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Haunted Waters

by Jerry B. Jenkins
Series: Red Rock Mysteries #1
202 pages, Mystery
Reviewed by Ariel_of_Narnia

It's an interesting story with some unrealistic events, but good characters and great lessons.

Plot

Note: Co-written with Chris Fabry.

Bryce and Ashley Timberline were prepared for a fun weekend with their stepdad and little brother. What they didn't count on was for people to make a huge fuss over a picture they snapped. When the trouble escalates, they know someone is after them. But what is up with the picture and why it's so important is what could determine what happens next.

Morality

The Timberline family care about each other and it really comes through when things get tight, despite typical family friction. They attempt to help the police in an investigation. They stick to what they know is right.

We have a few brief moments of story from a bad guy's perspective. Ashley feels terrible about not telling her mom about a movie she saw at a friend's house. The friend claims she forgot to tell her mom that Ashley was coming over when there weren't any adults around and asks Ashley to claim that the movie was her idea; Ashley refuses.

Spiritual Content

Bryce, Ashley, and their mom are Christians. Before he died, their real dad was a Christian too. The three pray for the salvation of stepdad Sam and stepsister Leigh. (Sam tells the twins plainly that he and God haven't been on the same terms recently.) They pray for help several times and both they and a doctor attribute an outcome to God. Ashley and her mom talk about how God doesn't remove His love from you when you do wrong, though He corrects you and you must submit to it.

As a note: Even if the title makes it seem as though there's something to do with "haunted waters", there isn't.

Violence

The reason why the Timberlines are who they are is a result of a plane accident: Bryce and Ashley's dad and Sam's wife and younger daughter were killed.

A car is rammed into a lake. A movie involving a man being covered in leeches is watched. Ashley watches part of another movie in which "blood was flying everywhere". Bryce relates a couple previous brushes with death. Two windows are broken. The school bully makes threats. Bryce is slapped. Someone points a gun.

Drug and Alcohol Content

A couple non-central characters smoke. Ashley takes medicine for her seizure disorder.

Sexual Content

Nothing of consequence. Ashley thinks that her sister's boyfriend and one of Bryce's friends are cute. Another schoolboy has a thing for Ashley.

Crude or Profane Language or Content

In a movie, there's a lot of unidentified swearing. Bryce and Ashley tease Leigh by calling her boyfriend "the Creep" though they mean nothing by it.

It's not really "crude", but it's not all that civilized either: Bryce, Ashley, and Sam have a burping contest.

Conclusion

I'm really not sure why the authors call this book "Haunted Waters", but it's quite a ride. It may be a bit confusing for readers at first since Bryce and Ashley alternate perspectives chapter by chapter, but it is a rather interesting read. This story seems a bit too hyped-up, but you may find the following books to be better. But be prepared: there's a cliffhanger at the end.

Fun Score: 5
Values Score: 5
Written for Age: 11-12

Review Rating:

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