I’ve slowly been making my way through Dee Henderson’s O’Malley series, and thoroughly enjoying myself along the way. She has written some intense books without relying on cheap sensationalism. The fifth book of the series, The Healer, is probably the most intense book so far. I could not put it down. I laughed a little. I cried a lot. It’s a pretty good book.
This fifth installment of the O’Malley series features Rachel O’Malley, a prominent trauma psychologist. She travels around the country quite a bit helping at disaster scenes. As the book begins she is in Chicago dealing with the aftermath of a severe flood. It is heartbreaking because she is helping friends and neighbors deal with the tragedy of losing everything when a levy breaks. The only bright spot is the fact that one of her brothers is station nearby, which means that Cole is also nearby.
Just as the flood waters come swirling in a murder scene is discovered. It is a true race against time to find evidence and collect as much as they can from the scene before the house is inundated. The O’Malley family becomes involved when Lisa is assigned to the case. Unfortunately it is a murder that is about to have serious community wide consequences in the form of a school shooting that personally involves the O’Malley sisters.
Rachel is doing her best to cope with her job, deal with her sister dying, and falling in love with Cole, which would be easier if they could have a future. As she reaches her breaking point she has to decide whether she should carry all the burden or whether she can accept the reality of Christ and find peace. True love is just an added perk.
I read this book just a day or two after yet another school shooting so it really had an emotional impact. It was rather horrifying, even though Dee Henderson does a fantastic job of conveying the horror without being extremely gory. She also makes a pretty good case for being able to trust the Lord to help you have peace in the face of adversity.
It is a Christian novel so it doesn’t have foul language or explicit scenes. Faith is a central issue in this book without undermining the story line. I know that sounds weird, but I have read more than a few Christian books that were so heavy handed on the preaching that even the conversations of children were unrealistic. I love that Dee Henderson can convey her message so effectively while also writing a fabulous story.