Shepherd's Fall by Wanda Dyson

I have this picture in my head of an extremely large man, with long blond hair, sun wrinkled skin and bright blue eyes as a bounty hunter... you know, Dog! Then my world gets turned all topsy turvy with another bounty hunter who has a lot of the same problems that Dog has--it's called life. Although, in Shepherd's Fall, the problems are a lot more serious such as divorce, a kidnapped daughter, accounts receivable are way down and there's sibling troubles too.
The man has a black cloud hanging over him. On top of all that, he has troubles with God, to boot.
But, let's put the story line to the side for a moment. From the first page, the reader is set down in an impossible situation and it is nail-biting terror. And... the girl is killed anyway. That's within the first chapter. Then we skip forward in time. Sort of a jerking from the story to tell the story, which is very laborious on the imagination. We don't have time to truly start caring deeply for the characters before we are set down into another set of problems which seemingly don't have anything to do with the previous problem except it turns out the girl was the daughter's best friend. Talk about some trust issues! So, in the character development department, Dyson gets two stars. There is a problem with back stories. The reader should not be bogged down with background stories because that lends to confusion. When you don't know what to care about, you tend to lose interest in the story.
The story line has too many rabbit trails that don't lend a great deal to the story line. It's a lot like walking down the hall and opening doors to catch a bit of drama, then close the door and open another to catch a bit of different drama. All this does is drag down the suspense. But, hey, this is a problem that a lot of accomplished authors are having these days. Stuart Woods has the exact same problem in his latest Stone Barrington novel. Sigh...
But, the premise is very interesting. I would buy the rest of this series because the interplay between the brothers and the other characters is interesting, and sometimes quite funny. I think the spoiled brat wife has seen the light and grown up a bit. Whether the spoiled brat daughter has, is yet to be seen. Those characters were, quite frankly, extremely irritating and I nearly quit reading the book because of them. That kind of drama is not my cup of tea. If its an action book, then give me action. Don't bog the thing down with contrived character flaws.
Please don't get the wrong idea here, though. It is definitely a two star novel and worthy of the money. Check out the first chapter and see if I'm not correct.

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Shepherd's Fall

WaterBrook Press (April 14, 2009)


Wanda Dyson


Wanda Dyson lives with her severely autistic teenager on a busy farm with horses, chickens, dogs, cats, rabbits, and the occasional fox, deer, groundhog, and snake. She could seriously live without the snakes, but that's life in the country.

After writing three critically acclaimed suspense novels, she was asked to write the true story of Tina Zahn (Why I Jumped), which was featured on Oprah. Readers characterize her books as "riviting" and "Packed with twists and turns."

Wanda serves on the board of several writers conferences across the country including the Colorado Christian Writers Conference, and the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference.

Wanda has finished the second in this series called Shepherd's Run,that will come out in 2010. And she's hard at work on the third and final installment of the Prodigal Recovery Series - Marti's story -- tentatively called Shepherd's Quest.


Bounty hunter Greg Price is fearless when it comes to chasing down criminals. It's his difficult ex-wife, rebellious teenage daughter, and dysfunctional siblings that keep him awake at night. In charge of the family business, the Prodigal Recovery Agency, he thinks of himself as a shepherd of sorts. When his "flock" is out of his control, Greg's well-ordered universe falls into chaos.

Prodigal Recovery's search for Zeena, a prostitute on the run, leads to a faulty arrest, complicating Greg's business. He is thrown together with Zeena's twin, the beautiful Annie, and the two find themselves on a desperate search. The stakes significantly increase when Greg's daughter is kidnapped. Now, to save someone he loves, Greg must risk everything.but will it be enough

If you would like to read a Prologue excerpt from Shepherd's Fall, go HERE

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