The Crossing

( 52 )

Overview

Imprisoned by memories, Claudia Campbell lives each day in the shadow of a ten-year-old murder. Who can set her free?

On the way home from a football game, a decade earlier, a masked gunman opened fi re on a Texas school bus.  Cheerleading coach B.J. Remington was killed, but her murderer was never found. Claudia, who had a close friendship with the young, spirited teacher, constantly relives the anguish of that day, caught in one moment in time. When her husband, the ...

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Overview

Imprisoned by memories, Claudia Campbell lives each day in the shadow of a ten-year-old murder. Who can set her free?

On the way home from a football game, a decade earlier, a masked gunman opened fi re on a Texas school bus.  Cheerleading coach B.J. Remington was killed, but her murderer was never found. Claudia, who had a close friendship with the young, spirited teacher, constantly relives the anguish of that day, caught in one moment in time. When her husband, the assistant district attorney, becomes determined to uncover the mystery of that tragedy, the secrets buried over the years threaten to tear their family apart.

Officer Casio Hightower will never forget the day his dreams were destroyed. A star quarterback with a promising future, Casio was on top of the world—until one bullet changed everything. He is eager to help Victor Campbell find B.J.’s killer, the man who shot him. Maybe solving the case will help silence the demons driving Casio to hurt the woman he loves.

As the Campbells and Casio teeter on the brink of losing everything, will they be able to discover that what begins at the crossing ends at the cross?

 

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Claudia Campbell was the popular head cheerleader. Casio Hightower was the star quarterback, with colleges vying for his admission. In 2000, their bright futures were shattered when a masked gunman fired on their school bus, injuring Casio and killing the cheerleading coach. Claudia and Casio have since been haunted by the memory of that day. When Claudia's husband makes up his mind to solve the old case, Casio is determined to help him. VERDICT Atmospheric and haunting, this fiction debut should appeal to those who enjoy the novels of Melanie B. Dobson.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781611733532
  • Publisher: Center Point
  • Publication date: 3/28/2012
  • Series: Thorndike Christian Mystery Series
  • Edition description: Large Print
  • Pages: 334
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

SERITA ANN JAKES has been involved in Christian ministry all of her adult life and has served alongside her husband, Bishop T. D. Jakes, throughout their entire marriage of nearly 30 years. In addition to raising three sons and two daughters, Mrs. Jakes is Executive Director of the WoMan To Woman Ministries of The Potter's House of Dallas where her husband is Senior Pastor.

 

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Read an Excerpt

   It’s strange. Since childhood, I’ve believed I would die in my sleep. 
   Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep…
   In my mind’s eye, I picture myself sandwiched between Mama and Daddy as we knelt beside my bed, speaking the prayer together. It always seemed like they were sucking up all the oxygen, leaving me with none. I thought I might suffocate. But I could smell Mama so well. She hadn’t had her nightly bath yet, so she still smelled of southern cooking and a hint of Chanel No. 5. The smallest amount behind her ears and inside the crook of her arm was enough for it to linger wherever she wandered in the house. I loved the smell of Mama.
   I remember the expression on her face when she opened the box one Christmas morning. By the look of wonder, I knew she loved it. She blushed under Daddy’s admiring gaze as she dabbed some on her wrist and lifted her arm to his face. As I watched, a bubble, like the ones I used to blow with those huge pieces of sugar-coated bubble gum, started deep inside me and got bigger and bigger. It was a rare moment of sheer joy in our family.
   A few years later, a pin of reality burst the facade, but in that moment…joy. I’m glad my mind took me back to that place, if only for a minute. I can remember Daddy as he was. And forgive what he became.
   …and if I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.

Present Day

Claudia
   Claudia hated this moment. Stopped at the tracks, watching the lights flash and hearing the bell clang. First in line, as the wall forms in front of her. The whistle growing louder as the engine nears. The rhythm of steel against steel, the train racing by, beating in her ears. Other cars had lined up behind her, hedging her in. Suffocating. Blocking any chance of escape.
   Could a heart really pound right out of its chest? She felt her breath coming in short bursts. Her phone beeped, but she couldn’t bring herself to look for it. Closing her eyes tight, she gripped the steering wheel.
   Her chest hurt, and she could smell the metallic tang of blood. The rest of her senses picked up the sensation. She could taste the iron, way back in her throat, and her ears pounded with the rhythm of her heartbeat. Then her hands felt a sticky warmth—BJ’s blood, soaking her cheerleading skirt. The wetness spread over her legs. She gasped and stared down at her lap. Her Diet Coke had spilled on her light tan linen pants. Still, she couldn’t move.
   No matter that the train had come and gone, still she sat, staring at the bare metal tracks. Her body shook all over. Vehicles sped around her, blaring their horns. People glared at her, some even shouting obscenities at her, but it was no use. She’d become paralyzed. She didn’t know how many minutes she sat there while the world swept by her, a still body in a raging storm.
   A dull tap registered in her brain. She turned toward the sound and tried to focus on the man outside her window. He reached out and made another clipped, three-rap knock on the glass. Finally, recognition flashed, trying to convince her that everything was okay. She pressed the button and lowered the window for the waiting police officer.
   “Claudia?” His voice sent a shiver down her spine. Images sped through her mind, blurring her focus. “Is there something wrong with your car?”
   His voice was a little deeper now than it had been ten years ago, but she could still hear it screaming, “Leave her alone!” And then the gunshot. She could feel herself fading again…
   “Claude!” He reached in through the window and shook her shoulder. “Come on, girl. I know what this is. I’ve been there too. But snap out of it. You’re in the middle of the street.”
   She felt herself slowly ascending, as though swimming from the bottom of a deep lake. At the surface, a ragged, cold breath filled her lungs. “Casio.” Tears filled her eyes.
   “It’s okay, baby,” he said, his voice soft, taking her back to the days when he was quarterback, she was cheerleader, and everyone said they’d be America’s sweethearts. “Can you drive the car into the parking lot?” He pointed to the right where a mom-and-pop café sat practically empty.
   She nodded.
   “I’ll be right behind you.”
   It took every ounce of willpower to slide the Tahoe into gear and drive toward the parking lot. Once she stopped, her lungs screamed and she could feel the breath-stealing, muscle-seizing horror of hyperventilation coming on. Casio appeared at the passenger side door. Clutching her chest, she pointed toward the glove box. “Bag,” she managed to gasp.
   “What?”
   “A bag. In there!”
   “Oh! Okay! Are you okay?” Hang on.” Casio opened the glove box and pulled out a paper bag, then brought it to her mouth. “Breathe. In-out-in-out.”
   She did. Her lungs felt like they might burst as the panic spiked. “Oh, God. It’s just like that night.” A scream vibrated in her throat, and she squelched it before it could pierce the air inside the Tahoe.
   “No.” Casio’s hand pressed against her clammy neck. “Now, listen, Claude. Keep breathing.” His smooth-as-silk tone calmed her and evened out her breath. She tried to focus on his tone. “This isn’t like that night on the bus. No one is after you. The person with a gun was after BJ. No one else. It wasn’t a random act or I wouldn’t have just been shot in the arm. Right? If that man was on a killing spree, we’d all be dead right now.”
   His voice was beginning to soothe her, and slowly, the words sank into her muddled brain. She set the bag in her lap and filled her lungs with a cleansing breath. “Thanks, Casio,” she whispered and tried to smile. “You’re a hero.”
   His jaw clenched as he inhaled from a freshly lit cigarette and then passed it to her. “Yep, that’s what I am.” He expelled a stream of smoke. “A real hero.”
   At the sarcasm in his tone, Claudia regretted her choice of words. She reached across the seat and took his hand. “We did what we could.”
   “Too bad that doesn’t make the dreams go away.”
   She stared into the horizon where clouds were beginning to roll their way. Silently, they sat, hand-in-hand, passing the cigarette between them, remembering that they shared a bond of pain and loss.
   Somehow, for the moment, it made things calmer.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 52 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(21)

4 Star

(23)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

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1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 52 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Must Read - The Crossing By Author Serita Jakes

    I was not able to put this book down, I love faith based suspense novels anyway. The Crossing starts out with BJ Remington being shot 10 years earlier on the school bus that was coming back from a football game. A masked gunman boarded the bus and shot the star quarterback and cheerleading coach BJ Remington. This is a must read, it is an amazing story of unconditional love, hope and loss. To me this book is for anyone who has experienced a loss, or gone through a traumatic experience, and still be able to find your way back to God in such a heavy time in your life. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it to everyone who enjoys faith based suspense novels. You will not be able to put this book down. Serita Jakes has captured the attention of her readers with this wonderful novel of healing and grace. I received this book free from the publisher through the Waterbrook Press book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    This is a great Christian investigative thriller

    A decade has passed since the horrific murder of Cheerleading coach B.J. Remington. Though the case has gone cold in terms of law enforcement, those on the school bus that day and others who were close to the victim have failed to move on as the homicide remains inside their souls.

    Assistant District Attorney Victor Campbell knows his wife Claudia is one of those who remain hunted by her friend's death. Although he has a hidden agenda, for the sake of his wife's emotional state, Victor reopens the investigation. Former high school football quarterback Casio Hightower saw his dreams of the NFL end with a bullet when the shooter killed Remington. Another victim is a resentful cop with anger management issues that he takes out by battering the woman he loves Harper Abbot; he wants closure just like Claudia does. Casio offers to assist Vic.

    This is a great Christian investigative thriller with a shocking late twist that makes Serita Jakes tale that much more plausible. The story line is character driven with Claudia the link between the ten years. Loaded with action and avoiding preaching though the message is to turn to God when unexplainable bad things happen to good people, readers will relish this excellent whodunit.

    Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2011

    Page turner

    Great job First Lady Jakes...I was very impressed with the story line. It held my interest and made me want to read more. It is a much recommended reading. Can not wait to see it on the big screen.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 11, 2011

    Excellent and easy read! Could not stop reading!

    Wonderfully written with faith and redemption intertwined in every chapter of this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Murder on the bus

    Murder. The gunman shot her, shot someone trying to stop it, then got off the bus and disappeared. That's how the story began, but what happened to the individuals in the story definitely doesn't end there. B.J. died that day, but Claudia and Casio were dealt a blow that would change them forever. Casio had played football, Claudia had trusted B.J and called her "friend." But what about the shooter? Who was this person and how does their life intertwine with those on and off the bus? After 10 years, how is everyone coping? Will Victor be able to help his wife and solve the murder? Will anyone lean on God to help them?

    While I enjoyed the book, I found it a little hard to get into at first, but as the story unfolded, I couldn't put the book down. I was pulled in by the effects of PTSD on the characters, especially Claudia and Casio, and the love Victor had for his wife. This story could have come from today's headlines and was written in a realistic way. Individual readers will enjoy this book and book clubs will find lots to talk about. Some topics are: PTSD, secrets, love, forgiveness, and finding your way back to God. I received my free review copy from the Blogging for Books program and thank them.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 2, 2011

    Intriguing but disappointing

    The Crossing tells the story of a shooting by a masked gunman that occurred on a school bus many years ago. The case went unsolved until someone reopened the case 10 years later. The story unravels the lives and secrets of those involved in the tragedy as the mystery of that day begins to be revealed.

    After reading the description of The Crossing, I was immediately excited about a story that would tell about real life hardships and loss with the mystery of finding out how all of this happened. I am a sucker for a good mystery. While I was excited to begin reading, it took me a while to actually get into it. It is not the type of mystery that makes you feel like one needs to keep reading all night just to find out what happens. While it did get more interesting toward the end, I found it to be a little slow, and I never really connected with the characters. I definitely expected more and was a little disappointed when I finished.

    While I was disappointed to some extent, I did think the The Crossing had a good portrayal the hurt caused by sin, and the power that true forgiveness has.

    I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 3, 2014

    Slow Slow Read...purchased this book for January's Book Review.

    Slow Slow Read...purchased this book for January's Book Review. I am very disappointed and had to place myself on "book punishment" to finish reading it. Book punishment is I can't purchase another book until I finish prior book. I don't like book punishment nor the book that get me there. Save your money...borrow mines

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2013

    It was somewhat slow in the begining, but as time went on I coul

    It was somewhat slow in the begining, but as time went on I couldn't put it down. There were some twist and turns that I was NOT expecting. I enjoyed it and I highly recommend.

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  • Posted September 5, 2012

    OLD SCARS THAT HAVE YET TO HEAL . . .

    On the way home from a high school football game, a masked gunman jumped onto the bus and opened fire, killing the cheerleading coach, BJ Remington, and injuring the star quarterback, Casio Hightower. Ten years later, Casio and his former girlfriend Claudia are still dealing with the aftermath of that terrible night. When Claudia's Assistant District Attorney husband reopens the case, the truth of what happened that night reopens old wounds that have never really healed.
    This is a good novel portraying characters suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. They seem like real people with real problems, which you don't usually find in fictional novels. Casio has anger management problems as well as relationship problems, and Claudia suffers anxiety attacks and flashbacks. These are very real and common symptoms. The opening of each chapter where we hear BJ's dying thoughts are captivating. They may be the best part of the book. It held my attention right up until the end, and then somehow it fell flat. The solution was predictable and it seemed that most of it was wrapped up off-stage, if you will. But all in all, it was a good read, and I thought it was nice that at the end there was information regarding PTSD.
    4 stars

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2012

    A good read.

    This was a good book. Hope others who reads it will like it too.

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  • Posted June 2, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    The Crossing - From a Man's Perspective

    This has been a LONG time getting to the top of my too be read pile. I joined "Blogging For Books" last year some time in a hesitant start to this whole review blogging thing I'm doing. I waited, and waited for the book to come in, but it never showed up. Here now, with my resurgence of doing these reviews, I had them send me another copy so that I can finish what I started. Claudia, Casio and the several other players and cheerleaders were on a bus back from a game when, while they were stopped for a train, a masked gunman boarded the bus taking the life of their cheer director and friend, BJ. Other than minor injuries, no one else was hurt except for BJ. The relationship between Claudia and her teacher had gone past the normal boundaries and they had become close friends. Flash forward 10 years, Claudia is still haunted by what happened on the bus, Casio, now a police officer, is having trouble with anger management. Claudia's husband is the ADA and has been given new evidence by Casio that gives him a reason to reopen the case to hopefully find the killer. Is there a killer on the loose? What is Claudia hiding and why doesn't she want the case reopened? Does Casio ever get help with his anger issue? READ THE BOOK! This book was rather hard for me to get into, unfortunately. The book is basically written from the perspective of about 4 characters; BJ, Claudia, Vic and Casio. I guess I'm just a simple guy and having to read these perspectives was just a bit much for me. The plot was pretty straight-forward, although there were some side stories that I thought distracted from the main plot (the affair that Claudia's mother had). There are several underlying themes that were spelled out in the book; Spousal Abuse, infidelity, faith, etc. just to name a few. So is this a "man's book"? I would have to say probably not. Not that I think all men are as easily confused as I am, but I would rather have a book that just tells the story. Having it told by different perspectives was a major turn off for me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2012

    Great book

    Just finished reading this. She did a wonderful jib...hope she erites more. Wished there were scriptures about forgiveness in here...

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  • Posted February 11, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Thought provoking

    Claudia is married with a wonderful family. But after a miscarriage she keeps remembering what happened her senior year in high school. Her best friend dies and two other people are shot. It brings adultery, murder and lies into her life and leaves her shaken. Her husband can see her downward spiral and re-opens the case to bring her closure. It opens up more than just one person's death.

    This book was written from the dead woman's perspective as well as from the other people involved. It was an interesting way to tell the story and helped to keep the story from feeling too deep and depressing. The story was well told and had very engaging characters. It has some interesting parts that I didn't see coming. Definitely a book I would recommend. I can't wait to read more by this author.

    I received this book free of charge from WaterBrook in exchange for my honest review.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 10, 2012

    A Great Read!

    On the way home from a football game, a decade earlier, a masked gunman opened fire on a Texas school bus. Cheerleading coach B.J. Remington was killed, but her murderer was never found. Claudia, who had a close friendship with the young, spirited teacher, constantly relives the anguish of that day, caught in one moment in time. When her husband, the assistant district attorney, becomes determined to uncover the mystery of that tragedy, the secrets buried over the years threaten to tear their family apart.

    Officer Casio Hightower will never forget the day his dreams were destroyed. A star quarterback with a promising future, Casio was on top of the world—until one bullet changed everything. He is eager to help Victor Campbell find B.J.’s killer, the man who shot him. Maybe solving the case will help silence the demons driving Casio to hurt the woman he loves.

    As the Campbells and Casio teeter on the brink of losing everything, will they be able to discover that what begins at the crossing ends at the cross?


    Such a great book. A bit twisted in parts, but so well written that you feel like you're experiencing life with these people. The heartache and glimpses of joy. The sorrow and despair along with closure and deep love. I must say though that certain parts were violent, which was unexpected.

    The author did a great job creating the characters and storyline. She creatively jumped back and forth between the coach's thoughts at the time of the shooting to those involved ten years later. It was well done and flowed seamlessly.

    *Water Brook Multnomah sent this complimentary copy for me to review for them. The opinions expressed here are solely mine.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 8, 2012

    recommend

    the best part of this story are the thoughts of the dying woman. kept me reading to solve the crime and to hear her thoughts.

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  • Posted February 8, 2012

    Recommend

    This book was a fairly good mystery. It kept me interested and reading until I finished. I was somewhat disappointed in the ending. I did not see the killer being who it was, but I guess that is what makes a good mystery. The story line is about a unsolved murder that happened ten years ago. Coming home on a bus from a high school football game the well loved cheerleading coach( B.J.) was murdered. Claudia Campbell is haunted over the death will panic attacks. Her husband is the State’s ADA who reopens the case to find the murderer. Other characters like Casio and Georgie make the story interesting. I’ve never read a book in this style before. It was different reading a dyeing woman’s thoughts. Some of which were hard to process. One other thing that struck me as odd was the mention of who was interracial, African-American or white at times. I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to any one who likes mysteries.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 [...]: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 4, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Dark book with a shocking ending

    For ten years, Claudia Campbell has lived with the memories of her best friend dying in her arms. Claudia's husband, who just happens to be the assistant D.A., is tired of watching his wife hurting and decides that solving the murder might bring the closure that she needs to heal. In the meantime, Casio Hightower, Claudia's high school boyfriend, is having problems of his own that he blames on the trauma of that night. While it's obvious that there are deeper issues involved, Casio thinks worming his way into (and helping solve) the new investigation will help him win back his current love.

    We not only read the story from those involved in the modern-day story, but we are also privy to the thoughts of B.J. Remington during her last few minutes of life. It's a interesting way to tell the story, and it makes B.J. a person, a part of the story, rather than just "the teacher who died", as she might have been if we didn't learn about her thought and feelings.

    This is not a light-hearted book. There is a little bit of humor in the relationship between Casio and Victor Campbell, but this is a book about domestic abuse, betrayal, adultery, and murder. It's also a book about forgiveness, love, and hope, but most of that comes at the end of the book. Speaking of which, I have to say that the ending was shocking and completely unexpected. (No peeking. It really will ruin the book for you.)

    I received this book free from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2012

    Surprising, good read

    I wasn't sure what to expect when I started reading The Crossing, by Serita Jakes. I had not heard anything about the book and was not familiar with the author.

    Here is the 'trailer' for the book:
    "On the way home from a football game, a decade earlier, a masked gunman opened fire on a Texas school bus. Cheerleading coach B.J. Remington was killed, but her murderer was never found. Claudia, who had a close friendship with the young, spirited teacher, constantly relives the anguish of that day, caught in one moment in time. When her husband, the assistant district attorney, becomes determined to uncover the mystery of that tragedy, the secrets buried over the years threaten to tear their family apart. Officer Casio Hightower will never forget the day his dreams were destroyed. A star quarterback with a promising future, Casio was on top of the world—until one bullet changed everything. He is eager to help Victor Campbell find B.J.’s killer, the man who shot him. Maybe solving the case will help silence the demons driving Casio to hurt the woman he loves. As the Campbells and Casio teeter on the brink of losing everything, will they be able to discover that what begins at the crossing ends at the cross?"

    I will admit that it took me a while to get into the book. At first, I found myself confused, as if I was expected to already know about the event that had occurred at the railroad crossing despite the fact that I had just started reading the book. Within a few chapters though, the events that occurred that day at the railroad crossing start to be revealed and the characters to be developed and I was glad that I had not put down the book early on. I found myself being drawn in, wanting to keep reading so that I could help unravel not just what happened that day, but why. I started to become attached to the characters and found myself rooting them on, hoping for good to prevail.

    The story was told from many perspectives. There was Claudia and Casio who were both present at the event and still find themselves haunted by the events at the crossing. There is Assistant District Attorney Vic, the husband of Claudia, who has recently reopened the case from the unsolved crime that occurred at the crossing - in part to help free his wife of the demons that haunt her and in part, we are led to believe to bolster his bid to be DA. And, then there is BJ. BJ was one of the most interesting perspective, as she was the victim of the events at the crossing. Her perspective provides the reader with some insights into the events of the day, but mostly, they provide a view into her journey towards death.

    The book took many turns and some left me baffled and unbelieving, how could that happen, I would wonder aloud. The ending, I will not share, but it was full of surprises - both positive and negative.

    I would recommend The Crossing for those that like a mystery and I would suggest that you not give up too early on the book.

    No compensation was received for this post. A copy of the book was provided through Blogging for Books. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2012

    Enjoyed

    Great book didnt want to put it down

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  • Posted January 17, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommended

    I absolutely loved this book.I could not put it down!!

    Claudia Campbell is imprisoned by memories of a 10 year old murder.
    On the way home from a football game, a masked gunman opens fire on a
    school bus. A Cheerleading coach was killed and her murderer was never found. Claudia had a close relationship with the teacher and she relives the awful memories of that day. Claudia's husband, the assistant district attorney is determined to uncover the mystery of the tragedy to help Claudia find closure but the secrets buried over the years threaten to tear them apart. Claudia's friend Officer Casio Hightower who was the star quarterback with a promising future, will never forget the day his dreams were destroyed with one bullet.
    He is eager to help Victor Campbell find the coaches killer, the man who shot him. Solving this case might help the demons that drive Casio to hurt the woman he loves.

    I was given this book for free from the WaterBrook Multnomah "Blogging for Books" program. All opinions are my own.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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