Book Review: Double Minds

Book Review: Double Minds
Written by Terri Blackstock
Reviewed by Nike Chillemi –

In Double Minds, there’s a lot of deceit going on in the Nashville Christian recording community — even murder. Here’s a novel in which author Terri Blackstock doesn’t shy away from presenting Christian characters with all their warts.

Songwriter/singer Parker James, who’s day job is a receptionist position at Colgate Studios is stunned when a young college intern turns up murdered at her desk. Parker wonders if she was the intended victim, but can’t figure why that would be. As it turns out Parker’s brother Gibson is one of the detectives in charge of the murder investigation.

Gibson who moonlights as a studio musician is getting it from both ends. The chief of police wants to remove him from the investigation because the murder happened at his sister’s place of employment. Most annoying to Gibson, his little sister Parker keeps sticking her nose into the investigation.

I enjoyed the character of Parker James as crafted by the author. Her internal conflicts come across as authentic. Parker, totally sold out to the Lord, struggles with desires all Christians face. She’d like to make something of herself, yet she’s been asked to water down some of her Christian lyrics. Since the Christian singing sensation asking her to change the title song into a romantic love story is her best friend, Parker complies. The Lord moves in mysterious ways. The change in lyrics helps to pinpoint the exact time the murder victim broke into Parker’s laptop and stole the previous, Christian version of the song. Who says God’s not in charge?

In Double Minds the reader is introduced to the not-so-lovely side of the Christian recording industry. There is theft of intellectual property (Parker’s songs), a singer starving herself to present the sleek image her manager and producer want her to have, inventive ways to get around the laws against payola, rumor mongering, and murder. Of course, there are wonderful Christian characters walking with the Lord throughout this novel as well.

The character of Serene, the Christian contemporary music star is less than sympathetic. We’re given a glimpse of her abusive upbringing, but that never compensated for her narcissism and manipulative behavior. Perhaps the reader could have used a more in depth look at Serene’s early relationship with her abusive father in order to have more compassion for this character. At any rate, I was happy that after being the victim of a shooting near the end of the novel, this character decides she wants to live and not kill herself slowly via anorexia.

Perhaps the brightest aspect of this novel is the portrayal of the Parker family. With all of its flaws (the alcoholism of the father being one), led by a godly mother, the family members demonstrate powerful love for each other. They pray together, stick together, and have each other’s backs; even the hard drinking patriarch, as much as he can. I appreciated the very real portrayal of Christians and the impact they have on the lives of others in this novel.

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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