Item description for Blood Bayou: A Novel by Karen Young...
Overview Having advocated on behalf of a death-row inmate who was subsequently released, Camille St. James questions her judgment when the exonerated man is implicated in a brutal murder--a situation that reunites Camille with her recovering alcoholic ex-husband, who has become a minister and hopes to make amends. Original.
To Save a Victim, Camille St. James May Have to Become One Herself. Seven years ago, tragedy ended the troubled marriage of Camille and Jack Vermillion. Now, as head of the Truth Project, her life safe and orderly, she focuses her lawyerly skills on freeing wrongly incarcerated individuals on death row. Jack paid a bitter price for his mistakes. No longer a high-powered corporate attorney, he's now pastor of a small church in Blood Bayou. Unsure of her own beliefs, Camille is highly skeptical of the conversion of this man she hasn't seen in seven years. Then tragedy strikes again. Jack's sister is murdered, apparently by a prisoner Camille has set free. To prove his innocence, Camille must return to Blood Bayou. But that means facing the hostility of the town -- and Jack. And as She Works to Find the Real Killer, Someone Is Determined to Stop Her...by Any Means.
From Publishers Weekly Young's 35th novel comes from an evangelical Christian imprint, and this outing adds to her blend of suspense and romance spiritual elements that would make sense to many readers outside the Christian market. Lawyer Camille St. James gets a convicted murderer exonerated and off Death Row, only to see him arrested for murder days after his release. Camille's ex-husband, Jack, a former lawyer and recovering alcoholic turned minister, re-enters her life because the murder victim is his sister. The two are thrown together again as Camille pushes hard to discover the real murderer, drawing not only a response from a criminal but from a small Louisiana town eager to blame her for freeing a man capable of murder. The experienced author competently spins suspense and romance while adding the element of redemption through faith that is natural to her plot. Camille is skeptical about the thoroughness of her ex-husband's spiritual rebirth, making the faith component even more credible. Young's readers can easily follow her move to more explicit spiritual character development, and she should gain new readers in the Christian market with her well-crafted inspirational fiction. (May) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
Awards and Recognitions Blood Bayou: A Novel by Karen Young has received the following awards and recognitions -
Christian Book Award - 2010 Finalist - Fiction category
Citations And Professional Reviews Blood Bayou: A Novel by Karen Young has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Publishers Weekly - 03/30/2009 page 32
Booklist - 05/01/2009 page 14
CBA Retailers - 05/01/2009 page 30
Christian Retailing - 05/04/2009 page 22
Romantic Times - 06/01/2009 page 62
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Studio: Howard Books
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.2" Width: 5.4" Height: 1.3" Weight: 0.88 lbs.
Release Date May 5, 2009
Publisher Howard Books
ISBN 1416587500 ISBN13 9781416587507
Availability 0 units.
More About Karen Young
Karen Young is the author of thirty-four novels with more than 10 million copies in print. Her many accolades include the RITA Award from Romance Writers of America and both the Career Achievement and Reviewers Choice awards from Romantic Times magazine. She is a frequent public speaker and a teacher of the craft of writing. Currently she resides in Houston, Texas."
Karen Young currently resides in Pearland, in the state of Texas.
Reviews - What do customers think about Blood Bayou: A Novel?
BLOOD BAYOU Jan 31, 2010
BLOOD BAYOU by Karen Young follows Camille St. James, a lawyer that helps to exonerate the wrongly accused. When she helps to free Chester Pelham from a murder charge, she is shocked to find out he has been hospitalized by injuries sustained when the police of Blood Bayou cornered him with incriminating evidence of another stabbing. When she finds out the latest victim is the sister of her ex-husband, she is horrified at the ramifications of her actions. Could she really have been so wrong about Chester? She doesn't think so . . . no, she knows so, and the only way she will get to the bottom of this latest killing is to prove who the real murderer is. Of course, having to come face to face with Jack, her ex-husband after seven years, will be her biggest obstacle. I enjoyed BLOOD BAYOU's original plotline. A lawyer who defends the presumed guilty, and a relationship based on a past marriage where unique inroads to this suspenseful novel. Jack's vocational change added another unique twist to this fast-moving novel. This is the first book I have read from Karen Young, but I will be keeping an eye out for her in the future.
Mystery and Romance in a Quick Read Dec 9, 2009
I have to be honest: when I first started the book, the story line was a bit dry, and it moved slow, too slow for my tastes. It wasn't enough to make me want to put the book down, unfinished, and it didn't make me hate the book in the end, but I think it's only fair that I say this, in case others happen to find themselves thinking the same thing, wondering if they should read the book. And here's my answer: yes. I don't regret reading this book, it was good. Maybe not at the top of my favorites list, but definitely not on my least favorite either.
Moving on. After the story line picked up, I started to enjoy it. The characters were interesting, and Young did a wonderful job at making them seem real. They had flaws, they had pasts, but they knew what mistakes they may have made, and weren't wimpy or annoying. Good characters are a must for a good book, they're what holds the rest of the book together!
The one thing that confused me a bit was how Young started the book out telling us about a murder mystery in this relatively small town, and it's Camille's job to help figure it out. But suddenly, less than a fourth of the way through the book, the mystery element kind of...disappeared, and suddenly it's all about Camille and Jack's rekindling of their previous relationship. Now, I like a good suspense/mystery that the author combines with a romance story, but the melting of the two elements in this particular book weren't the smoothest. Sorry, Karen, it's nothing really against your writing, maybe it's more of my own particular opinion on what I like to read in a book? It's hard to explain...
However, as the story continued, I found myself enjoying it more and more. Jack and Camille's connection started to grow (again), and there were more than a few parts where I found myself chuckling (always a good thing). Most importantly, the mystery came back, with a powerful kick, adding drama and suspense back into the story. After they started putting more of the 'clues' together, I instantly knew who the killer was, but even figuring it out before the big climax didn't take away from the enjoyment of the book.
If there is one thing I would have liked a bit more of in the book, it's the back story of Camille and Jack. The author touched on it, briefly, a few times, but it always left me wanting a bit more. Jack was an alcoholic when they were married, but it finally became too much for Camille and she divorced him. After he sobered up, he became a man of God. (PAUSE) Wait, how did that happen? Don't get me wrong, I know it's possible, and I think it's great, but I would like to have read a bit about it! Talk about a strong, but previously tortured hero... So why not give us a little nibble of what he went through? And I know this was suppose to be more of a lite Christian novel, which means no 'R' rated sex scenes, but I wish they'd had a bit more passion along the way, even if it was only kisses. Even sweet, innocent ones are better than nothing!
4/5 stars. All in all, this was a very good book. Just the right amount of mystery and a light touch of romance (I loved how the story shows you that love can be won, even after it's lost). Not too fluffy, but not too much hard core suspense either. Great for a quick read by the pool side! ;)
Inspiring new direction for Karen Young Jul 9, 2009
I have been a fan of Karen Young's fiction for several years, first when she was writing romances and especially once she began to write taut, emotion filled suspense fiction. It was a special delight to discover that in Blood Bayou she adds a new layer of spiritual meaning to a plot filled with her trademark suspense. Karen creates characters we care about, and puts them in situations that would scare the pants off us if we encountered them in real life! Blood Bayou will not only draw you in and keep you reading, you will end the book reflecting on some of life's biggest ethical dilemmas. How do we find redemption when we make a really big mistake? And how do we insure that institutions, such as the criminal justice system, never punish the innocent because that's easier that searching for the truly guilty? All in all, a great read! Jasmine Cresswell
Suspenseful, spellbinding . . . Jul 9, 2009
I was very pleasantly surprised by this author's first attempt at Christian fiction. The characters were flawed but strong and likeable. The writing was smooth. Many books have fallen by the wayside in my life due to weak, whiney protaganists or choppy writing. Even the interaction between Jack and Camille was believable. And the Christian emphasis was perfect. Yes I did have a problem with the 'who done it' part of the story. It shouldn't have been so obvious. Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I really didn't want it to end. I pretty much only read Christian fiction, and I am very picky about the books I keep. This is most definitely a keeper.
Louisiana Suspense Jun 8, 2009
I enjoyed this suspense novel set in Louisiana. It includes romance mixed in with murder, an attorney and a pastor who were married and bitterly divorced. The theme of redemption and forgiveness runs rings true in this work of Christian fiction.
The two main characters are believable, and the plot moves at a steady pace. After spotting the killer, the reader will hold her breath as the characters continued to interact with him.