Editor's note: From escaped convicts to dead bears to Civil War era disguises, four authors with local ties have recently penned mysteries that are clean, too.
Betsy Brannon Green has produced an enthralling novel that's difficult to put down.
"Proceed with Caution" is a novel that is linked to Green’s “Hazardous Duty” in her Duty Series. There are some assumptions made by the writer within the novel of their previous knowledge. This lack of knowledge, although distracting, does not affect the plot of the book and the novel can be enjoyed without any prior knowledge of the series.
"Proceed with Caution" follows the protagonist Brooke Clayton as she faces a moral dilemma. Witnessing something taking place in the woods, Brooke strives to protect her family as she runs away; not counting on her military uncle Maj. Christopher Dane and his team to come searching for her.
The first chapter thoroughly snares readers and raises many questions that need answers. After the first chapter, things slowed down as the next chapters were spent reuniting with old characters from previous books. Although this is a necessity to some degree, it seemed to drag on, at least for a reader who has not read any of the previous books.
The plot progresses quickly and efficiently as the main characters Brooke and Hunter, one of her uncle's men, pose as a married couple at a Civil War re-enactment site. The historical content included throughout the book is enjoyable.
The tension and suspense of the novel is great and means that readers may find they can't put it down; even perhaps reading the whole novel in one night.
The love story behind this novel is heartwarming. Readers will find feelings of tenderness and concern toward Brooke by the end of the novel after enduring trials with her. While Hunter is seemingly very handsome in the mind’s eye, he is very undeveloped as a character. Either way, readers may find it hard to relate with him the way they do with Brooke.
The novel contains no swearing. Pregnancy outside of wedlock is discussed with regret in the novel. Suggestive comments are made closer to the end of the book.
This book is recommended to any readers aged 13 plus. It would be particularly interesting to those readers who enjoy the work of Ally Carter and Pittacus Lore. It is an engaging read that whets the appetite for other books by Green, who is a Salt Lake native who currently resides in a suburb of Birmingham, Ala.
Eleanor Holt, 15, is an avid reader of many genres. She is from, and currently lives in, Manchester, England.