Monday, February 9, 2015

Book Review: Volcano Dancer by Brad Keena

Volcano Dancer
by Brad Keena
Publisher: Tate Publishing
Published: Aug. 20, 2013

Amazon Synopsis:

Not a day passes without Rick Morrow contemplating the mysterious deaths of his wife and daughter from an incident shrouded in government secrecy. One morning while visiting the home of an acquaintance, Rick meets Nikolette Allen, a young woman uncertain about a career in Washington serving a government she no longer trusts. Suspicious at first, she becomes deeply moved by Rick's plight and joins him on a quest to find Liam Channing, a retired federal investigator who may be the key to uncovering the classified account of what happened the night his family died. With intriguing character studies and a vivid narrative, Brad Keena masterfully weaves together the intricate plot of a political crime thriller inspired by actual events. A story of hope and persistence, The Volcano Dancer is the journey of two unlikely companions discovering each other's hidden strengths as they make an arduous climb from tragedy to ultimate justice.

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 My Thoughts:

Almost 2 1/2 years after Rick Morrow's wife and daughter were killed in a car accident he sets off to find out exactly what happened. Upon their death he'd been told by federal officers that since they had died on military grounds their deaths were classified information and sensitive for national security reasons. He would not be given any information about how they had died. All that he would receive were there remains and the matter would be closed.

Due to the death taxes on his father's ranch that Rick inherited from his father, Rick had to sell everything in order to pay off the debt. That left him with nothing except the clothes on his back and a few small possessions that he carried in his backpack. He left his home in California walking east in order to meet the person he was looking for who could help him in his quest to find out what happened on what he called The Tragedy – the death of his family.

Rick keeps a journal in which we find out about some of the events that happened between the tragedy and the present day. The story skips about as different parts of the journal are read by his companion Nikki, who he meets after a narrow escape with some soldiers.

There is some good action in Volcano Dancer, and a lot of political intrigue. There are also one or two spots where the plot tends to drag a little. I enjoyed seeing how Rick changed from being the despondent and heartbroken man he was after his wife and child died to the happier forward-looking man he became toward the end of the story.

Volcano Dancer was very much a follow the clues kind of book. One clue would lead them to the next person that they would have to speak to in order to find out more information. Then that discovery would lead them to the next person and the next location. But there was much more going on than just the mystery of what happened to Rick's family. There was something sinister going on with the government. You'll have to read the book to find out what it was.

I thought that Volcano Dancer was an intriguing mystery and I rated four stars out of five.

Thank you to the author who provided a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion was not required. All thoughts are my own.

About the Author:

Brad Keena is an author, speaker and public policy veteran who writes about cultural and spiritual issues, reflecting his view that God's revealed truth meets every legitimate demand of reason in a world that cannot, by nature, account for rationality. His literary contributions include The Volcano Dancer (2013), Departure (2013), "Ten Signs of a Culture's End" (1999) and "The Message of the Dead Sea Scrolls" (1998).

A passionate believer in Jesus as the Messiah, Keena has been a student of the Bible for nearly forty years. He sees the supremacy of Scripture and the active role of the Holy Spirit as essentials for the life Jesus intended.

Keena served in the State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, spent seven years on Capitol Hill, and worked in two presidential administrations including the White House and the Office of Territorial and International Affairs. He has written speeches for Members of Congress and Cabinet and Subcabinet Members, including the Secretaries of State and Interior.

An award-winning journalist, Keena has enjoyed success as a nightly talk show host, radio news director, newspaper correspondent, and as a columnist. As a political analyst, he made numerous appearances on network television and radio talk shows and has been quoted in every major newspaper and news magazine in the country as well as numerous books about the culture.

Keena lives in a Chicago suburb with his wife and family.

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