Thursday, December 31, 2009

C.J. Darlington's Thicker than Blood ~ Reviewed

By C.J. Darlington
Published by: Tyndale
400 pages

Back Cover:

Christy Williams finally has her life on track. She’s putting her past behind her and working hard to build a career as an antiquarian book buyer. But things begin to unravel when a stolen Hemingway first edition is found in her possession, framing her for a crime she didn’t commit.

With no one to turn to, she yearns for her estranged, younger sister, May, whom she abandoned in their childhood after their parents’ untimely deaths. Soon Christy’s fleeing from her shattered dreams, her ex-boyfriend, and God. May’s Triple Cross ranch could be the safe haven she’s searching for, but will the sisters realize that each possesses what the other desperately needs before it’s too late?


“Christy Williams didn’t see the cop until his red lights flashed in her rearview mirror.”

Want to read more? I did! I was hooked after the first sentence, and you will be too. I signed up for a review copy of this book when I realized the author, C. J. Darlington, was the same person who owned a website I frequent called

C.J. Darlington weaves an interesting tale of Christy Williams struggle about the direction her life is headed. After her parents death she made choices that would change her life forever and separate her from May, her only living sibling.

Christy Williams is an antiquarian. The author describes her love of and hunt for books. C. J. Darlington gives you a sneak peek into this profession—one she held for quite some time. C.J. reveals how to hunt for treasure—rare books and everything in-between. It was fun to read about a few book treasures—what makes them rare—valuable and worth seeking!

Christy’s sister, May, has her own passion—running a ranch and taking care of the animals. It was fascinating to read about what made both sisters tick. I enjoyed the suspense and drama that caused a collision in both of these sisters lives. You won’t want to miss reading this exciting, fun adventure.

Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent
ACFW Book Club Coordinator

Bonus Review:

Thicker Than Blood is an impressive first novel from a gifted writer. Though I read an Advanced Reader Copy with a few mistakes, the characterization, threads, suspense level and writing are beyond the usual freshman novel.

C.J. Darlington has crafted a story that handles heavy topics like shame, alcoholism, promiscuity, abuse, theft and abortion with realism and grace. Though her characters didn't always warm my heart I was drawn into their stories and I found myself cheering them on and even tearing up as they grew and matured.

The details about cattle ranching and book hunting added enriching information that made the story interesting as well as merely entertaining. I appreciated Darlington's light but deep spiritual details as well. Christy's path toward forgiveness didn't feel contrived or added as an afterthought. The character prone to violent outbursts didn't cross over into extreme cheesiness or gratuitous posturing either.

Overall, this is a book that should appeal to those who love edgy, realistic writing with Christian themes and hopeful conclusions. Fans of Amy Wallace and Kathy Herman should find much to love in this novel.

Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer

Bonus Review:

I have been anticipating this book as C.J. Darlington is such a great influence in the online book blogging and publication world. I was not disappointed. Especially as I am not a contemporary Christian fiction fan and yet I enjoyed this one and will definitely pick up future titles from C.J. Full of suspense and easily a page turner, this one goes on the keeper shelf.

Reviewed by: Margaret Chind

1 comment:

C.J. Darlington said...

I'm so grateful, and honored, to have Thicker than Blood reviewed her. Thank you, Nora!