Tessa Young is a landscape architect who specializes in the design and creation of labyrinths. For years she has immersed herself in the healing aspects of these elaborate structures, searching for God and hoping to make sense of the nightmares that have plagued her nearly all her life. When Smith Chandler, an estranged colleague with whom she'd half fallen in love a dozen times before, calls to propose a project he claims is the opportunity of a lifetime, she reluctantly agrees to check it out. Smith is reconstructing a pre-Revolutionary War abbey for wealthy clients, and among its remarkable features is an overgrown labyrinth. Unable to resist, Tessa accepts his offer. Soon Tessa is immersed in what is truly the project of a lifetime. But one evening, Tessa and Smith are attacked, and while trying to protect her, Smith is stabbed. And the nightmare begins again . . .
Kristen Heitzmann is the award winning author of contemporary romantic suspense, psychological suspense, and historical series. An artist and musician, she'll also be found hiking the Rocky Mountain trails.
I am somewhat of a novice of novels in the suspense category, but I really enjoyed this one! There was a lot of tension and suspense, and the story really held and kept my attention, so much so that I fairly flew threw the pages.
The main character, Tessa, has to overcome a traumatic childhood event--I really liked how Heitzmann drew out the mystery of what happened to Tessa as a child. I felt like I was learning the truth along the way with her. I must say that Tessa was a bit annoying at first, but she got better toward the end of the book. I think the reader is supposed to feel a bit frustrated with her, and it makes the ending all the more gratifying when she is finally able to solve the mystery and come to terms with what happened.
The romantic aspect of the story was also well-done. The progression of the relationship between Tessa and Smith felt genuine and not overly-dramatic or overdone (except for the areas where Tessa made it difficult, but that was just due to the baggage from her past).
I know this is a somewhat short review, but like I said, I haven't read many of these. Honestly didn't think that the book would hold my attention, but it really did, and I will definitely read more of Heitzmann's books in the future.
I find her books utterly amazing! The story-line was riveting and held my attention pretty much the whole way through. My only draw back was the few scenes that I felt were border-line inappropriate in the romance area. If not for that, I would have rated it a five star in a heartbeat!
I wasn’t sure what kind of suspense to expect with Kristen, having never read any books by her before, but I was pleasantly surprised with The Edge of Recall. Filled with tense scenes, puzzling dilemmas, and strange happenings, this book completely pulled me in! The whole mystery surrounding the labyrinths was really interesting and added a different twist to this book.
The people in The Edge of Recall were very fleshed out and believable. Tessa was fun, but also intricately complex as the reader learning more and more about her problems. Every time I thought I knew her, something else from her past would be uncovered and throw me for a loop. I kept cheering for Smith as he tried to break through her walls and show her she could trust him. She was a very confusing person with a trouble past, but Smith didn’t let this shake his decision to show her he wanted to help her. What a sweet guy! This attitude quickly endeared him to me.
Interlacing the mysterious intrigue of the labyrinths into this story added a neat twist. I didn’t know much about them before beginning this book, but was glad to change that. Tessa’s interesting love/hate relationship with these mazes added a neat twist into the plot and as I learning more and more about Tessa’s younger years, I was continually surprised that she still worked on labyrinths.
Kristen crafted together a compelling suspense story that will keep you on your toes as you read. Tessa’s nightmares, coupled with the creepy scenes when “it” is thinking and planning, were written so well that often I was a little creeped out while reading that scene! When I found myself pausing in the middle of “it” sneaking out from underneath the bed to glance around my own empty room, I knew she was a good writer. Being able to write with such power to gain a reaction like that from me, I know her writing is good!
Kristen is a gifted suspense writer and I will be keeping my eyes peeled for her books in the future, for sure! I have another book by her in my TBR pile that I am now eager to dive into. Any reader who enjoys suspense and mystery will find The Edge of Recall to fit the bill for them!
Without a doubt, this book and Kristen Heitzmann are two of my favorite things now. From the first chapter, I was thrown into a whirl asking a thousand silent questions trying to understand and just comprehend what was going on. The more I read, the more I needed to read to find out even more.
The plot is fabulous. The characters are amazing. It is a story that is so real that it bridges on imagination and reality. (Trust me if you read it, that comment makes sense). The Edge of Recall is something that I would say is unlike anything I have ever read, although I would equate it to being along the same psychological amazing lines as the works of Melanie Wells in her series.
This is a long book, but in a good way. You really do not want it to end. As things started toward an ending, I was feeling kinda blah about it, but I am so very much content with the ending that I cannot help but giggle a little. I'd call this a page turner without a doubt. For some it might not be what you read before bed though... and for others it could touch a nerve or bring something to light. Overall, it is a wonderful work of fiction that would definitely be enjoyed by male and female alike.
Very Original Storyline Held Me Captive Until I Finished It!
This was my first book by this author,and I am very pleased to say that I am impressed with her writing skills.
When I first read here that the story involved a job to recreate an ancient labyrinth by a female landscape architect(Tessa Young),I was immediately intrigued, though I must confess my initial ignorance of the difference between a labyrinth and a maze.I was thinking 'maze',but it was very interesting to be taught the difference. I thought the history and religious significance of a labyrinth at a certain monastery was fascinating.I enjoyed reading all the info on labyrinths and mazes,and to use this as a basis for the background story of a Christian thriller was such a great idea.
There was a lot of suspense in this book in not knowing who Tessa could/should trust,plus wondering about her own psychological problems. (After all,because of recurring nightmares,she has been in therapy for years!)
This story is also very creepy/spooky,and there are quite a few twist and turns,that will keep you guessing until the end,and the last quarter or third of the book really blew me away! Very,very unexpected,and different.
I have to say that it certainly had a original theme in my reading experience,because I've never read anything like it,and that made it even more of an exciting read.
Excellent writing,and I will be reading much more of her work. Can't wait to read Freefall and Halos:A Novel by her,then start on some of her historical romances.
If you enjoy Christian Suspense/Thrillers,you will not be disappointed in this book!
The Good: I loved Tessa. She reminded me so much of myself: anxious, quick to jump to conclusions, always running away from conflict. I really identified with her and related to her struggles of depression and anxiety, of hesitation to trust. Aside from her, one of my favorite characters had to have been Bear. He was a good dose of humor, but still had an interesting depth.
The book itself was very well written. The imagery was beautiful and different. The plot was pretty griping, but majorly lagged in different areas. Also it was rather jumbled. There were, like, four stories going on at once. That being said, I could still mesh them all together easily so it wasn't overly confusing. The suspense was there, but only just.
The Bad I hated Smith. Like, really hated.
He was initially pretty interesting and a different sort of hero I thought I would like. But then he became some sort of control freak who wouldn't let Tessa think or make decisions for herself. That was creepy and made the romance aspect of the novel unbearable.
Still, I liked Tessa so much I had to give it four stars.
I think I enjoyed this one...maybe not as much as some of Heitzman's other books (like Freefall) but by the end it worked fairly well for me.
The early section felt very fragmented; the internal monologue skipped around a lot, and sometimes I felt that Tessa's thoughts all sounded like her recycled therapy sessions. Like she wasn't thinking for herself really. That made it hard for me to understand her character apart from the tortured nightmares and confusion.
The labyrinth concept was very cool and the creepy Gollum-esque watcher in the woods worked well. And I liked the 2 guys, tho' I felt our leading man made the "oh, I'm in love with her" switch awfully fast, based on how things had been going. For me, the second part of the puzzle, a shift in the last third of the story, seemed to work the best.
For a puzzle, more than a mystery, and a Christian chick-lit novel, it generally worked. 3 stars might be a little generous at times but then again, maybe not.
The problem I have with Kristen Heitzmann is that her characters seem very shallow in the Lord. In this book there was never a clear salvation message. Just an all of the sudden "I see the light" kind of mystical experience that the main character has. I thought the mystery was very good. I thought the romance between Smith and Tessa had too many ups and downs. I realize that Tessa had a lot of issues but it seemed that Smith had too many of his own as well. Just when they seemed to be progressing something would come up and bring them right back to square one. Too much for me! ha! This wouldn't be bad except that it was a continual thing in the relationship. They would be close and then they would be distant, then close, then distant...overdone in my opinion.
2.4 -- This was a weird story. Most of the time I was hoping that it would soon end. I didn't like the main character. There was a "turning to God" but no mention of Jesus. It irritates me when a Christian fiction book has a general turning to God event in the story but not biblical salvation. The only way a person can turn to God is through Jesus Christ, and that should be made clear.
The cover perfectly captured the tone of this book. From the model’s fretful glance over her shoulder to her windblown hair to the estate and labyrinth on the bottom half… every aspect hints at some aspect of the story beneath the surface.
I’d not heard of a landscape architect before, so this was an interesting career to feature in this book. I felt like I learned something while reading, which is nearly always fun. The labyrinth angle, both physical and psychological, was amazing and exquisitely written. It made me want to find and visit a labyrinth, though without the scary bits of this novel hanging over me. Perhaps a daylight visit would be best for me.
Ever since I first saw Wuthering Heights as a teenager, I’ve adored gothic stories. This is the first contemporary gothic I’ve read, and I must say, the vibes were extraordinary throughout. In portions it was very creepy, while in other spots it felt deliciously mysterious. There were tones of thriller, suspense, mystery, gothic, contemporary, psychological thriller, and romance, which made for quite a tense tale!
It’s so difficult to find decent psychological thrillers, so I was really happy to stumble across this one. That there was a huge mental-health angle was an added bonus. I loved the fight to resolve the root causes of the mental break rather than solely treat the symptoms. This is so crucial to true healing, and I like that it was featured in this book. The psychological trip of this book will keep my mind spinning for days, and I don’t recommend reading this one in the dark.
I hope the next book I read by this author will be just as good as this one.
Content: mentions of mythological gods, one expletive, one profane word, sensuality (a couple of chapters in the middle of the book, particularly), talk of supernatural (ghosts, etc.; these were shown as superstitions, and the leading lady did not believe in them, nor did the events seem supernatural to me, as local gossips suspected), casinos, alcohol
The suspense/mystery started with a bang from page 1 with Tessa surviving an attack and witnessing the stabbing of her friend, and then going back 5 weeks to where it all started. The beginning and ending was fast and suspenseful, but the build up to in between was a bit slow. Some times I found myself devouring each page and other times struggling to get through.
There was two mysteries to solve. 1 was how the book started, Tessa being attacked, and the other 1 about something happening in Tessa's past which she can't remember. The mystery about the thing of the past was the most interesting part for me in this book.
Tessa is also searching for something more, the ultimate love and we follow her search for this.
I enjoyed the book and solving the mysteries, but compared to my favourite suspense writers, Terri Blackstock, Lynette Eason, Dani Pettrey and Irene Hannon, something was lacking to keep me on the edge of my seat.
I LOVED this book! I thought the characters were fabulous ~ the romance was wonderful ~ and she kept the surprises coming as to who you could trust.
I especially liked that the romance was something that built over the course of the book. I think it is one of the more realistic books I've read as far as that goes. They did have chemistry - and it didn't wait until two pages before the end before they kissed or talked about it.
I also loved the originality of the characters. Tessa was a truly haunted heroine - and I have never met a hero who compared his lady love to veggies before.
My rating might be more 3.5... some of the same thoughts as others about enjoying the beginning and end more than the middle. The mysterys kept me interested. Seemed like random bits of information stuck in now and then, as well as recipes/food reviews that really didn’t add to the story in my opinion. Add in the mysterious being. And, I guess there was enough faith conversation to consider it Christian mystery...
I felt generous by giving three stars but I am thinking that it is safe to say that it was more like 2 1/2 stars. I never connected with the main character, or any of the other characters, nobody!. Events upon events and a whole lot of conversation made up the bulk of the book. It is suppose to be a Christian fiction, what?! Oh well, onto other books.
I believe the Christian witness in this story was on the weak side. I got the impression that if you were doing good and living without sin then you were saved. If you lived badly then you were not saved. There was nothing about living by faith in Jesus Christ and trusting in Him. The story was good even though I often was lost in trying to figure out what was going on.
This was the first book of Kristen's I've read. Which is actually really silly, because I own at least three others written by her. They caught my interest in the bookstore, whispered to me that I couldn't possibly walk out without them. They came home and joined my massive library and the giant To Be Read stack that seems to grow all of it's own accord. And despite the fact that they spoke to me in the store, I haven't read them yet. Maybe it's because I have so many TBR now, that the whispers get jumbled and I have a hard time choosing the next book to read. That's a real trial sometimes, choosing what to read next.
Anyway, back to the real topic at hand, I read my first Heitzmann, and I can't believe I've never read her before. This book was really fantastic. I love her voice and style. Tessa and her labyrinths had me hooked so thoroughly, that when I did finally put the book down, I dreamed of labyrinths and chases and mystery. Which didn't really do well for a good night's sleep, but it certainly had me on pins and needles all day at work, anxious to come home and find out what happened next.
Kristen wove a fantastic suspense, with twists and turns that caught me by surprise more than once. But it was her use of labyrinths and the parable she formed that stuck with me the most. Every time I thought I knew just what the labyrinth stood for, a new layer of meaning was revealed, kind of like an Oprah "Aha" moment. Which of course is very fitting for a labyrinth.
I hate to say more, because I don't want to give anything away. The discovery is the best part of the journey.
I don't know why I took this book, other than I've been reading so much on the train, that I grab a stack from the library shelf & don't filter carefully. It says right on the back cover that the protagonist is searching for God, which holds less than no interest for me - particularly since I'm not Christian & don't understand that culture. That said, it's also about labyrinths, which are cool, even though I didn't previously know they are a Christian artifact. And there's a mystery & bad guys & crazy people, so it turned out to be not so bad. And oddly, there's a character who will remind you of someone in Big Bang Theory, which I found very funny. So I just skimmed over the religious parts. All told, it's a decent yarn.
I was disappointed in this book. I've really enjoyed a few of Kristen Heitzmann's novels, but I didn't feel this one 'cut it' for me. Tessa, the heroine, who is plagued by nightmares, does not appeal to me as a main character, with all her fears, hyper-sensitivities and disappointments. She lacks definition. Smith, the male lead character, is too prone to vacillating for my liking. No wonder Tessa has difficulty in trusting him!
The plot unwinds- with various confusing events and characters. There is not one even close to 'normal' character unless one settles for Smith. While the ending is satisfactory, I feel the characters' inadequacies blunt the climax.
I have enjoyed a number of Heitzmann's books. They are always clean, hard to put down, and portray good, Christian values. This one had a definite gothic feel about it that I quite enjoyed. A great way to relax. My only criticism would be that Heitzmann, along with many Cristian authors, can get a little preachy upon occasion with the result that a character may feel unnatural or overdone sometimes. That said, her books have never made me feel like I've taken taken a walk through the mire of immorality and that's worth something!
Once again, Kristen has put together two characters who really have no chance at a relationship and somehow, they wind up in love and on their way to a lifetime together. They have to be Klingons to have survived that mating ritual. She also kept us in suspense about the other dangers to their life and limb in a way sure to keep you reading. A step above many other similar books, it's hard to put down.
I was of two minds with this book. I liked the plot and really wanted to know what was going to happen. However, the two main characters were so annoying! I hate you! I love you! I hate you! I'm confused! I love you! I hate you! No kidding, it went back and forth like this at least 20 times. I've had a huge run of "broken" characters in the books I've been reading lately and this was just too much. Clean.
I love all of Kristen Heitzmann's contemporary novels. She is a Christian writer so her books are clean and the stories are always compelling. The Edge of Recall was no exception, it caught me on the first page and held me to the end. Just enough suspense and romance combined. I recommend anything she writes.
I loved this book! The plot of the story really through me, because I thought it would happen one way and it certainly didn't happen that way. This book taught me a lot and I'm so glad I read it. Definitely a fantastic book to read!
A wonderfully crafted story in the Christian-fiction genre. My only suggestion is that you not pick it up until you have time to dedicate to it so as not to rush through the important truths it brings to light.