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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Nothing to Hide by J. Mark Bertrand


A grisly homicide.
An international threat.
The stakes have never been higher for Detective Roland March.
The victim's head is missing, but what intrigues Detective Roland March is the hand. The pointing finger must be a clue--but to what? According to the FBI, the dead man was an undercover asset tracking the flow of illegal arms to the Mexican cartels. To protect the operation, they want March to play along with the cover story. With a little digging, though, he discovers the Feds are lying. And they're not the only ones.
In an upside-down world of paranoia and conspiracy, March finds himself dogged by injury and haunted by a tragic failure. Forced to take justice into his own hands, his twisting investigation leads him into the very heart of darkness, leaving March with nothing to lose--and nothing to hide.

Nothing to Hide by J. Mark Bertrand is the third novel in the Roland March Mystery series which follows the cases of Roland March, homicide detective. It is not critical to read the books in order, as I had not read the first two novels, but if you plan to read all three, then you should read them in order so that the results of the first two mysteries are not spoiled by the third. The plot line of Nothing to Hide was well crafted and contained many unexpected twists as March raced to discover the truth of what had happened. This novel contains an incredible mystery and I was hooked from beginning to end. The storyline is graphic and grisly at times, but it clearly displays the tough case that March has to deal with. At intervals throughout the book the story goes back almost thirty years to when March was in the army and was dealing with corruption and the CIA. The first few times that the novel goes back into March's memories, it seems unrelated to the case at hand, but it is eventually drawn brilliantly into the overall storyline. The story is told from the perspective of Roland March and is set primarily in present tense which engages the reader and really pulls them into the story.

The characters were gritty and realistic. Roland March was a complex and flawed character who was open in his struggles. He is not a Christian, but he is surrounded by others, such as his wife and a close friend, who are Christians and live their lives honestly and show him Christlike love. I got the feeling that March has grown significantly through the series in his spiritual journey, and I was able to see his continued progress through Nothing to Hide as secrets were laid bare and as he had to decide between the right choice and the wrong. The other supporting characters were significantly less complex than Roland, but they were still interesting and added to the story's depth. There were even surprising twists in certain characters as their true colors were revealed.

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel and cannot wait to read the first two novels in the Roland March Mystery Series. The plot line was gripping and intense, the narrative style and flashbacks interesting, and the characters complex, flawed, and realistic. I enjoyed seeing March's growth as a character even as he struggled against the reality of a loving God at work in his life.

I received this novel for free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

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