Plot Summary: [from goodreads] “On the run from the murderer of her best friends, missionary Gracie Benson is all alone in Siberia. What she doesn’t know is that she has in her possession a medical secret that will save millions of lives — or cost her’s. Trying to keep her alive is an FSB agent, a man pursued by his own demons, including a killer who destroyed his father’s life. He and Gracie find themselves in a decades-old mystery of betrayal and Cold War secrets. Only with the help of their friends — a group of Americans and Russians committed to freedom — can they outwit the old guard . . . and save Gracie’s secret, as well as her life.”
My Book Review: One of the things I often look for in a book is a setting in an exciting far-off place with a little intrigue, mystery, and suspense. Of course, some romance along for the ride doesn’t hurt, either! This book has all of those elements and it was an entertaining read. One of the things that made it interesting was that the author has had past experience in being a missionary in Russia with some exciting adventures of her own, just like the heroine Gracie Benson she writes about.
Although I wouldn’t consider Warren’s writing style the best I’ve ever read, I did enjoy the plot twists. The pace kept moving and kept me interested to find out what would happen next. I also loved reading about Russia (ehnd verking on my Rrrussian ehccent!). The Cold War has always intrigued me and although the story is set in the modern day, it doesn’t escape the effects of that era.
One thing I didn’t like was how the romance part of the story develops so quickly over the course of 2-3 days between Gracie and FSB agent Viktor. For the longest time Gracie fights her attraction (but doesn’t do too well of a job of it). This is for the reason that Viktor is not a believer in Jesus and as a missionary she doesn’t believe in being unequally yoked. That makes sense to me as a Christian. It’s really hard to maintain a relationship when two people don’t believe the same fundamentals. I realize that most of Warren’s audience will probably be Christian, but for anyone who isn’t this teaching comes across as arrogant if not explained well. I felt the book missed an explanation. To top things off, SPOILER ALERT Viktor eventually comes to faith in Christ and so –how conveniently- can begin dating Gracie. This is just too gift-wrapped and bow-tied for my satisfaction. It’s like we’re all so happy he’s a follower of The Way so he can kiss Gracie. I would have rather it hinted that he and she *might* follow through on a relationship sometime in the future, once the chaos of the plot was over. It would have been more believable. END OF SPOILER.
There also seemed to be an awful lot of unnecessary characters peppered throughout (in the form of Viktor’s friends), but I was glad to see that the sequel picks up with them. There is actually a trio in the series “Mission: Russia”:
- “In Sheep’s Clothing
- “Sands of Time”
- “Wiser Than Serpents”
I enjoyed the action of this first book enough to want to go through with the rest. So, if you like a bit of drama and romance, I think this will peak your interest!
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