28 Mar

Every family has secrets.
Few will go as far as the Baxters to keep them.

Novelist CJ Baxter returns to his hometown to confront skeletons that have tormented him since childhood. But his brother Graham is running for Senate, and the family is intent on keeping a dangerous secret quiet. With CJ airing their dirty laundry in his books, he’s forced to hide. How far will they go to silence him?

Don Hoesel is a Web site designer for a Medicare carrier in Nashville, TN. He has a BA in Mass Communication from Taylor University and has published short fiction in Relief Journal. He lives in Spring Hill, Tennessee, with his wife and two children.  Elisha’s Bones is his first novel.

My Impressions:

Author CJ Baxter is a guy with a lot of issues.  Faced with a divorce, a lawsuit and a career in shambles, getting out of town seems the best option for him.  But when he gets to the hometown he has not visited in 18 years, things he thought he left behind are alive and thriving.  The only member of his family he stayed in contact with has died and his other family members are not too happy he is sticking around.  CJ’s novels are a bit too autobiographical for their tastes.

It is interesting and telling that we really don’t learn about CJ’s new faith until a third of the way through the novel.  CJ is not your typical saved protagonist.  To say he is flawed is an understatement.  CJ frequents bars, plays poker, throws books at critics . . .  not really the actions we are used to seeing in Christian fiction.  But if not typical, perhaps he is authentic. By his own admission, CJ has mastered the doctrine of grace.  Now he feels there is more to learn; that perhaps there should be personal responsibility involved in his faith.

Hunter’s Moon is very suspenseful, but it is character driven rather than plot driven.  The action is slow to develop due to the need to see the motivations and flaws of the characters.  But, I think you’ll enjoy the glimpses into the various characters’ struggles as much as the suspense of the chase and the revelation of the secrets that have dogged CJ’s life. Keep with this story, it is worth it.


(Thank you to Bethany House Publishers for supplying me with this book for review.  My opinions are mine and mine alone.)

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