dropped in dialog here and more background shared in dialog here and then something happens and the character are a bit flat and I, well, I was bored.   I skipped 150+ pages to read the last few and it all got summed up very tidy and happily.   The Christian philosophy didn’t really bother me but it was all so simple.    The mystery, the proselytizing, the clues – all heavy-handed.

I did like the dog, Samson, the mutt search-and-rescue dog.    As soon as he failed to warm to one of the characters, (SPOILER! – are you kidding me?!)

RATING:    Two slices of pie.   Some kind of rhubarb or blueberry or both would be a good – lots of food connections in this book to the Finnish heritage in the region of that part of Michigan.

* Yes, large print!    I didn’t even request it but that’s how it came when I picked it up at the library.   Which worked out VERY WELL because it is hard to read outside in the sun when you don’t have sunglass-reading glasses.   I read this on the boat – a lovely way to spend a beautiful day even if the book wasn’t compelling.

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8 thoughts on “Without a Trace

  1. I can’t see myself enjoying this either. This reminds me of a “too-convenient” novel I read once. And if faith is thrown into the equation, then I’ll say Puh-leez! Not that I have an issue with it, but I like taking credit for my doings, and not go into how God got me there. Thanks for the honest review! 🙂

  2. I picked this up awhile back, the rescue dog was the main reason. But also I wanted a new mystery/thriller series and this was book one of five.
    Just barely made it through this one though 😦 As much as I wanted to love the idea of the book I couldn’t get past the characters (lack of personality?) and the religious parts were blah.

  3. Care,

    I owe you a few doodledums or snickerdoodles or . . . what is that word that means I’ve been enjoying your posts but I’m too tired to comment? That word.

    What? You don’t have reading sunglasses? Visit Reading Glasses Shopper. They have very affordable reading sunglasses. I love mine like crazy.

    Sorry this one sucked for you. I think there’s a lot of really good Christian fiction out there, but there’s still some that just makes you feel like you sat through a sermon. So, you’re in serious need of a good read. Have you read Postcards from a Dead Girl? It’s one of my recent favorites. It’s nice and quirky. The ending is deliberately ambiguous but it’s such fun that I wasn’t much bothered by that, although I did ask the author about it and he said it was because the narrator was unreliable, which makes sense. Anyway, give that one a try and I’ll try to drum up some other ideas or maybe dig for something to send you. Have I read anything that sounds really appealing to you, lately? I have a little stack.

    Sorry this message is so long. I’m feeling REALLY chatty. I need sleep. Someone woke Fiona and me up from a delightful nap and we’ve been freaked, ever since.

      The religiosity of this book was not it’s deficiency; but how the whole book was too simple. The Christian passages were just so glaringly obvious and shone the wrong kind of spotlight.
      But you do bring up something interesting… (why the ‘Christian’ label is such a hot button?) But still, I think with the ‘God’-parts in or out, I would not have been impressed with the writing.

      I will look up Postcards from a Dead Girl. You know I love quirky.

      Poor Fiona. I’m glad you two are such good friends.

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