By Kelly Bridgewater
After getting the green light from her network to launch an investigative news show, Erica flies to Bismarck, North Dakota, to investigate Take Back Our Homeland, the largest secessionist group. What she finds is profoundly disturbing – a growing threat to the future of our union.
Back home, her husband Greg is drinking more and talking less—and taking an unusual interest in the glamorous author Leslie Burke Wilson. Erica’s teenage daughter has also begun acting out in troubling ways.
Then she discovers a potential informant murdered in her Bismarck hotel. Take Back Our Homeland might be even more dangerous than she had thought—and she’s unwittingly become one of the key players in the story. Her fear and anxiety escalate – for her marriage, her daughter, and her own life.
I enjoy a good suspense. Something that takes me away to another place. Something that captures my attention and puts me through a ride with plenty of dips and hang time. Unfortunately for me, Lis Wiehl latest series A Newsmakers Novel does not do that for me.
While the writing is top notch and the characters are relatable. I had a hard time swallowing the story as a suspense novel. When reading suspense novels, and I do read a lot of them, I like to be taken through the process as they stumble across dead bodies and see the interviews with the though process of the main characters. But in The Separatists or any of the previous two books, Wiehl does not really do this. Yes, there is some dead bodies. There is a kidnapping with some interviews. But as the title suggests, the plot focuses more on the political nature of the plot. This story actually bored me.
While Erica struggles with her new husband, daughter, and job, I understand and empathize with her. Wiehl did a fabulous job at giving Erica faults and dilemma to make her more realistic for the readers. I loved watching Erica try to deal with her ex-husband, new husband, and her daughter while wanting to push forward and succeed in her chosen field. To prove to herself and others that she isn't the trailer trash that she was while she was growing up. I enjoy a story where the characters have dug themselves out of the pit and made something of themselves. But Erica does not really change in the story, she just goes with the flow and reacts to her situations around her.
There really is no spiritual element. While the story is original and timely, it was predictable. I figured out who the person was behind the political side of the story.
A word of caution: For the third time, Wiehl has presented a homosexual character who acts on his emotions in the pages of the story. This lowers my rating on any book. This shouldn't be allowed by this publisher.
Overall, this story doesn't feel or read like a normal suspense novel even though I enjoyed the character of Erica, I had a hard time enjoying this novel.
I received a complimentary copy of The Separatists by Lis Wiehl from Thomas Nelson publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.
My Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars