I’m pleased this week to review an exciting book Defensive Tactics from a talented new author Steve Westover. Westover writes this exciting suspense thriller, my favorite genre, with the skill of a long time author. His characters walk the narrow line between the expectations of the FBI and their standards as members of the church.
This is a tricky balancing act in this kind of a novel. If the writer gets too churchy then the thriller aspect of the FBI doesn’t work, but if they get too deep into the darker world of crime and violence you lose the uplifting aspect of the gospel. Westover’s characters manage to be believable both in their careers and in their spiritual life. Well done!
Paul, a career FBI agent out of the Kansas City office has everything going for him. He’s good at his job, has a really nice apartment and is dating a beautiful new girlfriend.
Like Paul, Emily works for the FBI as a field agent and is an active member of the church. She is asked to participate with a group of agents’ that are investigating a judge suspected of illegal activities. Her job is to use her looks to seduce and trap the suspect – especially challenging considering her values as a member of the church. But things get dangerous quickly when it’s discovered that someone on the inside is passing along vital information, information that could cost Emily her life.
Jimmy has endured a horrible family tragedy that has pushed him away from the church and his life. Paul and he were friends in high school and he approaches Paul using their previous association to get a free bed for a couple of nights. However things turn out a little different than he anticipated and Jimmy gets more than he bargained for in several ways.
In between mysterious information leaks, shoot-outs and double crossing agents, Westover manages to teach some profound lessons about the atonement and repentance. Yet, as I said before, he does so in a way that feels natural rather than something one has to trip over in before returning to the plot.
Definsive Tactics is a great read for both male and female readers. There is a definite romantic aspect but it blends well with the twists and turns of the suspense. Westover knows his stuff when it comes to keeping his readers on the edge of their seat. I really enjoyed this book and I think you will too.
ps We will be running Defensive Tactics by Steve Westover in the Daily Chapter next week!