Book Review: The Kevlar Heart

Written By Janice Cantore
Reviewed By Nike Chillemi

In Janice Cantore’s THE KEVLAR HEART, Police Officer Brinna Caruso keeps flashing back to her childhood. She was six years old, alone, having been tied to a post and left in the middle of the California desert by a predator. Finally, she was saved by TJ, a cop with a search dog. She still recalls the words to the song she sang all night. “Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so.”

Now she’s the cop with her own search dog, named Hero. She’s been given the nickname Kid Crusader because she’s passionate about saving children from perverts. Only she has no idea that her old nemesis is back. He’s read a newspaper article about her passion to save all victimized children and to put all twisted predators who harm kids in jail. The man who abducted Brinna all those years ago takes this as a personal challenge. He’s cooking up a diabolical plot whereby he intends for Brianna to be his victim again.

What’s really getting on her nerves is that her mentor TJ, now retired, is looking in the Bible for answers. Her mom did that and it bugged her to no end. She can’t figure this out. Her mom was weak, but TJ is strong. Later, at her dad’s deathbed, she finds out that TJ had been in contact with her mom. This somehow feels like a betrayal. She doesn’t want to have anything to do with this religious stuff.

When a guy who stole a car pulls a gun on Brianna, she winds up shooting him. When it’s discovered he was a very tall minor, a high profile attorney takes the case against Brianna. She’s taken off of search and rescue and assigned to patrol with a partner she doesn’t want. Jack O’Rielly has been burned out since his wife was killed by a drunk driver. He’s turned his back on the God he and his wife once fervently believed in. He isn’t any more pleased with Brinna than she is with him. In fact he doesn’t care about much at all.

When she’s tense, Brinna likes to take her kayak out into the ocean. The marina owner where she sets sail has two gorgeous twin grandchildren. You guessed it, Brinna’s old nemesis had decided to kidnap them to publicly taunt the dog cop.

I’m very intrigued with the author’s voice. I felt as if a cop were telling me the story. Oh, yes, I forgot to mention the author is a former police officer. The predator in this story doesn’t seem to be a sexual predator. He simply loves to scare kids to their very core, and leave them tied in a secluded place and see if the authorities can find them before they die. If I had any nitpicking to do, I’d like it made clear that most predators who prey on children are sexual predators.

This novel is a page-turner. Brinna is a well-crafted main character, as if Jack O’Rielly. They seem to have flesh and blood. Their thoughts and feelings ring true. All in all a very good suspenseful read. I’m looking forward to reading more of Janice Cantore’s work.

About Nike Chillemi

Nike Chillemi has been called a crime fictionista due to her passion for crime fiction. She is a member of ACFW and the Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers on Ning. She was an Inspy Awards 2010 and a Carol Awards 2011 judge, She is the founding board member of the Grace Awards, a reader's choice awards for excellence in Christian fiction.

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