Concrete Evidence by DiAnn Mills
A thrilling faith-forward Christian mystery set in south-central Texas near the banks of the Brazos River.
Avery Elliott adored her grandfather, a successful rancher, construction company owner, and former Texas state senator. He had always been there for her, in contrast to the parents that had literally abandoned her to continue to live their lives free of the burden of child-rearing. She had grown up in his house, attended college to gain a business degree, and followed in his footsteps to eventually take part in managing the construction business and ranch operations. But one day, in a remote part of the ranch, when she secretly witnessed him standing over the body of a dead man with a gun in his hand, her faith in him wavered, and she ran away back to the ranch house.
Later that evening, her grandfather drove away from the house and went into hiding. Confused and needing space to think, Avery also left the house headed for Houston and the anonymity the large city offered. But while driving, her grandfather called to warn her of the trouble he was in and telling her to ditch her cell phone, stay out of sight in a hotel, and contact no one or tell anyone where she was.
FBI Special Agent Marc Wilkins had just buried his estranged father and was spending time with his grieving mother when she told him of her suspicions that he’d been murdered. His father had recently gotten an exceptionally clean bill of health from his doctors, one of whom was a cardiologist, and the likelihood of him having a heart attack was exceedingly low. Marc agreed to look into his death to appease his mother, but he honestly thought her concerns were her grief talking. But when one of his father’s friends and work associates is murdered on a remote county road, and another disappears, Marc knows he must take a serious look. And when the daughter of the missing friend shows up at his office in Houston with a bizarre story asking for help, he realizes his father had gotten involved in something big, and his mother was right all along.
Concrete Evidence is a riveting tale of betrayal, revenge, murder, and constant danger. The two main characters, Avery Elliott and Marc Wilkins, are determined in their search for answers and strong in their faith, though both doubt their steadfastness in their relationship with God at times. They are good and kind people, and I enjoyed their cautious but steadily growing love story.
For all the nurturing love her grandparents lavished on her, Avery still has issues with her parents abandoning her as a young child. They continue to treat her horribly as an adult; they are awful people. Coincidentally, Marc experienced a similar situation at the hands of his father. The scene describing his father leaving him as a small boy of eight had me in tears. The subplot of how these two come to terms with this part of their pasts is emotional.
I don’t think I’ve ever been so compelled to keep reading as I was with this book! The main plot, and the reason Avery’s grandfather goes on the lam, has a unique foundation and has to do with his construction business, making this book’s title a stroke of genius. There are twists as the story progresses and I was kept guessing and completely the entire time.
With its intricate storyline and engaging characters who consider their words and actions within the framework of a life of faith, I recommend CONCRETE EVIDENCE to readers who enjoy faith-based tales of mystery and suspense.
I voluntarily reviewed this after receiving an Advanced Review Copy from the author through Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours.