Thread of Deceit by Catherine Palmer

Anamaria Burns is intent on making something of herself in her chosen career, newspaper reporting. Having won accolades in her former hometown in Texas, she now wants to produce front page articles in her new hometown in Missouri. When her editor gives her miniscule assignments, she repeats to him that she can do bigger stories. But he’s got a paper to run, so she’s stuck with a series of reports on lead paint plus whatever other stories he puts on her desk.

Sam Hawke runs Haven with military precision, just the way he learned to run things when he was in the Marines. There are rules for the benefit and safety of everyone. When Ana Burns shows up looking for a story about their lead paint problem, he’d like to kick her out on the street, but gently so the kids don’t get scared. The kids are everything. The kids are why he started Haven. They don’t have anywhere else to go to get the attention, safety, and training for success in life.

What Ana sees inside the secure compound known as Haven bothers her. A little girl stares at the wall all day. She doesn’t speak to anyone, but she comes back day after day. Who brings her here? Why won’t she let anyone talk to her?

Catherine Palmer sends chills down a reader’s spine with this suspenseful tale about what bonds a girl and a woman together. The romance that winds through the pages helps the characters see hope in this traumatic and painful story.

I found it hard to read because of the subject, but I highly recommend the book to anyone who has a passion to help abused children. Palmer’s skill in portraying evil doesn’t cross the line; she keeps the villain’s pages readable. At the same time, she draws out both compassion for the abused and strong emotion for the villain’s capture.

Sam Hawke is a valiant hero because of his desire and ability to protect women and children. He makes Haven a safe place because of the rules everyone obeys, and he makes Ana safe with his presence. He is a defender of the weak and a strong witness for God’s love.

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