Chasing Eden: What Happens When Paradise Is Found? by S.L. Linnea. (St. Martin’s Press, 2007; 352 pages; $6.99, paper; www.stmartins.com)
In most novels set in a war zone, you would probably expect the hero to be a macho soldier. But in Chasing Eden the protagonist is a female Presbyterian minister serving as a military chaplain in the Iraq war. Which is not so unusual considering that perfectly describes one of the book’s authors, B. K. Sherer.
Sherer and her long-time friend, Sharon Linnea, team up under the pseudonym of S. L. Linnea for the first of a planned three book series based on the character of Jaime Richards. The timeframe of Chasing Eden only covers about a day and a half, so the action develops quickly. It sends Jaime on a harrowing adventure centered around
one question: What would happen if the Garden of Eden were actually found?
Jaime soon learns the importance of that question. Several powerful men are going to extreme lengths to find the Sword of Ur, which holds the directions to Eden. The finder of the sword will have the key to untold power. It is the quest for this sword that underlies all the dangers and thrills of the plot. But just as it seems all the various aspects of the story have come together, one final surprise twist at the end gives the reader a “Wow-I-didn’t-see-that coming” moment.
Linnea and Sherer do a masterful job of keeping the action and surprises coming. The settings are accurate and vivid, and the characters and storylines believable. Chasing Eden is a top-notch thriller on all counts.—Jeff Friend, Largo, Fla