The Quinn Case by Julie C. Gilbert

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.

The Quinn Case: A Heartfelt Cases Short Story by Julie C. Gilbert

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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

Coming off a cold case involving a murdered child, FBI agent Ann Davidson and her partner, Patrick Duncan, are given a custody kidnapping case. The victim, Josiah Quinn, is a two-year-old boy, and Ann isn’t the most ready for another case with a child at risk. But Ann hasn’t time for the luxury of doubt in The Quinn Case by author Julie C. Gilbert.

I first encountered this novelette in Where the Light May Lead, a multi-genre, ChristFic anthology. But I’d forgotten enough of this story to go with it for another round.

As I’ve maintained while reading the Heartfelt Cases series, these shorter reads give me a quick, satisfying fix of suspense, like watching an episode of a primetime crime drama when I haven’t got time for a whole movie. Ann’s situation shows how her prayers don’t make everything perfect, and yet her faith sustains her on the job. My top takeaway from the story is the wise idea that you can let difficult emotions drive you downward, or you can learn to let them drive you forward.

Having enjoyed this prequel novelette and all three of the novellas in the series, I plan to go on to the Heartfelt Cases novel, Book Four.

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Here’s my review of Book One of the Heartfelt Cases series, The Collins Case.

   

 

The Davidson Case by Julie C. Gilbert

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.

The Davidson Case by Julie C. Gilbert

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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

Joy Davidson is just trying to do her job at an animal clinic when she uncovers evidence of a treacherous conspiracy. Her discovery makes her a threat to the operation and a target for the conspirators. The fact that Special Agent Ann Duncan is Joy’s sister may keep Joy safe or put her in more danger in The Davidson Case by author Julie C. Gilbert.

I jumped into this third book of the Heartfelt Cases series after having liked the first two books. I found this one somewhat more difficult to follow than its predecessors, as a few parts seemed disjointed, and I had some trouble keeping track of all the different criminals’ names, associations, and motives.

Still, I enjoyed Ann and Patrick’s “married people” banter and how they encourage each other in their faith and work as a team in precarious situations. Once the action really picked up, it kept me engrossed and guessing—albeit there wasn’t really a whole lot of time for guessing, since sharp turns I didn’t see coming, came. And they came in thrilling fashion.

While the first three books in the series have each given me a rather short and sweet “primetime crime drama” fix, the next book may be more of a movie than a television episode.

Bring it.

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Here’s my review of the first book in the Heartfelt Cases series, The Collins Case.

the-collins-case the-kiverson-case

 

The Kiverson Case by Julie C. Gilbert

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.

the-kiverson-caseThe Kiverson Case by Julie C. Gilbert

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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

“It’s only a matter of time.”
“I don’t doubt that, Patrick. I just wonder how long it will take, and how many will die before this is over.”

Kevin Kiverson is just one dangerous malefactor in a family notorious for crime. He’s out for revenge when he goes after Julie Ann and Patrick Duncan of the FBI. The married pair of special agents are reluctantly drawn into Kiverson’s game, but the stakes heighten when the Duncans’ baby becomes a target in The Kiverson Case by author Julie C. Gilbert.

I’ll maintain that reading the books in the Heartfelt Cases series is good when I’m in an evening-crime-drama-like mood. The books are more like television episodes than movies, length wise, so they’re perfect when I’m looking for suspense but am short on time.

Although this second book in the series can likely stand alone, I might have felt a little at sea at the beginning if I hadn’t read the first book. There’s some head-hopping in the story, and I had a bit of trouble keeping track of who exactly was doing or saying what, a couple times. The villain might’ve needed another side to make him a more believable character, and I found the story’s climax to be a fairly tame one.

Still, I like how the series makes a place for faith without trying to wrap everything up in a perfect bow, and I’ll certainly be going on to read Book Three.

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Here’s my review of Book Three in the Heartfelt Cases series, The Davidson Case.

the-collins-case the-davidson-case

 

The Collins Case by Julie C. Gilbert

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.

the-collins-caseThe Collins Case by Julie C. Gilbert

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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

It’s unclear what a certain Dr. Collins has done that leads to his wife and children’s kidnapping. But Special Agent Julie Ann Davidson and her partner, Patrick Duncan, are out to find the abductees and to stem a sudden flood of Internet hacking in The Collins Case by author Julie C. Gilbert.

I was first introduced to this author’s writing with a novelette, The Quinn Case, in an anthology called Where the Light May Lead. It was much like watching an evening crime drama, which I do on occasion, and I was in that kind of mood when I picked up The Collins Case. I wasn’t far into my reading before I was like, “Wait, wh-what?” The story had me hooked early, and quite a bit happens in this quick read. It moves at a good pace without skimpy or rushed storytelling.

This first in a series of Heartfelt Cases isn’t a sappy heart tale but a heart and mind battle where life and death are the stakes. I found the book to be on the heavy side with its Gospel language, which can sometimes feel like a shift from story-mode into Gospel-tract-mode to me, and the stretch after the climax seems to go on a bit long, introducing minor characters’ backstories while simultaneously tying up the loose ends of the main plot.

But it’s quite a mix of heart and suspense that satisfied the reading mood I was in, and I’d definitely recommend it to other Christian suspense fans.

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Here’s my review of Book Two in the Heartfelt Cases series, The Kiverson Case.

the-kiverson-case  the-davidson-case