Burden of Proof
by Davis Bunn
Published by Revell
Publication Date November 3, 2020
Genres: Mystery, Clean Romance
Setting: Florida Contemporary
Main Character Ages: 18-24, 35-60
Written for: Adults
The one thing he needs is a second chance. But it's the one thing he can never get--or so he thinks.
A few months before his twenty-first birthday, Ethan missed the chance to save his brother's life. Adrian was murdered on the steps of the courthouse in Jacksonville, Florida. Ever since that fateful day, Ethan has sensed a deep disconnect between the man he should have been and the one he has become. His days play out a beat too slow, his mind rehashing the scene of his failure again and again.
When Adrian's widow appears, asking for his help in uncovering what was really behind his brother's death, Ethan is stunned. The legal case they were pursuing was more far-reaching than he could have imagined--it could even threaten the global power structure.
Ethan joins the search for answers at the ultimate cost. As he enters into his own past, will he discover a means to redeem the future?
I would like to thank Netgalley, Revell for giving me a copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
If we’re honest with ourselves, most of us would love a chance to change a decision from the past. To undo a wrong or even just to work harder or focus less on ourselves. Even while knowing the forgiveness of the Lord, regret can often be overwhelming and the choices made still have consequences.
Ethan had been selfish and immature and as a result, he had much to regret in his life. At fifty-five, faced with imminent death due to cancer, he had a boatload of regrets. Then, quite unexpectedly, he was given the chance at a do-over, though at great personal cost.
I liked the way Bunn imagined what it could have been like for Ethan to go back to his 20-year-old self with his memories from the current day intact. And how the lessons he had finally learned impacted the choices he made this time around. And I was very moved by the deep love he had for Gina and how it manifested itself.
Seen through Ethan’s perspective, the characters truly became flesh and blood. It was easy to see what their motivations were and to relate to them. I appreciated how Ethan’s maturity allowed him to see them differently than he did the first time around and how he responded with patience and kindness.
Adrian, Ethan’s older brother, was a gem! His handling of the court trial was masterful and filled with integrity and grace. The answer to the mystery they were trying to solve surprised me and yet fit.
Ethan had been a surfer for much of his life. I especially appreciated reading about surfing and what it is like to experience being out on the waves and how it is done (not in a technical manual how-to but more about the decision-making aspects). His love for the ocean and respect for its power was fascinating.
I seem to mention this in many of my reviews lately, but it bears stating that though this is listed as “Christian” fiction on the retail sites, there is no indication it is more than a clean story of a man willing to lay down his life for a friend.
If you enjoy a good mystery with a bit of romance, Burden of Proof might be right up your alley.