One Shenandoah Winter by T. Davis Bunn

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.
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One Shenandoah Winter by T. Davis Bunn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

With a father who’s dying from cancer, a proud and independent daughter has no choice but to ask for help from an embittered doctor in One Shenandoah Winter, a tale by author T. Davis Bunn.

Here’s an oldie-but-goodie from the author known as Davis Bunn (and Thomas Locke!) now.

What I just may’ve loved about this little hardback book the most? The illustrations! Nice, soft, cozy ones in gray hues, spread throughout the pages. Who says adults aren’t supposed to get a kick out of books with pictures? I wish far more novels had them.

This winter tale of a small American town in the hills in the 60s is a rather somber one, but it does have its fiery moments, along with good helpings of light and laughter. Some places struck me as not being the subtlest of this author’s work, as if the story were trying a little too hard. And while the restful pacing of this novel is fitting, some points seemed to slip from simply resting into stalling.

But the story holds all of the seasonal charm I expected it to. Definitely the kind of novel to curl up and read with a hot mug of cocoa. Or coffee, for those who are partial to that particular beverage.

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The Domino Effect by Davis Bunn

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Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.
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Four Silver Stars

the-domino-effectThe Domino Effect by Davis Bunn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

The status quo no longer worked.
Remaining silent, not speaking, that was what had weighed her down the most… More than the risks the bank currently exposed itself to. Her time of remaining on the sidelines and simply observing was over.

As a risk analyst for a large banking institution, Esther Larsen sees a financial crisis coming that will hit the global markets and crash the US dollar. But going public about an international conspiracy will put her life in danger in The Domino Effect, a novel by Davis Bunn.

Plenty of readers have their go-to, “I’ll read anything with his/her name on it” authors. Davis Bunn is one of those authors for me. I’ve come to expect a clear level of mastery while reading his novels; this one was no different, and I got what I expected with this well-told story.

I’ve seen it described as a “financial thriller,” and while I felt it to be more of a suspense novel throughout than a thriller, I did find the climax quite thrilling. Plus, the story isn’t all schemes and intrigues without heart. My own heart was warmed and wrenched as Esther had to navigate both the old and new human connections in her life.

Now, I’ll admit that numbers aren’t one of my top interests. While it’s true that fiction gets me to delve into some topics I don’t naturally gravitate toward, I found it difficult to stay interested during the stretches of technical explanations in this book. It felt more to me like reading a finance textbook or an economics periodical than a novel during those parts. The true-to-life warning here about global economics is impossible to miss, though.

Another good, suspenseful read from this ChristFic author that I think many fellow readers will find worthwhile.

My Soul to Keep by Davis Bunn

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Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.
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Five Gold Stars

My Soul to KeepMy Soul to Keep by Davis Bunn

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

My Soul to Keep by author Davis Bunn: a David and Goliath story if I ever read one.

Here’s a group of Hollywood has-beens embarking on a faith-based indie film project while some of Hollywood’s elite, with a competing project, are dead set on burying the indie venture alive. But the impossible little scheme that a group of fallen stars is scraping together shouldn’t be even an ounce of a threat to the powerhouse of big names, big dollars, glittering talent, and cunning minds filming across the country.

Right?

A David and Goliath tale it is, but there’s no smooth sailing here. This filmmaking battle rages both above and beneath the surface right up to the finish. There are a lot of moving parts: not just actors, of course, but directors, producers, the media, lawyers, pastors, friends—a conglomerate of players in a story that takes several angles.

I wasn’t sure if I had a thriller on my hands, technically, but the intrigue certainly kept me turning the pages, and the motives and decisions of the principal characters, individuals chiseled and tempered by life, kept me engaged. A key scene or two did border on schmaltzy to me, and there were a couple times when perhaps I was supposed to be more amazed by some characters’ presence or skill than I was.

Still, I was rather riveted right through to the ending—not a fairytale ending but one bearing its own triumph and something of more value than a fairy tale.

The Fragment by Davis Bunn

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Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. Franciscan Media provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review.
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Five Gold Stars

The FragmentThe Fragment by Davis Bunn

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

Here she was, for the first time in her life, caught up in the world’s affairs, and still she was happiest when she could place the camera between her and events.

Muriel Ross has the chance of a lifetime when the U.S. senator she’s accompanied to Paris asks her to photograph an important artifact in the history of the Church. But that’s only the beginning of a mission that could prove deadly in The Fragment, a historical thriller by author Davis Bunn.

I’ve experienced this author’s superb storytelling a number of times before, and this instance was no exception. The imminent danger permeating the post-World War I atmosphere is virtually palpable throughout the story, but moments of beauty, tranquility, and the quiet fierceness of faith still shine through.

The characters are intriguing, and although religious reliquaries and such aren’t something I fully “get,” personally, the symbolism here succeeds in remaining intimately connected with its deeper meaning. While the story’s pacing borders on rushing in some places, there isn’t the feeling of idle time or artificial “filler” to pad the plot, and the rather steady clip kept me turning the pages.

With its compelling mix of danger and poignancy, I’d recommend this book to fans of international thrillers and historical fiction alike.