SAFE HAVEN: Hideaway Series, Book Two
Steeple Hill Books
Author Interview -- August 2004
Fawn Morrison, Karah Lee Fletcher and Taylor Jackson have very little in common, aside from the fact that all three are native Missourians. A runaway teenaged prostitute, a bitter medical doctor, and a nomadic ranger couldn't share anything else … or could they? In SAFE HAVEN, the second novel in Hannah Alexander's Hideaway series, the authors take a slightly different approach than in their first book, introducing these three disparate characters in separate chapters and slowly showing readers how their paths will intertwine.
While things are still relatively peaceful in the town of Hideaway, recent land purchases and development by the megalithic Beaufont Corporation are threatening to change life there permanently --- for the worse. Karah Lee has arrived fresh out of medical residency and ready to assist Dr. Cheyenne Allison in her small but bustling practice. Allison, the protagonist of the first book, has taken on emergency room duties in a nearby city and is now engaged to Dane Gideon, presently the town mayor and still foster father to a number of teenaged boys at his ranch. Taylor, who lives in a recreational vehicle, has duties in Hideaway, but tries to avoid having any ties there. Meanwhile, fugitive Fawn winds up in the town after filching a bus ticket --- and realizing that her fellow passengers are all in mysteriously bad shape.
Alexander combines details of small-town life (fans will be amused to watch Karah Lee devour the same black-walnut baked goods of Bertie Meyer's that Cheyenne could hardly stomach) with sound medical action and real Christian growth. There is very little pew-jumping or praise-shouting here; instead, each character comes to salvation in his or her own way, and finds support for newfound beliefs in his or her own way, too. Fawn's plight, from beginning to end, is particularly moving and believable --- in this case, her allegorical name seemed right, and not forced.
Hannah Alexander is the pen name of husband-and-wife writing team Mel and Cheryl Overall. Their first novel in this series, HIDEAWAY, earned glowing reviews from both the secular and CBA press, and this second one is a strong follow-up to that book. While some of the faults of HIDEAWAY are still apparent here --- some scenes seem flat, especially when they're dealing with very worldly matters like graft and murder --- the pace of the book helps readers overlook inconsistencies. Also, the authors do not shy away from modern dilemmas, sin or doubt. They are unflinchingly honest about human failings. Mel and Cheryl keep the story moving; whenever I found myself wondering, "What the heck could this be about?", suddenly a very interesting and obviously well-planned answer would appear.
--- Reviewed by Bethanne Kelly Patrick
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