Jim Baton creates interesting characters, a fascinating environment, and lots of suspense in the first book, HOPE is a Dangerous Place, of his new trilogy, HOPE. So much interest and suspense I read the book in one sitting–could not put it down. Although categorized as an adult novel, the characters most in on the action are three teens along with their journalism teacher, so the book should interest young adults as well.
Close friends Kelsey and Harmonie along with a reluctant Miguel receive the assignment of researching the origin of the town’s name, HOPE, from their journalism teacher, Ms. Montez. Challenging them to go deep, she suggests they interview the oldest people in town whose memories may include the time the name was changed from Purgatory. They discover that seventy-five years ago, fifteen-year-old Hope McCormick disappeared, and to remember her, the town fathers named the newly incorporated town HOPE.
However, as they conduct their research, someone(s) determine to stop them. The secrets behind Hope lie deep. The adventures of the kids on this assignment make for interesting reading, thrilling reading. I loved Kelsey, the daughter of one of the town’s preachers, who suffers enough angst himself for another whole book, and her best friend, Harmonie, whose grandmother’s journals lead them to significant discoveries. Add in the somewhat abrasive Ms. Montez, the drunken newspaper editor, and some of the town’s founding, but also nastiest, citizens, and the potpourri of events comes to the boiling–and exploding–point. Along the way, the girls’ faith sustains them as they face adversity at every turn. Five stars. I am anxious to read the next two installments of the HOPE Trilogy.
Jim Baton works with both Christians and Muslims in Indonesia and the US to transform their communities. Investing more than twenty-five years in those endeavors, he awaits a visa to return to Indonesia to continue his work there. Check JimBaton.com for more information.
The author supplied a copy of his book to me, but I was in no way obligated to write a review.