Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Eye of the Beholder by Kathy Herman
Eye of the Beholder is Book 2 of the Seaport Suspense Series by Herman. Another great book. It seems that each book in this short series gets better. Maybe it is the fact that the repeat characters are becoming more and more like old friends.
There are a number of hot topics in this book.. mainly terrorism and relations between Jew, Christians and Muslims in the United States. Herman does an excellent job of handling all the various mindsets and opinions. Not everyone is a whacked out nut who hates folks who are different (although there are some of those represented). Many are normal folks who are scared because of past events like 9/11, as well as the treatment of Arab (or anyone who looks Arab) as a result. In no way does Herman excuse terrorism, not at all! She just makes a great point about not assuming someone is the enemy just because they look different and have different beliefs. And she doesn't just deal with how non-Muslims feel about Muslims... she looks at the way Muslims look at the non-Muslim world. It is a good thorough representation of prejudice and fear from many different angles. She also looks at prejudice from other levels.. mental, social, financial and more.
Ellen Jones has become friends with an Iranian-American couple, the Tehrans... as well as a young mentally challenged couple and a blue-collar family... and her husband is not thrilled about it. He feels she needs to elevate her choice in friends to "their standard". Ellen's not going for it... she has a heart for the people God places in her life and prays to see them as He does.
When a boat full of explosives is found near Seaport and Dr. Tehran is questioned, Guy Jones forbids Ellen to have anything to do with them... and the tension arises not only in the Jones home, but in this close knit community where everyone knows everything that is going on.
As Guy and Ellen's marriage starts to fray, Guy's assistant Kinsey slips in all to ready to make things better for not only Guy, but for herself. Guy finds himself turning into someone he's not... and he finds himself caught up in a scandal that will rock the community, his career and most of all his family.
Eye of the Beholder takes a strong forceful look at the question "Who is My Neighbor?" and many of us will find conviction as we realize the answer.
p.s. I am in the midst of book 3 of this series and it is even better than the 1st two!