Book Review: Rescue Team by Candace Calvert (2013)

Rescue Team (Grace Medical, #2)Rescue Team by Candace Calvert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Search and rescue team captain, Wes Tanner was driven into the darkness as a little boy and left in the woods by his mother. That heart-pounding of a seven-year old motivates the man to keep looking, to keep pushing, to find the people who are lost. The safety of other people is his top priority, and is almost a complete 180 from the views of Kate Callison, the interim ER director for Grace Medical in Austin, TX. Her life is such that Kate is always running, from her emotions, from her father, from anything that will remind her of the mistakes she's made in the past. Wes and Kate meet through tragedy, and she is inevitably drawn to his quiet strength and his certainty that God watches over His creation. Her instincts are to push him away, but what Kate doesn't realize at first is that when she pushes Wes away, she's pushing God away, and He is the One she needs most to quiet her fears and give her a future and a hope.

I vaguely recall reading another of Ms. Calvert's books a few years back, possibly Code Triage, and found it to be excellent. I'm not usually one for medical dramas, despite all those episodes of Diagnosis Murder, but I find Ms. Calvert's writing to be clear-cut and straight-forward, with realistic characters, and genuine fears and problems that they face. Realism is the key to Ms. Calvert's fiction, a key that dragged me deeper into the story in the hopes of a resolution for poor Kate who has been through so much, and for Wes who still struggles with his mother's abandoning him. She makes me want to invest in these characters, care about them, and that isn't always an easy feat to accomplish.

What I liked most is how Christianity was so seamlessly incorporated into Rescue Team. Sometimes a novel gets preachy, even for me, but Ms. Calvert knows the line she needs to walk. This is about desperate and hurting people reaching the conclusion that God is the only One who can help them climb from their pit of despair and loneliness. The romance in this book is mostly terrific (more on that in a minute), but in the end, Wes couldn't save Kate. It had to be God, and I loved how she came to that conclusion not by his urging or pushing, but by God's gentle nudge in her spirit.

All right, as for the romance, I love Wes and really like Kate. However, I'm not one to condone missionary dating, which is sort of what Wes does, and like clockwork he falls in love before he knows where he is, with a woman who doesn't share his faith. At least, not right away. The relationship worked out in the end, but I also wonder at the many instances of missionary dating that don't have such a happy ending. Just something to ponder.

Overall, Rescue Team was an exciting, enjoyable, and remarkably quick read. Ms. Calvert has quite the flair for imagery and her comedic timing with Wes's humor had me laughing out loud regularly. I'm excited to see what she has for us in the future!

- I received this book as a complimentary copy from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.

For the rest of my reviews, see my page HERE.

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