I first discovered Melanie Wells and her novels when, through a random search at Christianbook.com, I noticed she'd received the Mary Higgins Clark Award for her first suspense novel, "When the Day of Evil Comes".
Now, I absolutely ADORE Mary Higgins Clark, so naturally, I had to check out this new author. One of the best decisions I've ever made, if I do say so myself! And this third installment in the series is by far the best of the three.
In "When the Day of Evil Comes", psychologist and professor Dr. Dylan Foster is stunned when she not only receives an unusual necklace in the mail, but she receives her deceased mother's wedding ring as well. Her encounter with a mysterious being that sends chills through her sends her on the spiraling journey of unimaginable proportions.
A student/client's unexpected death makes her a suspect...or does it? What actually happened to the young man? How is Dylan involved? And what does this mysterious stranger have to do with it all?
It's spiritual warfare unlike anything I've ever read (move over Frank Peretti...there's a new queen in town!). The story continues in "The Soul Hunter", and if I thought the first book was creepy...wow on this one! Again, the mysterious being, now known as Peter Terry, pushed his way uninvited into Dylan's life.
This time, the crime isn't as personal, but is even more heinous. And the resolution will have you flipping pages so quickly you won't need a fan, I'm just saying!
Finally, in "My Soul To Keep", all seems quiet in Dylan's life finally. True, her boyfriend has dumped her, she's up for review at Southern Methodist University, and she's been battling with Peter Terry so long she's weary of it all. But a birthday party with her favorite people and their small children goes a long way to making life normal again.
When the unthinkable happens right in front of Dylan's eyes, she is once again plunged into Peter's realm of spiritual battle, but this time, Dylan means to win. The lives of those she holds most precious are at stake, and she will stop at nothing to triumph over the evil that battles around her, in her and that touches the lives of those she's come to love.
This is the creme de la creme of the series. The battles are more internal than external, and Dylan is forced to do some deep soul searching. The dual focus on the crime and the struggle Dylan faces was perfectly balanced. We don't have a lot of intense action, and the story is more about Dylan herself than about the crime.
Melanie Wells is a high quality writer, and my only complaint is that now I have to wait HOW LONG for another novel by her??? I've heard this is the final chapter in "The Day Of Evil" series, which, in a way, works for me. I'm fed up with Peter Terry and his manipulations and wicked ways.
But I will miss Dylan and company, and hope that Melanie is hard at work on either another Dylan novel, or something entirely new. Either way, I'll be standing in line waiting for my copy! I'm giving "My Soul To Keep" and the entire series six out of five bookmarks, with a Superman nightlight as a charm.
And you know what I'm going to say, don't you...you'll just have to read it to find out why! Mega kudos to Melanie Wells for this top quality suspense series!! "My Soul To Keep" releases February 5, 2008 from Multnomah.