Wednesday, May 23, 2007

CFBA novel of the week: Snitch, by Rene Gutteridge

Old School meets New School meets Homeschool

Just shy of retirement and a well-earned pension, Las Vegas Police Department Sergeant Ron Yeager's definition of "active duty" involves shifting his bad leg into a more comfortable position. But when he's requested from his mind-numbing desk job to head an undercover auto theft task force, the former narcotics officer determines to prove he's still got the right stuff.

That is...until he meets his unlikely team of officers.

As Yeager soon finds out, not all the crazies are on the street. An undercover rookie, the audaciously honest Mackenzie "Mack" Hazard sends Yeager's blood pressure skyrocketing by wearing her faith like an ever-present badge. Then there's Jesse Lunden, a maverick undercover officer who refuses to learn anything from an old guy with a cane. Can this tangle of egos and eccentrics be trained into a lean, mean, crime-fighting machine...even while they are being drawn into something much bigger and more dangerous than anyone imagined?

In her trademark style, Rene Gutteridge blends zany, original characters, sincere faith, and surprising plot twists into one hilariously addictive read.

Rene Gutteridge is the author of several novels, including Ghost Writer (Bethany House Publishers) The Boo Series (WaterBrook Press) and the Storm Series, (Tyndale House Publishers. She will release three novels in 2006: Storm Surge (Tyndale) My Life as a Doormat (WestBow Press, Women of Faith)Occupational Hazards Book #1: Scoop (WaterBrook Press).

She has also been published over thirty times as a playwright, best known for her Christian comedy sketches. She studied screenwriting under a Mass Communications degree, graduating Magna Cum Laude from Oklahoma City University, and earned the "Excellence in Mass Communication" award. She served as the full-time Director of Drama for First United Methodist Church for five years before leaving to stay home and write. She enjoys instructing at writer's conferences and in college classrooms. She lives with her husband, Sean, a musician, and their children in Oklahoma City.


Normally in a “Christian” novel, the protagonist is the character who undergoes a change over the course of the book, who grows in some way or overcomes an enormous obstacle. Not so here. Mack Hazard, cop and would-be undercover agent, stays pretty much the same—solid in her Christian beliefs. It’s her co-workers who are confronted with God and the emptiness in their own lives, one in particular.

I didn’t like this story as much as Scoop, partially because the focus remained on the cops’ operation, not Mack. Ron, Jesse and numerous other characters got lots of POV time. I’m sure the author intended just that, though it didn’t work for me. Also, there were some moments I disbelieved some of the character’s dialogue or reactions.

All in all though, Snitch is a good read. Gutteridge has a unique sense of humor that anyone should find endearing, and the plot moved along at just the right pace. Fans of suspense, humor and crime novels will no doubt enjoy this lighthearted story.

The Book Link

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