Do you love suspense novels but not the R-rating? Try reading Christian suspense! They're just as thrilling as anything John Grisham or David Baldacci writes, but they're more PG rated. #christiansuspense #suspense #thriller #amreading #bookreviews #smalltown #LEO

I receive free electronic advanced reader copies of these books through an arrangement between the publishers and NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion on NetGalley’s website. I only review books on my blog that I really love.

Do you love suspense novels but not the R-rating? Try reading Christian suspense! They’re just as thrilling as anything John Grisham or David Baldacci writes, but they’re more PG rated.

Do you love suspense novels but not the R-rating? Try reading Christian suspense! They're just as thrilling as anything John Grisham or David Baldacci writes, but they're more PG rated. #christiansuspense #suspense #thriller #amreading #bookreviews #smalltown #LEO

Do You Love Suspense Novels but Not the Gore?

I love suspense novels and thrillers, but I weary of the guts, gore, sex, and violence. Discovering who committed a crime or cheering for the antagonists as they encounter impossible situations brings zest into my normal routine of reading Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer. John Grisham and David Baldacci rank as two of my favorite authors, but reading a steady stream or either author depresses me.

I know the world is full of violence and depravity; I don’t need books to remind me of it. If you’re looking for a new perspective on suspense novels, I recommend reading books in the Christian suspense genre. Sometimes, people call them inspirational suspense novels. Books in the Christian suspense genre have protagonists with a Christian worldview. Although characters experience adversity, the authors avoid glamorizing or dwelling on it. Christian suspense authors vary in how much evil they describe.

Characters might curse, but we don’t read the specific expletives they use. They might engage in fights (including gunfights or knife fights), but readers don’t see the blood splattering or gushing. Protagonists don’t engage in casual sex, and the relationship between lead characters is secondary to the plot line.

Readers may wonder if they need to be Christians to enjoy Christian suspense novels. No. The genre usually has a faith element, but most authors craft protagonists who question God and his sovereignty. Occasionally, I’ll read a Christian suspense novel (I read about 10-15 a year in this genre) where the author focuses more on Christianity. Otherwise, think of Christian suspense novels as excellent PG suspense novels!

Secondary Target: The Secrets of Kincaid 

Angela Carlisle, Bethany House Publishers, May 7, 2024, 336 pages.

Corina Roberts and her detective father left everything behind in Texas after the brutal murder of two of their family members. They make a life for themselves in Kincaid, KY, a sleepy town where Corina grows up, falls in love, goes to college, and suffers another devastating tragedy. Years later, she’s opened her own business, moved into her own apartment, and created a life for herself as an adult.

But when someone tries to run her off the road on her way home from work, Corina’s perfect world starts to fall apart. Someone wants to finish destroying what’s left of her family, and she has no idea who.

When Bryce Jessop’s military service ends, he agrees to stay in his parent’s place while they’re away—even if it’s across the street from his high school sweetheart, the woman who walked away from him. But when an unknown person threatens Corina’s life, Bryce realizes he’ll do anything to protect her.

As they work together to unravel the mysteries of Corina’s past, the unknown stalker turns deadly. Will Corina and Bryce unlock the secrets before time runs out?

What I Loved About This Book

Debut author Angela Carlisle joins a growing list of inspirational suspense authors who weave page-turning stories. Readers will relate to Corina and Bryce in this second-chance romance as they process and experience grief after a tragedy. I love it when authors keep me guessing to the end, and Carlisle surprised me.

If you love books by Elizabeth Goddard, Irene Hannon, and Colleen Coble, you’ll love Secondary Target.

Christian suspense novels you won't want to miss from Angela Carlisle (@Bethany_House) and @authordpettrey. #amreading #suspense Click To Tweet

One Wrong Move (Book One of Jeopardy Falls Series)

By Dani Pettrey, Bethany House Publishers, February 2024, 400 pages.

Growing up in a household of con artists has made Christian O’Brady an expert in the long game con artists and thieves play. If not for the grace of others, Christian would now live a life of crime. Instead, he has become an expert in security for high-end galleries and museums.

When a slick team of thieves pulls off a heist at a gallery where Christian designed the security, the insurance expert, Andi Forester, wonders if his name should be at the top of the list of suspects.

Andi has demons from her past to deal with. Someone set her up to take the fall in a career-destroying mistake in the FBI’s forensics department. Now, she puts her education and keen mind into investigating insurance fraud.

Andi and Christian agree that something seems fishy about the heist and gallery owner. When they decide to work together, the danger level increases instead of decreases. If they make one wrong move, they might end up dead.

Pettrey has mastered the art of romantic suspense. Sparks fly between the protagonists as they fight an unknown assailant who seems determined to kill them. While working to solve the gallery heists, Christian enlists the help of his brother, a top-notch private investigator, to help clear Andi’s name.

What I Loved About This Book

If you love fast-paced Christian suspense novels, you’ll love this book by Dani Pettrey. This Christian suspense title has strong faith elements, especially forgiveness and grace. Readers will relate to Christian and Andi as they struggle to extend grace to themselves and others.

Readers who love books by Elizabeth Goddard, Colleen Coble, and Kelly Irvin will enjoy this book.

Do you love suspense novels but not the R-rating? Try reading Christian suspense! They're just as thrilling as anything John Grisham or David Baldacci writes, but they're more PG rated. #christiansuspense #suspense #thriller #amreading #bookreviews #smalltown #LEO

2 Comments

  1. I used to read all the time (before kids, responsibilities, elderly parents). Now I roll into bed about 11 pm and am asleep before the duvet settles. I envy you Anita! 🙂

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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