Without Proof is a powerful Christian romantic suspense by Canadian author Janet Sketchley. It is the third book in the Redemption’s Edge series. Both print and e-book release on November 10, 2015 (that’s today).
Almost two years after the small plane crash that injured AMY SILVER and claimed the life of her fiancé, GILLES RENAUD, a journalist suggests foul play may have been involved. Gilles’ best friend, MICHAEL STRATTON, and his great-aunt have taken Amy in as family after the accident, allowing her to heal through rest and helping Michael in his art studio.
The thought of sabotage brings back not only Amy’s sorrows, but also fear. Who would want to harm Gilles? Or her? And why? Questions multiply as inquiries progress.
Someone, maybe several people, do not want an investigation into the crash. Could it be Gilles’ parents, who blame Amy for what happened, or Gilles’ sister, who has a thing for Michael and wants Amy out of the way? And who is sending her the text warnings to call off the investigation? The source seems more insistent than sinister, at least at the beginning. As the story unfolds, Amy watches Michael’s increasing anxiety turn to obvious distress. Yet he won’t tell her what is causing his concerns.
In the midst of these troubles, Amy’s father contacts her. He has never taken an interest in her after his fling with her mother that resulted in Amy’s birth. Why would he want to meet her now? Why should she bother to establish a relationship with him?
Through it all, Michael and his aunt continue to pray for Amy, and to encourage her to trust God with her problems. But they don’t realize that God would never accept her, and Amy refuses to tell them why.
As she struggles with fear, loss and trust issues, she also needs to deal with her growing feelings for Michael. Does he think of her only as a friend or has he promised Gilles he would take care of her?
A story with so many questions is always a great read, especially when the author expertly answers them at just the right time. I enjoyed this story immensely, particularly because it has so many levels of interest: suspense, faith, romance, mystery, depth of character.
Author Janet Sketchley has crafted a tightly-written novel in Without Proof. Her characters are credible and realistic, with problems, concerns and secrets that make the reader care from the first page onward. Even the minor characters have sufficient storylines.
My favorite character is Aunt Bay, whose energy, faith and dynamic personality add depth, humor and pacing to the story. She’s someone I’d like to emulate. On the other hand, I couldn’t stand Gilles’ sister, or the fact that Michael couldn’t seem to see through her charade. Again, well done, Janet.
The settings in the novel are researched well enough that we feel the cold breeze as we stand with Amy on the roadside at the crash site, hear the water as we walk with her and Michael down to the shore at the back of his property, relax as we listen in on her conversations with Aunt Bay in the warm, welcoming kitchen.
I thought the plot progressed steadily, with lots of tension and suspense, and then the ending revealed another entire layer of story that had been taking place in the background. It made me want to start all over and read it again. Note to the reader: do not skip to the end or read the bonus chapter until you have read the entire story, or you will spoil the ending for yourself.
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in suspense. The faith themes are an organic part of the whole experience, as is the romance, which is sensitively handled by the author. Also, check out Janet’s first two novels, Heaven’s Prey (2014) and Secrets & Lies (2014). Each of these novels is a stand-alone book, but they share characters in common, so it’s fascinating to read them in order and see the world of Redemption’s Edge characters expand.
Meet Author Janet Sketchley:
I’m a Canadian author who loves stories with strong characters, adventure and hope. My novels, Heaven’s Prey, Secrets and Lies, and Without Proof (coming Nov/15) are stories of suspense and redemption.
Fiction’s my passion, but my story in the award-winning anthology A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider really happened.
Random facts: My super-power is untangling yarn and Slinkies™; there are over 50 varieties of tea in my house; I’m Canadian but I worked at the busiest McDonalds in London, England; I’ve taken basic fencing lessons; and I once rode an elephant.
I’m also a wife, mom, daughter, friend, neighbour… a Christian growing in faith, trying to balance relationships and responsibilities. Can you relate?
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Because of Jesus,