Mitchell Brannon is waiting anxiously for his loving wife to come home after a conference. He’s all set to fire up the grill, cook some steaks, and have a romantic evening with the woman he loves.
Problem is, she doesn’t show up.
The last words he heard from Jill are on the answering machine - a message from a woman who obviously can’t wait to see him again.
So begins Deborah Raney’s latest novel, The Face of the Earth, a suspenseful romance of sorts.
As any good husband, Mitchell searches high and low and calls in the cavalry. By his side is his next-door neighbor, and his wife’s best friend, Shelley. She’s more than eager to help find her friend – especially since it means spending time with Mitchell.
To be fair, Mitchell and Shelley are Christians, and the core of the book is their struggle to keep each other at arm’s length while being faithful to Jill – who may very well be dead.
That’s fine for a couple chapters. But after pages of Mitchell and Shelley driving the back roads for days and months, agonizing over forbidden attraction, wringing their hands, and sighing heavily, I was begging for Jill to come back and end all the tedium.
Maybe it’s the fact that the characters are plain vanilla. I couldn’t find much depth to them. By the end of the book, I didn’t care if they got together or not.
The Face of the Earth certainly had the potential of being a tense page-turner. However, it got bogged down with the “Can We Be With Each Other?” dilemma. Very little action outside of driving and driving and driving. If only the plot, itself, would have had such drive.