- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
In his debut novel, Rising Phoenix, Kyle Mills introduced wild-card FBI agent Mark Beamon, a man who never does things strictly by the book. In Storming Heaven, the compulsively readable follow-up, Mills firmly establishes himself as a top writer of thrillers in the company of Thomas Harris and Ridley Pearson.
Jennifer Davis, a bit of a wild card herself, has just finished a grueling bike race. Her parents have cheered her on, and even the neighbors have arrived to support her. She has all the usual teenage problems, including a boyfriend her parents don't really approve of, while they pressure her to like the neighbors' doltish, football-playing son. After dinner, Jennifer and her family return to their beautiful home in Flagstaff, Arizona, only to have a night of terror ahead of them. When Jennifer takes one step into the dark house, she hears her father shout for her to run away. As she enters, she beholds a gruesome scene. Strangers have guns to her parents' heads. Soon, her mother and father are dead, and the strangers who have orchestrated their deaths come for her.
For Mark Beamon, FBI agent, this is very nearly business as usual. He's dealt with kidnappings before, but what makes this one unusual is that he's very quickly aware that there's some choreography in this kidnapping-murder scenario. Beamon has instincts for the offbeat, and he detects what's wrong with this picture right away. The crime scene looks as if Jennifer's parents may have killed themselves. But why? In investigating, he finds that the missing Jennifer was adopted by the Davises, after her natural parents died in a fire when she was two. Further complicating the issue, no one in Jennifer's general vicinity seems to know anything. Who would murder the Davis couple? And why take Jennifer afterward, when there was no hope of ransom with the parents dead?
The trails to discovery seem to be leading toward dead ends, until Beamon locates Jennifer's biological uncle, who has presumably not seen her since she was two years old. Living in a ramshackle pile in the middle of a Utah nowhere, he is a convicted child molester who seems to have secrets to protect. As Beamon gets closer to the truth about Jennifer's family, he finds a whole new world opening up beneath him. An organized religious cult, the Church of the Evolution, somehow plays into the fate of Jennifer and her parents. But this "church" has strong political power, even in Washington, and Beamon soon learns that to find Jennifer, he must go up against some incredibly powerful people. Beamon steps all too quickly into a horrifying world of religious fanatics and end-of-the-world plots, his only goal being to rescue a young girl who plays a role that even she doesn't understand. The story is tense, and the stakes are high. But at the heart of this nightmare is Jennifer Davis herself, who must do everything she can to survive her abductors.
Kyle Mills is a major talent, and Storming Heaven is both a terrific entertainment and a story of sharp twists, turns, and mysteries. If you want high-octane thrills, then grab a copy. (Douglas Clegg)