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Facing the Enemy by DiAnn Mills 

An intricate plot with compelling personalities makes for a riveting mystery.

When the long-awaited reunion with her estranged brother ends in tragedy, FBI Special Agent Risa Maura Jacobs feels responsible and compelled to find his killer. However, the few clues they have lead nowhere, and she steps away from her career to grieve and, hopefully, heal. Returning to her former life as a college creative writing professor, she is stunned when a student submits a short story for the course finals that lays out the exact details of the horrible night her brother died. And according to the story, it was no tragic accident, Risa herself was the target of the driver all along. 

Facing the Enemy by the consistently satisfying author, DiAnn Mills, is an exciting mystery with intricate plotting and compelling characters, making for a truly riveting tale of murder and a baby smuggling operation. I found this book hard to set aside when I needed to attend to business. 

The main character, Risa Jacobs, is headstrong but has the smarts and skills to make that work for her. Her character goes through so much in this book; she struggles with her lifelong beliefs and relationship with God when she is overcome with grief and depression. She's such a decent person. I was behind her all the way to come out on top of the bad guys and find her way back to her faith. Her partner, Gage Patterson, is determined and persistent in his pursuit of justice. He is occasionally blinded by his love for Risa, agreeing to risky plans and half-baked schemes without the proper backup or vetting. He figures it out, though. 

The author's writing style is fast-paced but easy to read; she is a compelling storyteller. The plot is intricate, with two seemingly disparate mysteries under investigation simultaneously. The story unfolds through two first-person viewpoints, Gage's and Risa's, giving us a bird's eye view of both cases. The Houston setting provided a big city, cosmopolitan vibe, and a culturally diverse population that views any kind of law enforcement with a jaundiced eye. These feelings and beliefs hindered the investigation and possibly prevented related crimes from being reported. The bad guys were always one step ahead of our heroes, and there were some twists in the plot that amped up the suspense. I was surprised when the truth of who was behind the baby smuggling when their identity was finally exposed. 

I recommend FACING THE ENEMY to readers who enjoy faith-forward romantic suspense stories. 

I voluntarily reviewed this after receiving an Advanced Review Copy from the author through Lone Star Book Blog Tours.

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