Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Book note: MIA: Missing in Atlanta, by Debby Giusti

Author Debby Giusti grew up as an "Army brat," and then became an Army wife, and then became an Army mom. So it's probably no surprise that the hero of her third book, MIA: Missing in Atlanta, is an Army captain home from a tour in the Middle East.

I finished reading the book yesterday. It's a page turner. It's grittier than you might expect for something labeled inspirational romance. It shows Christians walking the walk in some very tough circumstances: rescuing teen girls from pimps, helping the homeless and other poor people, and dealing with drug addicts and alcoholics, that sort of thing. It deals, in other words, with some very bad situations and subjects - but it does so with compassion and without resorting to language I don't allow under my roof, but without getting sugary.

In short, Captain Jude Walker met a young woman while stateside for leave, and they hit it off. But when he went back overseas, their correspondence became strained, and then she sends a strange warning and is heard from no more. And so, the next time he gets stateside with time to call his own he goes looking for her. The trail doesn't go at all where he expects it to - whereupon he finds out that a tour of duty in a combat zone hasn't prepared him for the mean streets of the bad parts of Atlanta. He throws in with people working at a teen shelter, who are veterans of this battleground, and things get lively from there, let us say. Except where they get deadly.

It's a fast read, with some good twists along the way, and Jude comes across as decidedly human instead of impossibly heroic. But he is definitely a warrior, and gutsy.

The book is dedicated to (among others) the soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), and "all the brave men and women in uniform who defend our nation."

Giusti is one of the bloggers at Craftie Ladies of Suspense, which is where I found out about the book.

She also has a "Looking Back" post at The Seekers, in which she shares with wannabe authors some of what she wished she'd known earlier in her writing career.

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