Christian fiction, Contemporary fiction

Book and Cover Review of "Nothing to Hide" by J. Mark Bertrand

Book Review

In book three of his Roland March Mystery series, author J. Mark Bertrand continues to develop a believable character that struggles to find answers – not just as a detective solving crimes – but as a human being seeking answers to wrongs he has seen in his own lifetime. As he has done with the first two books of this series, Bertrand manages to seek this answers in a manner that does not come across as ‘preachy’ – as is the danger in writing soul-searching Christian fiction. Roland March is a likable character, full of flaws, but ultimately struggling to make sense out of his job and his life.  He’s a bit past his prime, but still always manages to come out on top … sometimes barely.
Another interesting fact about this mystery is that even the author admits that it’s inspiration was a true story about a man who was pulled over claiming to be a CIA agent, but the additional storyline regarding the selling of illegal arms to Mexican drug cartels was written prior to factual news about operation ‘Fast and Furious’. Any similarities are a coincidence … but as a reader I also felt that it was testament that the writer did his homework. The story was fiction, but the scenario was something that could be all too true.
I believe this book, and the earlier two in this series, will appeal to both men and women who enjoy murder mysteries, cop shows and similar. It would also not be offensive to non-Christian readers.
Cover Review
As with the two earlier books in this series, the cover is well-suited to the personality of its main character. Its look is gritty, raw and to-the-point (much like detective Roland March). I will say that the black and white photo at the top may be my favorite yet. It pulls you in. You are left wondering if the person behind the hand is desiring to get in or out from his side of the fence? From even before page one there is a mystery afoot!
This cover will appeal to mystery readers, both male and female. It also doesn’t scream that this is a Christian novel, therefore I believe it will appeal to the readers its writing was meant for. Another great job performed by cover designer Faceout Studio.
* This book was received for review from the publisher. Further information about the author and the book has been furnished below by the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance.

This week, theChristian Fiction Blog Allianceis introducingNothing to HideBethany House Publishers (July 1, 2012)byJ. Mark Bertrand


J. Mark Bertrand lived in Houston, where the series is set, for fifteen years,
earning an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Houston. But after
one hurricane too many he left for South Dakota. Mark has been arrested
for a crime he didn’t commit, was the foreman of one hung jury and served
on another that acquitted Vinnie Jones of assault. In 1972, he won an
honorable mention in a child modeling contest, but pursued writing instead.


A grisly homicide. An international threat.
The stakes have never been higher for
Detective Roland March.

The victim’s head is missing, but what intrigues Detective Roland March
is the hand. The pointing finger must be a clue–but to what? According
to the FBI, the dead man was an undercover asset tracking the flow of
illegal arms to the Mexican cartels. To protect the operation, they want
March to play along with the cover story. With a little digging, though, he
discovers the Feds are lying. And they’re not the only ones.

In an upside-down world of paranoia and conspiracy, March finds himself
dogged by injury and haunted by a tragic failure. Forced to take justice into
his own hands, his twisting investigation leads him into the very heart of
darkness, leaving March with nothing to lose–and nothing to hide.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Nothing to Hide, go HERE.

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