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    Review of BLOOD EVIDENCE by Mel Odom (see his website)


    Tyndale, April 2007

    NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service) Commander Will Coburn lost his marriage due to the demands of his job. Now, he hopes he won't become estranged from his teenage children as well, but his job puts a huge responsibility on him. He must first lead his team to track down an apparent kidnap victim--a teenage girl with problems of her own. While investigating the kidnapping, though, Will and his NCIS team finds evidence of another crime--a long-ago murder of a marine. Since the marine was still in the service when he was killed, this is definitely NCIS business.

    The more Will pushes the investigation, the more layers he peels back. But there's political pressure for him to back off, especially when the Will turns up evidence that a long-solved crime might not have been solved after all. The victim's step-father is now a congressman who's very much in a position to make life miserable for Will and the entire NCIS. Meanwhile, one of Will's most important team members, pathologist Nita Tomlinson, is desperately trying to protect herself from pain--in the worst way possible.

    Will has his faith to turn to, but Nita long before rejected faith. In fact, it's her inability to live up to the trust her husband puts in her that frustrates Nita most.

    Author Mel Odom delivers a high-quality thriller. Although we can guess the identity of the criminal at the heart of Will's troubles fairly quickly, Odom delivers plenty of twists and turns as Will searches for the evidence that will let him go after even the most powerful. Odom's experience in criminal investigations shows through clearly, allowing him to involve us as readers in the case--without ever sounding like he's giving us lectures.

    BLOOD EVIDENCE is published by Tyndale, a religious publisher, and faith is an important element in the story. Odom walks the balance carefully, however, making the story enjoyable as a pure thriller for those who may not be as firmly rooted in faith as Tyndale's normal audience. Resolution of the Nita subplot does, however, sometimes get a bit heavy on the faith side. I appreciated, however, that Odom was careful to let us know that the powerful congressman was a member of the conservative party--evil lies in men, not in particular institutions.

    See more reviews of thrillers by Mel Odom. See also reviews of fantasy novels by Mel Odom.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 5/18/07

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