Wendi Stratford’s job as an accident reconstructionist is just one more enviable reflection of her ideal life. She’s got it all—perfect career, perfect looks, perfect husband, perfect home, perfect faith. There’s just one problem: it’s all a sham, right down to her bleached-blonde hair.So Wendi hatches an impulsive and exhilarating plan to break free of the lie she’s been living—only to watch her hopes die in a terrible accident. But as she sifts through the wreckage, Wendi comes to a shocking conclusion. This was no accident.The quest is on to learn the truth, but the truth could be deadly. And now someone is leaving Wendi clues at accident scenes, clues that could lead her straight into a killer’s hands. With her life on the line, Wendi must find strength in a faith that until now had been merely an accessory to her storybook life.With engaging characters swept into a millrace of mystery and suspense, Harry Kraus’ new novel is. . .perfect.
In surgeon-cum-novelist Kraus's cloudy medical thriller, protagonist Wendi Stratford is a self-described "professional Christian": she has the perfect house, haircut and church (where Daddy is the pastor). Her husband also seems perfect, a man so meticulous that he carries three pens in his white physician's coat and knots his silk ties so that the longer tail hangs exactly two centimeters below the shorter one. Wendi is tired of hiding her real self behind a plastic facade, but when she lays aside her mask, tragedies begin to occur all around her. This raises one of the novel's more provocative questions: does God punish people for their sins? Kraus clearly knows his way around an OR, and intimate medical details give the story's less plausible plot twists some heft. Kraus also presents thoughtful ruminations on sin, guilt and forgiveness with some finesse. However, as suspense, this novel falls far short. The first half is devoted to character development for Wendi and her immediate family, but none of those nuances extend to the characters who become central in the more plot-driven second half, especially the stock villain.