I just finished reading the second book in Susan Sleeman’s Justice Agency series, Dead Wrong. It was definitely worth the wait. I was afraid that maybe because it had been a few months in between reading the first and the second that I would forget a lot of the characters, etc., but I was able to pick right up where I left off as though I read the two books back to back. It delivered as much, or more so than the first book and definitely set things up for the next book in the series that I cannot wait to read when it comes out.
I found myself really relating to Kat Justice, the baby of the family, from the first chapter. She was easy to love, easy to connect with, and you really wanted her to find freedom from her struggles of worry and fear, not to mention having to be in control stemming from those issues.
Mitch was very likeable too as the main hero. However, Ms. Sleeman did a great job at the beginning, allowing the reader to question what kind of a man he really was – a player or a good guy? Happily, the answer was revealed early on and the reader was able to travel the road that Mitch and Kat walked, trying to figure out if a relationship would work between the two of them or not.
Susan began the book with suspense and kept it rolling from start to finish. In fact, there were many times while I was reading that I thought I knew who the bad guy was, and then another twist would occur and I was guessing yet again. I’m not sure what element kept me turning the pages more: Rooting for Kat and Mitch to overcome their issues and see if they could make things work, or because I wanted to find out who was behind the murder and why. Because of all the action (whether relationship related or mystery solving), it was a great read from start to finish.
I love how Ms. Sleeman has the rest of the Justice clan involved in the book as well, setting the stage for the next in the series. I was slightly disappointed that Ethan and Jennie didn’t have a very big role in this book, but with all the action from the investigation as well as the introduction of Tommy (Kat’s former partner and Mitch’s current partner) and the other siblings being involved, it turned out just fine. They were there to a smaller degree and I have confidence that I will be kept informed of any major changes in their life, and really, that is all I need as they feel like friends now.
It was great how Ms. Sleeman tackled the element of placing trust in God. She didn’t hit the reader over the head with Biblical truths but instead sprinkled them throughout so that the reader had a chance to grow at the same rate as Kat. One particular sentence really spoke to me: “It’s difficult to trust that God knows what’s best when sometimes His best involves pain. We just have to take things one at a time.” I think sometimes as Christians we try to gloss over the fact that life can be hard, and that sometimes God allows bad things to happen. We need to remember that isn’t the end of the equation. Real faith grows when we choose to trust, despite the bad things, that God is still in ultimately in control. I loved how Ms. Sleeman brought that out without preaching. I also enjoyed that she used Kat as examples of growth in that area that were practical and could be used by us as well, if we choose. For instance, Kat wanted to call her siblings to make sure they were okay, but she put down the phone and prayed, trusting God with their lives instead.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and if you like suspense mixed with a little romance while trying to figure out “whodunit,” this series is perfect for you. I couldn’t wait for the second book to come out this October, but now that I’ve read about two of the siblings, I absolutely can’t wait to figure out the stories behind the other three. I have confidence that Ms. Sleeman will deliver!