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Friday, March 12, 2010

Intimidation by Wanda L Dyson

In an act of retaliation, someone has kidnapped FBI agent Donnie Bevere's wife Lisbeth in order to exact a valuable piece of evidence from his possession. Once this happens, Donnie becomes a very desperate man who will do anything to get the love of his life back. When he word reaches him that his wife has been buried alive in a coffin, he becomes frantic. But there is nothing he or the police can do about it. Zoe Shefford and Josiah "JJ" Johnson feel for their mutual friend, but there is nothing they can do about it. The two of them are struggling with their own problems as it is. They know they both love each other, but JJ has been resisting God all his life. Since Zoe has recently accepted Him, she has discovered that a believer should not be unequally yoked to an unbeliever. At this, she has no idea what she is to do but pray.

Wanda would have bettered herself by ending the Shefford-Johnson series with Obsession. But of course, she could not resist yet another kidnapping case when Zoe and JJ are so close to marriage. She needed to leave well enough alone, but she refrained from logic and spun a ridiculous tale that tarnishes her image as an author.

The characters' personalities are all but gone near the middle of the book, and they are all gone by the end of the book. Wanda reverts back to old standby stereotypes for her characters-Donnie as a perfect victim who never commits a sin even in the face of adversity, Zoe as a young Christian in a hazardous relationship, and JJ as the struggling atheist who inevitably gives in at the end of the book. The best thing Wanda could have done was deepen her characters' personalities, not destroy them.

Once again Wanda refrains from complex plot elements and borrows the standard, stereotypical kidnapping plot that was written ages ago. The best thing she did was kill off an expendable character. Otherwise, Wanda proceeds to fix everything possible, including extracurricular activities such as saving three children from a bomb explosion.

Wanda also throws in an endorsement for a non-profit organization that has no bearing on the plot at large.

Since it was inevitable that the Shefford-Johnson series would reach the point of embarrassment, Wanda could have saved herself by avoiding the third book altogether and ending on a good note. Intimidation is by far her worst book, and one that she should never repeat.

1.5 stars

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