Friday, July 23, 2010

Terri Blackstock's Predator ~ Reviewed

By Terri Blackstock
Published by Zondervan
ISBN# 978-0-310-25066-1
334 Pages

Back Cover:

Krista Carmichael is desperate to find her sister’s killer. The murder has shaken Krista’s faith .Desperate to find the killer; she creates an online persona to bait the predator. Ryan Adkins started the social network GrapeVyne in his college dorm and has grown it into a billion-dollar corporation. But he never expected it to become a stalking ground for online Predators. Joining forces, he and Krista set out to stop the killer. But when hunters pursue a hunter, the tables can easily turn. Only God can protect them now.


Predator is a story that could be ripped from today’s headlines. I’m so glad that I received a review copy of this informative, chilling tale. Terri Blackstock talks about today’s technology and how it’s quickly changing our world. We need wisdom in navigating through the world-wide web and what we tell our peeps.

It’s a shocker to realize teens are up-dating their status many times a day, giving people detailed information. For example, posting from their phones up-dating their status in every class period, texting what teachers say, what their friends are doing, where they were going after school, what stores they are in, where they are sitting at a ball game and what time they go to bed. All of these things are helpful information for predators. After reading this book I sat down with my kids and talked to them again about being safe on the web.

Terri has a scene in her story that gave me chills. A young woman has just gotten off a plane and is try’s to get a cab. She is texting on her blackberry as she waits. A man in a town car tells her he is just as expensive as a cab and his car is nicer to ride in. So, the girl gets in the car, not paying attention to much because she’s texting her current activities to her peeps. When the car takes a wrong turn, the girl realizes she’s in trouble and tells the man to let her out, she knows karate and has let everyone know what he looks like via her blackberry.

The predator says to her, “Car’s not registered in my name. You didn’t tell them what I look like. I’m one of your followers, Megan; I get all of your Thought Bubbles. I saw what you posted; right here on my own phone. You’re not into Karate. I’d know if you were. I know when you wake up in the morning, what you got for Christmas, …I’ve been tracking you for the last six weeks.”

My heart raced and I fully experienced this chilling story as Terri Blackstock made me completely conscious of how giving out too much information, all in the name of fun, is dangerous. The Web can be a wonderful place but just like anything else there are dangers you need to be aware of to be safe. I just couldn’t stop reading this nail-biting suspenseful story that took me through a full range of emotions. This story is oh so real and so are Terri’s characters. This is a stand alone story that will definitely pull at your heart strings and make you look at social networking in a whole new light.

Reviewed by:Nora St. Laurent
ACFW Book Club Coordinator


Predator is my favorite Terri Blackstock novel. Intense, difficult to read, heavy, heavy subject matter that kept the pages turning and my emotions roiling. Blackstock tackles on-line social media and paints an ugly what-if picture that is chillingly realistic. The characters live out of reactive rawness and the punches don't stop til the story explodes into a horrific, but finally satisfying climax. I did guess the creepy villain early in the game and there were a couple moments in the ending scenes that required my suspension of disbelief, too. But those are minor complaints compared to the overall page-turning quality of this novel. I will caution chickens to be very, very cautious. Older teens should read this, though younger ones might be haunted since it involves young girls as prey.

Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer

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