THE CHOICE -- The author comments:
This book had its beginnings as a Tempe Crabtree story. However,
as I wrote more about her, she changed into an entirely different
character. Because I felt this story about good vs. evil in a small
town was a story that needed to be told, I developed new characters
and a different setting. The Choice is a horror story
laced with Christian elements.
"As the widowed mother of an oft-absent teenaged son, Jessica
McGuire appears to have the weight of the world on her shoulders.
Her job as deputy of the small town of Lawrenceville wins her little
respect among the local barflies and her superior officers, and
when Jessica discovers the desecration of an old grave she is further
reprimanded. Just make sure the drunks get home safely and that
the kids are not out late spraypainting buildings, is all she is
Jessica finds it difficult to ignore other strange thefts. Barnyard
animals are missing, as is the large redwood cross at the local
church. Pastor David Tanner, to Jessica's shock, suspects a force
of evil is trying to take over the community, leading the deputy
to fight an uphill battle with small-town bureaucracy which unfortunately
does not prevent the loss of life. That Jessica's own faith in God
is middling, it is the only weapon she has against the group of
black-robed citizens who have made the fight too personal for her
The Choice is a short novel of suspense, a tense and contemporary
adaption of good versus evil. Though some of her actions may not
appear professional, Jessica acts out of passion, and to watch her
grow in faith is inspiring. Author Meredith's style is direct in
her presentation where matters of faith are concerned, providing
for a riveting climax."
-- Kathryn Lively on Catholic Books Blog
"Though the town is her deceased husband's home and he died
eight years ago, Jessica McGuire raises her fourteen year old son
Jonathan in Lawrenceville, California, at the foothills of the Sierra.
Jessica serves as the town''s resident deputy reporting to the Lupine
County sheriff. Most of her work involves speeding and lesser offenses
so that her superior never takes anything she does seriously even
if she solved a murder last year.
While jogging Jessica notices that someone desecrated the grave
of an infant taking the remains with them. Later widower Pastor
David Tanner informs her that an individual stole a valueless small
cross from the church. Finally, Letty Burns tells Jessica that one
of her beloved kids (goat that is) was abducted. Although her boss
scoffs at her, Jessica and David believe firmly that a Satanist
cult is doing the petty crimes. When a teen commits suicide and
her son acts strange beyond raging hormones, Jessica wonders if
the devil worshippers are hooked by what David describes as seemingly
nice friendly people by day.
This is an exhilarating police procedural that feels somewhat like
an amateur sleuth cozy because the heroine, though she follows the
book, lacks experience in investigations and her partner is a pastor.
The trouble in Lawrenceville is cleverly constructed at a leisurely
pace so that like Sheriff Boone, the audience thinks it is teen
pranks. The fully developed characters bring to life Lupine County
with the maxim that even small isolated rural areas have some of
the problems that confront big cities. Sub-genre readers will find
this is a fine choice as Marilyn Meredith furbishes a solid investigative
-- Harriet Klausner
"After the death of her husband, Jessica McGuire took a job
as a police deputy in the small town of Lawrenceville, California,
in order to support herself and her son Jonathan. Her job is mostly
mundane, dealing with burglaries, drunks, and escaped farm animals.
However, in early March, things begin to change. She finds an old
grave of an infant dug up and the skeleton removed. A goat and a
cow are killed and their blood is taken. The cross from the local
church is stolen.
Jessica teams up with Pastor David Tanner to investigate these
strange occurrences. He is convinced that Satan worshipping is taking
place in their town. Jessica isn't sure, but she's willing to have
an open mind and keep investigating. Jonathan has started acting
strangely, shutting himself off from her and listening to heavy
metal music. Is he somehow involved? When she comes across some
hooded people conducting a ceremony in the woods, she knows she
needs to get to the bottom of things before the mischief escalates
into something worse. Or is it already too late?
THE CHOICE is a frightening look at the worship of Satan and its
dire consequences. Ms. Meredith obviously did a great deal of research
into the subject and presents it in a straightforward manner. Readers
get an inside look into Satan's lies and how God's truth can help
overcome them. Jessica is a fascinating character, and readers will
be endeared to her right away. Her struggles with supporting her
son as a single mom, and trying to balance her work with her family
life are incredibly realistic.
The ending scenes left me breathless and turning pages quickly
to see the outcome. I was intrigued by the choices the characters
had to make and the consequences that came from those decisions.
This is the second book I have read by Marilyn Meredith and will
definitely read more in the future. She explores things that some
authors shy away from because they are too controversial. Christians
and non-Christians equally will have a great deal to learn and ponder
from THE CHOICE. I recommend it for anyone wanting to experience
a hard-hitting good versus evil story. "
-- In the Library Reviews www.inthelibraryreview.com,
Reviewer: Melissa Parcel