Tag Archives: linda Owen

Book Review: Fatal Fraternity

23 Apr

Someone is killing alumni of a fraternity —and homicide detective Dean Warren has no idea why. As he unravels the mystery of two murders, and more that follow, his search for a serial killer leads to a long list of suspects and several dead ends. Dean has always captured the killer quickly, so what is different this time? In the process of solving the mystery, he forges a friendship with Lydia James, the ex-wife of the first victim. It doesn’t take long for him to be distracted from his quest. She is all he can think about. Their sons, Toby and Ethan, are best friends, so the four quickly become like a family unit, doing everything together. Dean knows he will capture the murderer eventually, but he wonders how to capture Lydia’s heart. It will be no little feat. Her ex-husband’s chronic infidelity has left mincemeat of her heart. Their sons want them to marry—to create a real family— but first Lydia has to come to terms with her past. She has to forgive before she can love again.

The Dean Warren Mysteries will be a series of three or more novels.


Linda Owen has a long history as a professional writer and English teacher. She has written articles for hundreds of publications. She received a master of divinity degree from Perkins School of Theology (SMU) and served briefly as a chaplain and a pastor. She also wrote Bible study curriculum for the United Methodist Publishing House. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers Association. Her other novels include Emergency Care and Lady President. She lives in San Antonio with her husband Ervin.


My Impressions:

A police officer with God-gifted intuition is the main character in Linda Owen’s novel Fatal Fraternity. This mystery follows Dean Warren, a Texas police detective, in his pursuit of a killer that is targeting long time friends. Suspects with multiple motives keep the detectives on their toes in this twisting, turning novel. A quick read, it would be a good accompaniment for a weekend getaway.

I liked main character Dean. He is a man of faith with true compassion for those left in the wake of the murders he is investigating. His giftedness in discerning the truth is a great plot point, but one I wish would have been developed a bit more. I found the mystery to be truly puzzling, never knowing just whodunit. Romance finds its way into the story, as well, as Dean and the first victim’s ex-wife connect. The author explores the issue of forgiveness and the healing it can bring even when we choose to forgive those who can’t or won’t say they are sorry. There were a couple of things I found a bit convenient to the plot that probably wouldn’t really occur with real police work, but they didn’t detract from the overall storyline.

If you like police-based mysteries with a thoughtful faith message, then check out Fatal Fraternity.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to the author for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)


Book Review: Emergency Care

11 Mar

9781490814001_p0_v1_s260x420In Mexico, Hurricane Bertha flattened tobacco crops and coffee bean fields and demolished entire villages. Then suddenly she turned northward – a surprising act that had not been foreseen by meteorologists. After twelve hours, the winds that had reached 180 miles per hour would slow, and the storm would die. But before that, Bertha would terrorize the unsuspecting residents of a South Texas hospital and the bank robbers holding them hostage. It is a toss-up whether nurse Sidney Shelton is more afraid of the thugs or the hurricane. For hours the captors threaten and brutalize the hostages. Sidney wonders whether they will be dead or alive when the robbers leave. What can she do to protect her six-year-old son and friends from harm? God sends her unexpected help from a Mexican cop and a soldier with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Linda_Owen_027-resizedWith professional writing experience spanning 37 years, Linda Owen is a full time writer, photographer and seminar speaker. She has had a varied career including teaching, journalism and ministery. She loves to share her knowledge of the Bible. She makes her home in San Antonio, Texas. Emergency Care is her first novel.

My Impressions:

If you like your suspense fast-paced with non-stop action and surprise twists, then check out Emergency Care, the debut novel by Linda Owen. With a definite edgy tone, this novel is a quick read that packs a clear spiritual message.

Four dangerous men make their way to a small Texas town near the Mexican border trying to elude the police after a murder and bank robbery. An accident puts them in the ER of the local hospital along with a small holiday staff and a hurricane bearing down on them. They take the patients and staff hostage and try to ride out the storm, but events are soon out of their control.

There are a number of surprises in store for the reader of Emergency Care. Just when you think you know what is going to happen next, Owen throws a curve ball to ramp up the adrenaline. The medical setting, the hurricane and the desperate men all combine to provide heart-thumping drama. This is a plot driven novel, but the reader cannot help becoming invested in some of the characters’ lives. Fortunately, Owen does a good job of wrapping up the story after the storm has passed. There is also a strong spiritual thread featuring forgiveness and healing. Only one scene seems out of place, but overall, I think the author did a good job of portraying the truth of God’s love and care for people. As I said, this is an edgy novel. Never graphic, it does contain some violence and adult situations, but no profanity. A good choice for fans of Brandilyn Collins or Steven James. The writer also includes discussion questions for book clubs and theological questions for personal reflection or group discussion.


(Thanks to Linda Owen for a review copy. The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To purchase a copy of this book, click on the image below. The Kindle version is just $1.99.