Cold War. Double Agent. Assassins. Secret Identities. What’s not to love?
I had never heard of H.L. Wegley until he contacted me to see if I was interested to read and review his book. In the course of our discussions, I discovered we have a common love of photography and a background in computer programming. More importantly, we have a common love for the Lord.
Intrigued by the synopsis, I decided The Janus Journals is a book I had to read.
The Janus Journals
by H. L. Wegley
Published by Trinity Press International
Publication Date February 3, 2019
Genres: Christian Fiction, Suspense, Clean Romance
Setting: Virginia, Washington Contemporary, Cold War Era - US - 1947 - 1991
Main Character Ages: 18-24
Written for: Adults
Will probing the past, through her father's secret journals, save her future?For recent college graduate, Alisa (Allie) Petrenko, the Cold War never ended, and events set in motion years ago have endangered this innocent young woman. When her father is murdered, he left her with a warning, an assassin on her trail, and his secret history contained in a set of journals. As Allie tries to elude the assassin and read the journals, she learns that the loving father who raised her was not the man he appeared to be, and the man she must now trust with her life is someone Allie must never trust with her heart.At strong safety, Grady Jamison could defend against opponents in the red zone, but he couldn't stop the drunk driver who hit his car and killed his sister. Does Allie Petrenko's call for help mean Grady has been given a second chance, a chance to do things right? Once again, he's defending in the red zone. And he must not let the world-class assassin score, because the goal line marks the end of Allie Petrenko's life.The Janus Journals, set in Virginia and near Lake Chelan in Washington State, is high-action romantic suspense at its best. The dual timeline will take you on an epic journey through the twilight years of the Cold War that reshaped one man's destiny while creating deadly tentacles, reaching into the present, threatening an innocent young woman.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
Discovering her father had been assassinated, Allie also discovered she needed to flee for her life.
I enjoyed how the author used the journals to tell Allie’s dad’s story yet without making me read the journal entries. This allowed me to see what had happened rather than being told. His story was full of history, some of which I vaguely remember, and much of which I had never known. Enough was shared to keep it fascinating but not so much that it felt like a history lesson.
Allie and Grady’s struggles drew them together very quickly as did their cross-country flight (via car, of course). Despite the attraction they shared, Grady’s faith in God and Allie’s lack of it was a wall between them. I appreciated Grady’s struggle and was glad the author gave him such a strong determination not to become romantically involved with an unbeliever. I also appreciated their commitment to purity.
You can’t have a Cold War suspense story without shootings, twists and turns, and numerous surprises. The Janus Journals had plenty. And despite shootings and other violence, the author kept the details at just the right level to hold my interest and yet not gross me out or alarm me overmuch. Every time poor Allie and Grady thought they could relax, they found out just how wrong they were!
I liked the characters, the story, and the writing. Especially the conversations Allie and Grady had about who God is, and how he could have faith in a God who allows bad things to happen. And how Allie challenged him to put his faith into action in his own life.
While there were some things which seemed slightly “unfeasible” and injuries that disappeared right away, these were minor details that I noted (sorry, it’s just the way I’m wired!) and easily passed over.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention another thing I liked. When I saw the reference to Janus in the title, I immediately thought “two-faced”, which is what this Roman deity is known for. I liked Grady’s interpretation of his representation. And you’re right! I’m not going to tell you – you’ll have to read the book to see what I mean.
I am glad to have been introduced to the writing of H.L. Wegley and look forward to reading more of his books in the future.