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Paige

by Jerry B. Jenkins
Series: Margo Mysteries #4
156 pages, Mystery
Reviewed by Ariel_of_Narnia

A fine read with Christian values, a need-for-speed climax, and a mysterious woman.

Plot

Philip and Margo's friend and boss, Earl, is in love: the head-over-heels-"we-shall-be-married-in-the-morning" kind of "in love". That's strange coming from Earl, but after meeting the woman their friend is smitten with, anyone can see why he's in love. Then Paige receives a strange note from a unknown teen, Earl and his five-man detective agency are set on sorting the whole thing out. While Earl's objectivity is non-existent, the others find that there is something lurking in Paige's past that could affect more than they ever imagined.

Morality

All five members of the agency are good friends to each other, concerned for the people around them, and interested in doing the right thing.
Earl's son is autistic, but Earl visits him once a month and stays several hours to watch him play. He also mentions that he thought he'd enjoy the way he wrapped up a case but then realized that it's not easy to watch a man disintegrate.
Philip encourages a boy to 'fess up, which he agrees to do even though it's hard. The people he confesses to forgive him, despite the natural struggle.

Spiritual Content

Philip and Margo are Christians and very clearly so. Earl is not (nor are the other two members of the agency) and he doesn't feel comfortable thanking God when he feels "grateful to someone". The boy from Philip's opening case was a Christian described as a "straight-arrow" guy. Philip has a tendency to witness to Earl and his clients. Included in this is a (rather convicting) reminder to not waste opportunities to share the Gospel.

Violence

Philip's opening case involves a boy run over by a truck. Another person commits suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning. Someone is said to have beaten a toddler to death years earlier. Another child was abused as well. A wife is said to have been hit by her husband; a girl likewise by her boyfriend. Someone else is said to want to commit murder. A gun is fired with intent to kill. Another is pointed at someone, but never fired.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Philip's case involves a boy found with alcohol in his system (we later find that he didn't drink that much, but it still intoxicated him and made him sick). Another boy is said to drink and do drugs. A man starts to light a cigarette.

Sexual Content

Earl describes Paige as "cuddly" but hastens to add that he didn't cuddle her.
Philip kisses his fiancée Margo a couple times. His case at the beginning of the book involves a boy who was found behind an "x-rated bar" or "porn shop".

Crude or Profane Language or Content

None.

Conclusion

The Paige mystery doesn't actually start till about a third of the way into the book, but once it starts, it picks up, aided by a need-for-speed atmosphere. Philip and Margo model not only a Christian relationship, but also what it is to be a Christian surrounded by non-receptive folks. Overall, a fine read.

Fun Score: 4
Values Score: 5
Written for Age: adult

Review Rating:

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