Krista Wagner

Raylee is bored. She’s stuck in her home town flipping burgers for her aunt Kim. We hear a fair bit about her boredom before her parents are killed in a car crash and she add grief stricken to bored. Lucky Billy Thurstan, her crush from high school is back in town with a bit part in a movie. He sweeps her off her feet, but Raylee can’t decide whether she can trust him or not.

Intent is intended to be a Christian thriller. All the elements are there; the doubting protagonist, the faithful friend, the looming evil, but the book never gels. Part of the problem is the protagonist. Her biggest issue before her parents die is boredom. She is twenty-two and is disappointed that she hasn’t made it yet. This angst carries through the rest of the book. God isn’t a being that challenges and shakes up life, who is present in the midst of evil. More like God is a talisman to be reached out to solve problems.

If the characters had been more engaging, the rest of the story would work, but I never like Raylee enough to root for her. The other characters aren’t much stronger, so a story that should be told in bold colours struggles with pastels. Add some really unlikely scenarios ( a pastor of a small church leaving a mortgage free house and three hundred thousand in the bank, a car dealer deciding to retire and dump the dealership on his twenty something son, miraculously bad, then miraculously quick police work) and the story doesn’t grip.

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