Burden of Proof – DiAnn Mills – Tyndale House Publishers – Published 9 October 2018
Reeling from a negotiation gone wrong, FBI Special Agent April Ramos is caught off guard when a frazzled young woman shoves a crying baby into her arms, then disappears. Worry for the child’s safety quickly turns to fear when a man claiming to be the girl’s father abducts them at gunpoint. April puts her hostage negotiation skills to use to learn more about who she’s dealing with: Jason Snyder, a fugitive accused of murder.
As Jason spins a tall tale about being framed for the killing of his business partner, April must sort through his claims to find the truth. A truth that becomes all the more evident after April overhears a conversation between Jason and the local sheriff and realizes something more sinister may be happening in their small town of Sweet Briar, Texas. But aligning herself with a known fugitive to uncover the burden of proof could cost April her job . . . or worse, her life and the lives of other innocent people.
Suspense at its best – Burden of Proof provides a thrilling read. When the lives of innocent children and families are at stake, stopping a killer becomes vitally important.
On a day when a negotiation ends badly, the last thing hostage negotiator April Ramos wants to have happen is a baby thrust into her arms. The day only worsens when a man claiming to be the baby’s father takes April hostage at gunpoint. Jason Snyder is determined to prove his innocence of his best friend’s murder. Taking FBI Special Agent April Ramos hostage is the only way Jason knows how to rescue his daughter and make someone believe his innocence. April isn’t sure what to believe, but as she gets to know Jason and his family a little better and they start digging into the case together, she is resolved to uncover the truth.
DiAnn Mills does suspense and criminal investigation stories so very well. Burden of Proof combines chilling crimes and a race to prove innocent one man, while compiling a case of evidence against another.
While the events of Burden of Proof only span a week it feels a lot longer. There are many developments, unfolding clues, new evidence brought to life and big twists, yet nothing feels rushed or develops unrealistically quick. Jason and April have to work hard to uncover the truths behind the case.
Jason is a construction worker, so it is refreshing to see a civilian working a case in this suspense novel. He is good at it too, and often takes the lead from April, who instead uses her hostage negotiation skills and work in public corruption to doggedly work at the case and support Jason as he battles grief, anger and desperation.
While the majority of Burden of Proof is focused on the detective work and trying to stay alive, there is still time for romantic feelings to grow between April and Jason. While the case and their lives complicate the getting-to-know-you phase of the relationship, there is no denying the attraction they share or the desire to see where it might take them in the future. They also share a connection to God, and it is April who, through the duration of the story, allows Jason’s faith to bring her closer to Jesus and her own faith.
I am always eager to get my hands on a new DiAnn Mills Christian romantic suspense novel, and Burden of Proof did not disappoint.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Genre: Christian suspense.
Themes: Kidnapping, murder, children, detective, mysteries, romance, criminal investigations, family, FBI, grief, anger, faith.
Advisory: References to murder, violence, gunshots and car crashes.
Published: 9 October 2018 by Tyndale House Publishers.
Format: Hardcover, paperback, ebook. 416 pages.