Stranger Things by Erin Healy is a suspense-thriller with just a touch of the supernatural. And though there aren’t any wild car chases, it reads like a great action-adventure movie with new plot twists around every curve, everyone seeking the truth and justice, and no one trusting anyone. Healy says the story was born of her pastor’s question, “If a stranger gave his life for you, how would that change your life?” In this book as stranger does give his life for Serena, the main character, who quickly discovers this stranger has been giving of his life for years to rescue one young woman after another from a vast human trafficking ring. Now Serena has the opportunity, even the obligation, to help at risk to her own life—or maybe to save it.
Aside from the suspense side of the story, I loved the themes Healy worked in. Christopher, the stranger, originally sets out to rescue his sister, yet comes to realize that every victim is his sister and slowly draws the people around him into his mission to rescue them all—one at a time, if necessary. His philosophy becomes: if everyone would just look out for one other person, everyone would be okay.
There is also a theme of calling represented by the Safe House and the Station Fire house, thin places where people get a supernatural sense of purpose for their lives. They just have to learn to pay attention to discover what their experiences mean. Healy doesn’t mention God, but His direction is clear.
Finally, there’s the theme of beauty growing out of destruction represented by the Fire Followers a variety of California Poppy which only grows after a fire has come through. This theme gives us hope for all the victims in the book and for life’s real victims, too.
I was totally drawn into this book and am happy to recommend it. Thank you Thomas Nelson Publishers for sending a complimentary copy for this honest review.