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Blood Ransom (Mission Hope Series #1) [NOOK Book]

Overview

Natalie Sinclair is working to eradicate the diseases decimating whole villages in the Republic of Dhambizao when she meets Dr. Chad Talcott, a surgeon on sabbatical from a lucrative medical practice now volunteering at a small clinic.

Meanwhile, things are unraveling in Dhambizao. Joseph Komboli returns to his village to discover rebel soldiers abducting his family and friends. Those that were too old or weak to work lay motionless in the ...
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Blood Ransom (Mission Hope Series #1)

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Overview

Natalie Sinclair is working to eradicate the diseases decimating whole villages in the Republic of Dhambizao when she meets Dr. Chad Talcott, a surgeon on sabbatical from a lucrative medical practice now volunteering at a small clinic.

Meanwhile, things are unraveling in Dhambizao. Joseph Komboli returns to his village to discover rebel soldiers abducting his family and friends. Those that were too old or weak to work lay motionless in the African soil. When Chad and Natalie decide to help Joseph expose this modern-day slave trade—and a high-ranking political figure involved in it—disaster nips at their heels.

Where is God in the chaos? Will Chad, Natalie, and Joseph win their race against time?

Romance and adventure drive this Blood Ransom Ebook, by Lisa Harris, a powerful thriller about the modern-day slave trade and those who dare to challenge it.
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Editorial Reviews

Shelley Mosley
The Ghost Soldiers are more than a frightful legend whispered about in the shadows of night---they’re a very real threat, and they’ve just murdered Joseph Komboli’s mother and taken his seven-year-old sister and father as slaves. Although wounded, Joseph finds his way to Natalie Sinclair, a medical consultant in the Republic of Dhambizao. Chad Talcott, a successful surgeon who has left his practice in the states to volunteer at the too-small, understaffed clinic in Dhambizao, tends to more than Joseph’s wounds.
Touched by the boy’s plight, Chad and Natalie make a decision to fight the nefarious slave traders, who threaten everyone in their path. Although their mission is perilous, and their lives are at risk, Chad and
Natalie forge a deep friendship that grows into a romantic relationship. The author’s experiences as a missionary in Africa add to the authenticity of this tale of love and faith in the face of great danger. With its rich details and powerful, emotional message, this is the first book in Harris’ Mission Hope series.
Library Journal
Natalie Sinclair and Dr. Chad Talcott meet in war-torn Dhambizao in Africa while working to help those suffering from disease. There they encounter Joseph Komboli, whose family has been abducted by enemy soldiers. The kidnappers want Joseph to keep his mouth shut about a slave trade that rises through the echelons of power. In order to succeed in exposing this conspiracy, Joseph will need the help of both Natalie and Chad. VERDICT This series launch by a prolific CF author is a fast-paced tale of suspense that will keep readers hooked. [Ebook: ISBN 978-0-310-39560-7.]
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310395607
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 3/23/2010
  • Series: Mission Hope Series , #1
  • Sold by: Zondervan Publishing
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 233,123
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Award-winning author Lisa Harris has been writing both fiction and nonfiction since 2000 and has twenty novels and novellas in print. She currently lives with her family in Mozambique, where they work as missionaries. Visit her website at www.lisaharriswrites.com and her blog at www.myblogintheheartofafrica.blogspot.com.
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Read an Excerpt

Blood Ransom


By Lisa Harris

Zondervan

Copyright © 2010 Lisa Harris
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-310-31905-4


Chapter One

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 3:11 P.M. KASILI OUTDOOR MARKET

Natalie Sinclair fingered the blue-and-yellow fabric that hung neatly folded on a wooden rod among dozens of other brightly colored pieces, barely noticing the plump Mama who stood beside her in hopeful anticipation. Instead she gazed out at the shops that lined the winding, narrow paths of the market, forming an intricate maze the size of a football field. The vendors sold everything from vegetables and live animals to piles of secondhand clothing that had been shipped across the ocean from charities in the States.

Natalie stepped across a puddle and turned to glance beneath the wooden overhang at the stream of people passing by. Even with the weekend over, the outdoor market was crowded with shoppers. Hip-hop-style music played in the background, lending a festive feel to the sultry day. But she couldn't shake the uneasy feeling in the pit of her stomach.

Someone was following her.

She quickened her steps and searched for anything that looked out of place. A young man weaved his bicycle through the crowded walkway, forcing those on foot to step aside. A little girl wearing a tattered dress clung to the skirt of her mother, who carried a sleeping infant, secured with a length of material, against herback. An old man with thick glasses shuffled past a shop that sold eggs and sugar, then stopped to examine a pile of spark plugs.

Natalie's sandal stuck in a patch of mud, and she wiggled her foot to pull it out. Perhaps the foreboding sensation was nothing more than the upcoming elections that had her on edge. All American citizens had been warned to stay on high alert due to the volatile political situation. Violence was on the rise. Already a number of joint military-police peacekeeping patrols had been deployed onto the streets, and there were rumors of a curfew.

Not that life in the Republic of Dhambizao was ever considered safe by the embassy, but neither was downtown Portland. It was all a matter of perspective.

And leaving wasn't an option. Not with the hepatitis E outbreak spreading from the city into the surrounding villages. Already, three health zones north of the town of Kasili where she lived were threatened with an outbreak. She'd spent the previous two weeks sharing information about the disease's symptoms with the staff of the local government clinics, as well as conducting awareness campaigns to inform the public on the importance of proper hygiene to prevent an epidemic.

In search of candles for tonight's party, Natalie turned sharply to her left and hurried up the muddy path past wooden tables piled high with leafy greens for stew, bright red tomatoes, and fresh fish. Rows of women sat on wooden stools and fanned their wares to discourage the flies that swarmed around the pungent odor of the morning's catch.

Someone bumped into her from behind, and she pulled her bag closer. Petty theft might be a constant concern, but she knew her escalated fears were out of line. Being the only pale foreigner in a sea of ebony-skinned Africans always caused heads to turn, if not for the novelty, then for the hope that she'd toss them one or two extra coins for their supper.

Her cell phone jingled in her pocket, and she reached to answer it.

"When are you coming back to the office?" Stephen's to-the-point greeting was predictable.

"I'm not. I'm throwing a birthday party for you tonight, remember? You let me off early." A pile of taper candles caught her eye in a shop across the path, and she skirted the edge of a puddle that, thanks to the runoff, was rapidly becoming the size of a small lake.

Stephen groaned. "Patrick's here at the office, and he's asking questions."

She pulled a handful of coins from her pocket to pay for the candles. "Then give him some answers."

"I can't."

Natalie thrust the package the seller had wrapped in newspaper into her bag and frowned. Patrick Seko, the former head of security for the president, now led some sort of specialized task force for the government. Lately, his primary concern seemed to revolve around some demographic research for the Kasili region she'd been compiling for the minister of health, whose office she worked for. Her expertise might be the prevention and control of communicable diseases, but demographics had always interested her. Why her research interested Patrick was a question she'd yet to figure out.

The line crackled. Maybe she'd get out of dealing with Patrick and his insistent questions after all.

"Stephen, you're breaking up."

All she heard was a garbled response. She flipped the phone shut and shoved it back into her pocket. They'd have to finish their conversation at the party.

"Natalie?"

She spun around at the sound of her name. "Rachel, it's good to see you."

Her friend shot her a broad smile. "I'm sorry if I startled you."

Natalie wanted to kick herself for the uncharacteristic agitation that had her looking behind every shadow. "I'm just a bit jumpy today."

"I understand completely." Rachel pushed a handful of thin braids behind her shoulder and smiled. "I think everyone is a bit on edge, even though with the UN's presence the elections are supposed to pass without any major problems. No one has forgotten President Tau's bloody takeover."

Natalie had only heard stories from friends about the current president's takeover seventeen years ago. Two elections had taken place since then and were assumed by all to have been rigged. But with increasing pressure from the United States, the European Union, and the African Union, President Tau had promised a fair election this time no matter the results. And despite random incidences of pre-election violence, even the United Nations was predicting a fair turnover under their supervision-something that, to her mind, remained to be seen.

Natalie took a step back to avoid a group of uniformed students making their way through the market and smiled at her friend. After eighteen months of working together, Rachel had moved back to the capital to take a job with the minister of health, which meant Natalie rarely saw her anymore. Something they both missed. "What are you doing in Kasili?"

"I'm heading back to Bogama tomorrow, but I'm in town because Patrick has been meeting with my parents to work out the labola."

"Really? That's wonderful." Her sentiment was genuine, even though she happened to find Patrick overbearing and controlling-as no doubt he would be in deciding on a bride price. She hugged her friend. "When's the wedding ceremony?"

Rachel's white teeth gleamed against her dark skin, but Natalie didn't miss the shadow that crossed her expression. "We're still discussing details with our families, but soon. Very soon."

"Then I'll expect an invitation."

"Of course." Rachel's laugh competed with the buzz of the crowd that filed past them. "And by the way, I don't know if Patrick mentioned it to you, but Stephen invited us to the birthday party you're throwing for him tonight. I hope you don't mind."

"Of course I don't mind." Natalie suppressed a frown. Stephen had invited Patrick to the party? She cleared her throat. "Stephen just called to tell me Patrick was looking for me, but it had something to do with my demographic reports. Apparently he has more questions."

"Patrick can be a bit ... persistent." Rachel flashed another broad smile, but Natalie caught something else in her eyes she couldn't read. Hesitation? Fear? "I'll tell him to wait until they are compiled. Then he can look at them."

Natalie laughed. "Well, you know I'm thrilled you're coming."

She would enjoy catching up with Rachel, and she had already prepared enough food to feed a small army. It was Patrick and his antagonistic political views she dreaded. She'd probably end up spending the whole evening trying to avoid them both.

"I'm looking forward to it as well." Rachel shifted the bag on her shoulder. "But I do need to hurry off. I'm meeting Patrick now, but I'll see you tonight."

Natalie watched until her friend disappeared into the crowd, wondering what she'd seen in her friend's gaze. It was probably nothing. Rachel had been right. Her own frayed nerves were simply a reaction of the tension everyone felt. By next week the election would be over and things would be back to normal.

A rooster brushed her legs, and she skirted to the left to avoid stepping on the squawking bird. The owner managed to catch it and mumbled a string of apologies before shoving it back in its cage.

Natalie laughed at the cackling bird, realizing that this was as normal as life was going to get.

Spotting a woman selling spices and baskets of fruit two shops down, she slipped into the tiny stall, determined to enjoy the rest of the day. She had nothing to worry about. Just like the UN predicted, the week would pass without any major incidents. And in the meantime, she had enough on her hands.

She picked up a tiny sack of cloves, held it up to her nose, and took in a deep breath. With the holiday season around the corner, she'd buy some extra. Her mother had sent a care package last week filled with canned pumpkin, chocolate chips, French-fried onions, and marshmallows. This year Natalie planned to invite a few friends over for a real Thanksgiving dinner. Turkey, mashed potatoes, greenbean casserole, pumpkin pie-

Fingers grasped her arm from behind. Natalie screamed and struggled to keep her balance as someone pulled her into the shadows.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Blood Ransom by Lisa Harris Copyright © 2010 by Lisa Harris . Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 38 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(17)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 38 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Non-stop, heart-racing thriller

    The idyllic forest sounds as fifteen-year-old Joseph nears his mountain village in the heart of Africa are a welcome change from Dhambizao's noisy capital he had left_by taxi, by boat, and now by foot_earlier that day. But screams scatter the raucous birds, and shatter his dreams of home-as-it-used-to-be.Lisa Harris propels us from page to page with non-stop action as American health-educator Natalie Sinclair and missionary doctor Chad Talcott race to free Joseph's village from the Ghost Soldiers by exposing their greedy backers.Harris brings Africa to life, its beauty, as well as its seamy side. And she knows the country first-hand. She and her family currently live in Mozambique where they work as missionaries.If you like heart-pumping action with a faith-growing message, you will love all 316 pages of BLOOD RANSOM. I highly recommend it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 16, 2011

    Loved it! Definitely a must read!

    This is an amazing suspense-filled book focused on God's defeating power over greed and selfishness.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great Adventure

    Blood Ransom is a fast pace book that takes you on an adventure in Africa. Since the author, Lisa Harris, lives in Africa, she does a great job of giving the reader a feel of African life, culture and struggles. While doing this, she provides a great story on how two people decide to help a boy and find themselves in a bigger situation. As the story unfolds, you ask yourself some difficult questions: "Is it worth getting involved?", "Would you be willing to lay down your life?", etc. There is a little bit of romance in this book but that does not overshadow the drama and suspense in this book. Overall this book is a very enjoyable read.

    Zondervan sent me this book for free

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  • Posted April 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Straight from the headlines

    Political corruption, rigged elections, and modern-day slavery-this romantic thriller jumps right out of the headlines. The main characters are American aid workers in an imaginary Central Africa country that sounds all too real. Natalie Sinclair's faith in an active, caring God is tested as she is chased through African settings that author Lisa Harris obviously knows well.

    Harris is a missionary in Mozambique, where I lived in the late 1980s. Her page-turning plot hangs together; her characters and their struggles to stand by their African friends in the shadow of impending civil war are believable. Fortunately, most missionaries don't face such violent challenges, but national Christians often do. This book will make American readers stop and think, and hopefully say a prayer for their brothers and sisters in the countries they see every day on the news.

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  • Posted April 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Lengthy at times...

    Natalie Sinclair is working to eradicate the diseases decimating whole villages in the Republic of Dhambizao when she meets Dr. Chad Talcott, a surgeon on sabbatical from a lucrative medical practice now volunteering at a small clinic.

    Meanwhile, things are unraveling in Dhambizao. Joseph Komboli returns to his village to discover rebel soldiers abducting his family and friends. Those that were too old or weak to work lay motionless in the African soil. When Chad and Natalie decide to help Joseph expose this modern-day slave trade---and a high-ranking political figure involved in it---disaster nips at their heels.

    Where is God in the chaos? Will Chad, Natalie, and Joseph win their race against time?

    Romance and adventure drive this Blood Ransom Ebook, by Lisa Harris, a powerful thriller about the modern-day slave trade and those who dare to challenge it.

    My Review - This book was good. Got a little lengthy in some places but for the most part it was really good. I loved Natalie and Chad. And I loved the ending.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 30, 2011

    great book

    loved it! Could not put it down.

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  • Posted February 17, 2011

    great read

    this was a very heart warming story. l can not wait to read more from this author. fast moving action kept me on the edge could not put it down.

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  • Posted February 16, 2011

    Exciting Book

    Blood Ransom by Lisa Harris is a fast paced, suspense story that is set in the Republic of Dhambizao, Africa. Natalie Sinclair is working as a journalist when she meets Dr. Chad Talcott, a surgeon volunteering in a clinic. When 15-year-old Joseph Komboli returns to his home, he finds that the entire village, his family included, has been taken by the Ghost Soldiers. He captures the event with his camera, but drops it during his escape. When that camera is finally found, Natalie, Chad, and Joseph all work to uncover the mystery. The truth behind the Ghost Soldiers, and the present day slavery and human trafficking of Africans is addressed, with roots growing throughout Africa into the consumerism of the world.

    With brief chapters and action packed reading, this book was a clean page turner. The romance between Natalie and Chad gives much room for a future story line.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 9, 2010

    Fiction That Makes Your Heart Race

    Sometimes a book is so true to life you have to remind yourself it is fiction. Other times a book is so fast-paced and action filled your heart races with the characters. And every now and then a book's characters touch your heart and your own life. The treasure is when you find one that does all of the above. Lisa Harris' book Blood Ransom is such a book. From page one she had me hooked. Her characters are real, her descriptions are vivid, and her action is exciting. This is a clear your calendar book, because you will not want to put it down once you start reading. I give it five stars, and I am stingy with my five star ratings. If you like action, you will not be disappointed.

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  • Posted July 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Page Turner

    I won't try to repeat what others have already said much more eloquently. Instead let me tempt you with snippets from the middle of the book.

    ". . .tribal clashes had already left two hundred dead from fights in the street between the army and the police.

    Those who could afford it fled the city. Those who couldn't leave hid in their homes, praying that God would save them and bring an end to the conflict. God chose to do neither. . .

    There was nothing Stephen could have done to save her- He had one card left to play, and this time he knew what he had to do."

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  • Posted May 24, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Fictions That's True To Life

    In the African republic of Dhambizao, Natalie Sinclair works with Dr. Chad Talcott to eradicate diseases that are claiming whole towns. Meanwhile, Joseph Komboli returns to his village to find rebels abducting his family. When Chad and Natalie help Joseph expose the modern-day slave trade, they're courting disaster.

    Review: This is not your typical fiction book. Lisa's story is based on real situations that exist in the world around us - especially in Africa. I applaud Lisa for being the voice of these hurting people and for making us aware of the horrific conditions and treatment of humans through this compelling story. Gabby is the journalist in this story who feels led to be the voice of this hurting nation and is willing to do the right thing, no matter what it costs. Lisa Harris gives voice to Gabby and her concerns in this startling story.

    "Ghost Soldiers" were supposed to be nothing more than rumors-a myth-what if these rumors are true and people are disappearing from their villages because of them? Hundreds and thousands of people have vanished. It's not a rumor or myth, but a reality that Lisa Harris writes about.

    Natalie Sinclair exterminates the diseases decimating whole villages. She comes in contact with fifteen year-old Joseph, who has proof the Ghost soldiers are real. Joseph is hurt, so Natalie takes him to see Dr. Chad Talcott, a surgeon on sabbatical from his medical practice where he volunteers in a small clinic. They recognized each other from High School.

    Dr. Chad tells her not to get involved; it's best. Natalie takes Joseph back to his village to show her where his family disappeared. Joseph took pictures of people being killed and abducted by the Ghost Soldiers. After seeing proof, Natalie couldn't walk away. This wasn't right; they were selling and using people as slaves.

    Natalie tells Dr. Chad of her discovery. Natalie and Chad embark on a mission to get this proof to the American Embassy. That's when the trouble begins. Natalie sends the proof to her journalist friend, Gabby, who says, "It's time we force these businesses and investors to change the despicable working conditions thousands are forced to live under. Nothing will change if they aren't held accountable. They need a voice. It's a heart-wrenching reality in our world, especially when one realizes human trafficking, child slavery and a booming sex industry, are all alive and well right here in the United States."

    Lisa pens a heart-felt, thought provoking and compelling drama you won't soon forget. Blood Ransom is book one in the mission series. I'm so thankful to have received a copy of the powerfully moving book. I can't wait to read the next book.

    Nora St.Laurent
    ACFW Book Club Coordinator

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  • Posted April 29, 2010

    You've Got to Read this One!

    Blood Ransom is one of the books you just don't want to end. Ghost Soldiers plunder a village and drag off its inhabitants to sell in slave trade, all witnessed by a fifteen-year-old African boy named Joseph. Joseph convinces Natalie, an American woman who had come to the Republic of Dhambizao to help fight disease, that his family will die and the Ghost Soldiers would just continue their raids if they didn't do something. She does, and gets chased, beaten, and kidnapped along the way. Dr. Chad Talcott is reticent at the beginning, but eventually comes along for the ride-a ride he'll not soon forget. All of this set in a political climate that could change the history of the country. Intrigue, betrayal, murder, romance, repentance, and justice are just some of the elements that inject life and credibility into this well-written, amazing tale. Don't miss it.

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  • Posted April 24, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Blood Ransom is a winner!

    Lisa Harris has written a gripping story of politics and intrigue set in the volatile country of the Republic of Dhambizao. Natalie Sinclair is on a 2 year tour of mercy helping to teach the citizens about basic health knowledge like washing hands to stop the spread of germs in an effort to help stop sickness. When she meets Joseph Komboli, a 15 year old boy that serves as her translator for awhile, her destiny is changed. He finds her after he heads home for a visit and stumbles upon the Ghost Soldiers destroying his village, murdering and kidnapping his family to take them as slaves to the mines. Then follows a harrowing tale of Natalie and a fellow American, Chad, as they try to help Joseph save his family by proving that the Ghost Soldiers are real. The problem is that there are many people in high places that don't want that proof getting into the proper hands.

    I could hardly put this book down, it is fast paced and absolutely thrilling. I loved it!

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  • Posted April 2, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A book you won't want to put down!

    The author combines a fictional story with a voice of hope for an actual society subjected to an agony most Americans know little about.

    Correct descriptions of the African culture and scenery surrounding this story, bring the characters to life. Tragedy, mystery, fear, beauty, love and hope mingle together to capture your heart, and your interest, as you become emotionally involved in the lives of these people. Will a faith in God sustain them?

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  • Posted April 2, 2010

    Fast-Paced and Thought Provoking

    I was initially interested in Lisa Harris's book, Blood Ransom, for the simple reason that it is set in Africa and, having grown up there, I can't resist Africa-themed books. The story is set in the fictional central African country of Dhambizao, on the banks of the Congo River. The central character, Natalie Sinclair, is an American working for an aid organization in one of the northern cities of Dhambizao. When Joseph, a teenage boy witnesses and photographs the abduction of almost everyone in his home village, plus several murders, he turns to Natalie for help in exposing the supposedly mythical "ghost soldiers." She, in turn, takes him to a clinic to get his wound seen to, which is where she meets Dr. Chad Talcott, an American doctor whom Natalie had known in high school.

    The story picks up speed when Natalie shows the boy's pictures to her boss, who has always assured her that the "ghost soldiers" who kidnap whole villages and force them to work as slaves were nothing more than wild rumors. Natalie, Chad, and Joseph end up in a race to reach the capital city and the American embassy before being killed by those who don't want the photos to be seen. To add another layer of urgency and danger, the country of Dhambizao is about to have it's first-ever "real" election, after a bloody coup which had put the current president in power seventeen years previously-and Joseph had overheard a conversation indicating that the election was going to be rigged.

    While this is a gripping and action-packed suspense story (with a little romance thrown in), I also appreciated the accurate details of life in Africa. There were several little vignettes of normal Africans going about their everyday lives, and that added greatly to the believability of the story. The theme of the story is one that may make some people squirm-modern-day slavery, exploitation, and corruption pitted against sacrifice and redemption-but I'm hoping that this hard-to-put-down book will open some eyes to the kind of exploitation that goes on in third world countries all the time. This book is a great read whether you care about the agenda or not.

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  • Posted March 30, 2010

    What's happening in the heart of Africa?

    The idyllic forest sounds as fifteen-year-old Joseph nears his mountain village in central Africa are a welcome change from Dhambizao's noisy capital he had departed that morning by taxi, by boat, and now by foot. But screams scatter the raucous birds, and shatter his dreams of home-as-it-used-to-be.

    Lisa Harris propels us from page to page with non-stop action as American health-educator Natalie Sinclair and missionary doctor Chad Talcott race to free Joseph's village from the Ghost Soldiers by exposing their greedy backers.

    Harris brings Africa to life, its beauty, as well as its seamy side. And she knows the country first-hand. She and her family currently live in Mozambique where they work as missionaries.

    If you like heart-pumping action with a faith-growing message, you will love all 316 pages of BLOOD RANSOM. I highly recommend it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2011

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 38 Customer Reviews

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