, , ,

Desperate Measures cover

If you’re looking for another book to add to your summer reading then Sandra Orchard’s Desperate Measures should be at the top of your shopping list.

Desperate Measures completes Sandra’s “Port Aster Secrets” trilogy. Fresh from surviving an attempt on her life in Blind Trust, heroine Kate Adams tries to get her life back together, continue the research her mentor started and single-handedly stave off a greedy pharmaceutical conglomerate. Kate becomes a pariah her hometown where the mayor, the unemployed and underemployed only see the benefits from the company’s potential investment. In Kate’s experience, GPC has proven anything but trustworthy, while leaving her with many suspicions and little hard proof.

To this mix, Sandra adds a variety of complications. The most significant: Kate’s on-and-off-again relationship with her protector, police detective Tom Parker. Less significant, but as vital to the plot are: Kate’s anger about a decision Tom made at the end of the previous book; Tom’s guilt about that decision; Kate’s secretive research; a global conspiracy includes the mafia, corporate espionage and an alphabet soup of agencies from both sides of the border (FBI, CIA, RCMP, CSIS). Under Sandra’s deft pen, the pieces come together in a page-turner guaranteed to keep you reading until late into the evening.

Under Sandra’s deft pen, the pieces come together in a page-turner guaranteed to keep you reading until late into the evening.

Sandra has the ability to lead you to the brink of solving the mystery, only to throw in another unexpected twist. When you’ve written a character off as a villain, they end up acting heroic…and vice versa. I’ve been a mystery reader since grade school where I started figuring out the endings to the Encyclopedia Brown mysteries, but Sandra kept me guessing until the end.

The strength of the Port Aster Secrets’ series are the characters. Sandra has created, in Kate and Tom, not the perfect couple, but the right couple. Both are scarred by their past, both look to the future and both show a realistic faith in God. Too often books of this genre resort to a cliche that Sandra has diligently worked to avoid. Sandra also develops a depth in her secondary and supporting characters which prevents them from being simply cardboard cutouts there to support Kate and Tom.

All three of the books in the Port Aster Secrets trilogy – Deadly Devotion, Blind Trust and Deadly Devotion – can be read on their own, but there’s enough carryover from novel to novel that you’ll eventually want to read all three books. No matter which one you start with, there will be enough in it to whet your appetite for the other two.


You can listen to an Arts Connection with Sandra, where she talks about Desperate Measures here: http://selawministries.ca/content/arts-connection-monday-june-8-2015-sandra-orchard-desperate-measures-novel