Monday, September 26, 2011

The Crossing

Author:  Serita Jakes
My recommended age: 13+ If not even older.
Their recommended age: NA
Publisher:  Waterbrook press.
Number of pages: 304

Publisher’s description:

Imprisoned by memories, Claudia Campbell lives each day in the shadow of a ten-year-old murder. Who can set her free?
On the way home from a football game, a decade earlier, a masked gunman opened fi re on a Texas school bus.  Cheerleading coach B.J. Remington was killed, but her murderer was never found. Claudia, who had a close friendship with the young, spirited teacher, constantly relives the anguish of that day, caught in one moment in time. When her husband, the assistant district attorney, becomes determined to uncover the mystery of that tragedy, the secrets buried over the years threaten to tear their family apart.

Officer Casio Hightower will never forget the day his dreams were destroyed. A star quarterback with a promising future, Casio was on top of the world—until one bullet changed everything. He is eager to help Victor Campbell find B.J.’s killer, the man who shot him. Maybe solving the case will help silence the demons driving Casio to hurt the woman he loves.

As the Campbells and Casio teeter on the brink of losing everything, will they be able to discover that what begins at the crossing ends at the cross?

My thoughts:
·         Characters:  Superb.  They each had their own life, set of difficulties and ghosts from the past.  Instead of being a make believe murder case, this could be straight from the newspapers, the people were so real.
·         Plot:  Like I said about the characters, straight from the paper, it was so real.  It had the twists and turns that kept me trying to plot out the mystery as any good mystery novel should.
·         Writing:  Jakes' writing style was very good.  She was very clear, and painted the picture perfectly.
·         Cover:  I think the lady if B.J...but I can't be positive.  I like it.
·         Ending:  A little sad over Casio...but rejoicing over the Campbell's triumph and Claudia's new found hope.
·         World building I don't remember if it named a town, but I could picture every location perfectly, even though Jakes gave little in depth detail. 

 This book was a GREAT mystery.  I loved the turns and twists, the never knowing, but one thing ruined it for me.  
The Adult content.  
There was so much immodesty in it, I nearly cried.  What is the point of putting it in there?  Yes, it is a part of this world, and ungodly people's lives...but please.  This was supposed to be a Christian novel, published by a Christian publisher.  Why?
 It was a excellent mystery, and if the adult content wasn't in there, it might've been moved up to my favorites list.  It was hard to put it down. 
God's name was wrongly used at some parts.
Romance and sexual content:
Ok, there was A LOT of this.  Sadly.  It was the only bad thing I saw in this book.  But, sadly, it isn't a small thing.  Sexual content is NOT something I take lightly in books.  I try to steer away from novels with such in them. 
It is a murder mystery.
One of the main characters commits suicide after killing someone else.
 Drugs and drink:
A vast part of the novel are in a bar.  Nothing bad or immoral happens there.
Random Preview:
 No matter that the train had come and gone, still she sat, staring at the bare metal tracks. Her body shook all over. Vehicles sped around her, blaring their horns. People glared at her, some even shouting obscenities at her, but it was no use. She’d become paralyzed. She didn’t know how many minutes she sat there while the world swept by her, a still body in a raging storm.
   A dull tap registered in her brain. She turned toward the sound and tried to focus on the man outside her window. He reached out and made another clipped, three-rap knock on the glass. Finally, recognition flashed, trying to convince her that everything was okay. She pressed the button and lowered the window for the waiting police officer.
   “Claudia?” His voice sent a shiver down her spine. Images sped through her mind, blurring her focus. “Is there something wrong with your car?”
   His voice was a little deeper now than it had been ten years ago, but she could still hear it screaming, “Leave her alone!” And then the gunshot. She could feel herself fading again…
   “Claude!” He reached in through the window and shook her shoulder. “Come on, girl. I know what this is. I’ve been there too. But snap out of it. You’re in the middle of the street.”
   She felt herself slowly ascending, as though swimming from the bottom of a deep lake. At the surface, a ragged, cold breath filled her lungs. “Casio.” Tears filled her eyes.
   “It’s okay, baby,” he said, his voice soft, taking her back to the days when he was quarterback, she was cheerleader, and everyone said they’d be America’s sweethearts. “Can you drive the car into the parking lot?” He pointed to the right where a mom-and-pop café sat practically empty.
   She nodded.
   “I’ll be right behind you.”
   It took every ounce of willpower to slide the Tahoe into gear and drive toward the parking lot. Once she stopped, her lungs screamed and she could feel the breath-stealing, muscle-seizing horror of hyperventilation coming on. Casio appeared at the passenger side door. Clutching her chest, she pointed toward the glove box. “Bag,” she managed to gasp.
   “A bag. In there!”
   “Oh! Okay! Are you okay?” Hang on.” Casio opened the glove box and pulled out a paper bag, then brought it to her mouth. “Breathe. In-out-in-out.”
   She did. Her lungs felt like they might burst as the panic spiked. “Oh, God. It’s just like that night.” A scream vibrated in her throat, and she squelched it before it could pierce the air inside the Tahoe.
   “No.” Casio’s hand pressed against her clammy neck. “Now, listen, Claude. Keep breathing.” His smooth-as-silk tone calmed her and evened out her breath. She tried to focus on his tone. “This isn’t like that night on the bus. No one is after you. The person with a gun was after BJ. No one else. It wasn’t a random act or I wouldn’t have just been shot in the arm. Right? If that man was on a killing spree, we’d all be dead right now.”
   His voice was beginning to soothe her, and slowly, the words sank into her muddled brain. She set the bag in her lap and filled her lungs with a cleansing breath. “Thanks, Casio,” she whispered and tried to smile. “You’re a hero.”
   His jaw clenched as he inhaled from a freshly lit cigarette and then passed it to her. “Yep, that’s what I am.” He expelled a stream of smoke. “A real hero.”
   At the sarcasm in his tone, Claudia regretted her choice of words. She reached across the seat and took his hand. “We did what we could.”
   “Too bad that doesn’t make the dreams go away.”
I really liked the mystery, but because all the Adult content, I'm going to have to give it a:
The only thing that saved it from becoming a 2 star is the GREAT mystery.
Please, Ms. Jakes, just stick to mystery.  You'd ace it.

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