Severed Trust

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Title: Severed Trust
Series: The Men Of The Texas Rangers
Author: Margaret Daley
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Published: October 15, 2013
Pages: 320

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Sadie Thompson, a high school teacher, is thrust into the issue of drug abuse after a beloved student dies under suspicious circumstances and everyone feels the sting of his loss. She becomes more aware of the ever growing problem of prescription drug abuse by teenagers and is determined to help eradicate the problem to help current and future students be safe in school. Because of her determination to stifle the problem, she’s put in the crosshairs of some nasty pranks and she might need help if those threats ever come true.

For Texas Ranger Ethan Stone this wasn’t the case he wanted after just moving back. However, the case becomes personal when Ethan’s niece, Lexie, is drugged in an attempt to silence her of what she knows. After this Sadie joins up with Ethan and they discover that the drug ring goes way deeper than just Sadie’s high school. They also must work together to help Lexie piece her life back together from the betrayal and hurt that has been piled on her.

Progress is made until Lexie’s best friend commits suicide, or so it looks to the authorities. When Lexie confides in Sadie about her doubts about her friend’s death, Sadie tells Ethan and they work together to stop abuse and a murder before they have another crime scene on their hands. Their closeness brings them together and their digging puts them in danger but they’re not going to stop until they stop the drug ring completely.

Will Ethan and Sadie be able to find out who’s responsible for all the deaths or will they lose another person before they figure it out? Will Ethan and Sadie be able to have a relationship or will circumstances and a brother keep them apart? Can Lexie help find her friend’s killer and help stop another from dying or will she keep information to herself? Can Ethan and Sadie stop the drug ring or will it still go strong?
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I believe this is the first book I’ve ever read by Margaret Daley and I must say that she did a very good job at making a very believable storyline and mystery. Her choice of topic is an interesting one and one I don’t think many know even exists let alone is a big problem in our culture. She did an amazing job at capturing the severity of the topic and forming a believable suspense from it. It really asks the question how far would you go to keep your secret?

Like most suspenses written by women, this boom has some romance to it. Also like most suspenses, the romance takes second stage to the actual mystery and that’s how I like it. Actually I got two small romances out of this novel, but the main focus was on Sadie and Ethan, their investigation and romance. I thought that their love was sweet and made sense and I loved it.

The suspense isn’t very intense which means that the majority of the book is spent with threats and secrets and not much action which can make the book drag on a bit at points. However, the action points are nicely handled and the end if the suspense was a perfect end to the mystery. The author also chose to make the murderer almost impossible to figure out as they are only really mentioned once or twice throughout the book. I was actually a bit surprised at the author’s choice for the killer and their motive. The killer was handled excellently.

I think the topic of this novel is one we should all pay more attention to, our prescriptions and potential abuse. People think that their child would never take their pills but peer pressure is very strong and you never know what your children might decide to do with the right coaxing. That’s why anyone that has a child that lives at home needs to be aware of their medications, even ones that seem harmless or ones that don’t seem desirable. Keep track of how many you actually have and if you have medication that you don’t use anymore, properly dispose of it instead of letting it sit in your medicine cabinet ready for the taking. If every one of us does this maybe we can at least deter substance abuse, at least in our own homes. This book carries a heavy cautionary tale that we should all take seriously.

The author is a new one for one but this book, even though it wasn’t the best I’ve ever read, definitely made me want to read the other three in the series and see what other serious and fatal topics that this author broaches. The fact that she chose a topic that isn’t widely known or light made me a fan an gives her major points in my book. If all of her books are like this you can expect to see more reviews for books of hers popping up on this website.

Overall, even though this book wasn’t perfect, the topic made this book memorable and because of that I gave it more points than I normally would’ve given it. This book is perfect for fans of Margaret Daley and suspense or people who want fiction novel that will show them the dangers of prescription medication abuse. This book is definitely best left to the adults but teenagers could read this to show them what could happen if they start taking medication that isn’t theirs. I give this book a four out of five.

*I reviewed a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.*

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