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Intersection of Life and Faith

Gifted Storytelling Continues in Indelible

  • Kelley Mathews Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
  • 2011 5 May
  • COMMENTS
Gifted Storytelling Continues in <i>Indelible</i>

Author: Kristen Heitzmann
Title: Indelible
Publisher: WaterBrook Press

A former champion skier turned high-country outfitter, Trevor MacDaniel is driven by personal demons to save the lost. He and his search-and-rescue partner are called out to the Colorado wilderness in pursuit of a mountain lion that has snatched a young boy. Battling old memories, Trevor risks his life to save the boy.

Natalie Reeve witnesses the aftermath of the rescue, grateful for her nephew’s life. An eidetic savant, she processes emotional images that lodge in her mind by sculpting the faces in clay. Turning her unusual condition into a profession, she displays her nature statues at her gallery, but hides the faces that she produces with her gift, her disability. Seeing beneath the surface, she processes the micro expressions and reveals, in clay, the person she sees with God’s eyes. The statue she creates of Trevor after the rescue resembles a powerful angel of light.

Initially reluctant, Natalie acknowledges her growing bond with Trevor and shares her disability with him. As their relationship develops, another threat emerges. Trevor has a grim admirer who sends several chilling photographs of other children in threatening situations. And now a local child is missing. He and Natalie must unravel the threat posed by someone who identifies himself with the fallen angel of Milton’s Paradise Lost and imagines Trevor his opposite, an archangel from heaven.

A powerful psychological thriller, Indelible grabs you from the first paragraph. Author Kristen Heitzmann captures the reader’s emotions and attention with gripping action scenes combined with unforgettable characters. A gifted storyteller, she creates complex, well-rounded characters set in bizarre, challenging situations. And it’s all completely believable.

Secondary characters add interesting subplots and depth to the story. The complex interaction between Trevor and his friends Whit and Sara hint at a crucial backstory involving all of them. Some of their conversations are so fraught with undercurrents that readers may feel somewhat lost. But they provide validation for Trevor’s past struggles and successes. Natalie’s family must deal with the almost-tragedy her nephew experienced. Fleur Destry, a local painter who lost her sight at fourteen, creates studies in colors she now sees only with her mind’s eye. Her oil paintings are the perfect match for Nattie’s sculptures, and they form a new partnership.

While not a true sequel to her last novel, Indivisible, Indelible is set in the same town of Redford, Colorado. Fans will enjoy seeing Police Chief Jonah Westfall again. Though the town has recovered from last year’s strange events (seen in Indivisible), the police department is strapped for personnel and resources, so Jonah must rely on Trevor and Natalie to help protect his burgeoning town when something dark once again threatens its tranquility.

Natalie’s faith was forged when she came to terms with her unique mental capacity. Despite the difficulty she experiences when images imprint themselves on her brain, she leans on her Creator to make sense of her condition and how it impacts her interaction with the world. Trevor’s past hurts have stifled his spirituality, but the jarring conclusion of the book rattles his old assumptions and opens his eyes to the possibility of God’s grace.

Heitzmann’s works range from historical romance series to suspenseful psychological thrillers. With each work she demonstrates her growing talent and maturity as a writer. Fans will welcome this latest offering.