Indivisible: A Novel (Redford Series)

by Kristen Heitzmann

Paperback, 2010



Call number



WaterBrook (2010), 336 pages

Original publication date



Battling his own personal demons, Police Chief Jonah Westfall has experienced the dark side of life and is committed to eradicating it. When a pair of raccoons are found mutilated in Redford, Colorado, Jonah investigates the gruesome act, seeking to unmask the perpetrator before the crime escalates and destroys the tranquility of his small mountain town. Jonah fights for answers, and his fragile sobriety, amid a rising drug threat and never-ending conflict with Tia Manning, a formidable childhood friend with whom he has more than a passing history. But he can't penetrate every wound or secret, especially one fueled by a love and guilt teetering on madness.


Original language


Physical description

336 p.; 8.2 inches


140007309X / 9781400073092

User reviews

LibraryThing member atheist_goat
What a profoundly odd book.

The mystery is disturbing and engrossing, and the suspense well developed. I figured out the culprit and the reason early, but it was no less creepy for that. The hero is very appealing and his recovery from alcoholism handled extremely well. His sponsor turning out to
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be a Native American who makes mystic pronouncements is a heavy cliché, but bearable.

However, first I noticed that there is no cursing in this book. Which is fine - I don't require a certain amount of profanity per page - but how realistic is a police department in which no one ever swears?

And then, halfway through, the heroine picks up the helpline for which she volunteers, and suddenly the whole book is all God, all the time. Now, I've read and love Julia Spencer-Fleming; I've no problem with religious protagonists. But in Heitzmann's fictional Colorado town, there not only are apparently no atheists (except for the two baddies, go figure); there is no one who is not a very specific brand of born-again-style Christian. The intensity of the religion for every character (no one ever says, "Oh my God" without it literally being a prayer) makes them, as characters, start to fall kind of flat, because God has the same importance in all their lives and they are all coming at God from exactly the same angle. (The author's angle, I dare say. She begins her acknowledgments by thanking "Christ Jesus [her] savior". Also, her author bio notes she home-schooled all her kids, which I do not find unrelated to her assertion that her heroine's brilliance is proved by getting degrees on-line.)

The direction this book took, and the author's priorities, struck me as being a shame. Heitzmann has talent, and the scene-setting at the beginning is really strong. But the emphasis on religion takes over, at the expense of the story and the characters. Spencer-Fleming and Faye Kellerman write about characters who are extremely religious but live in the real world, and interact with people whose religious views or lack thereof are completely different. Heitzmann has created a town where everyone thinks that when there's a crisis, you pray in a specific way to a specific God, even if you are a mystical Native American, and prayer solves everything. It gets to the point where two people who have never even dated get married, because their feelings for each other are too intense and they need "Christ in the middle". (Also because I'm pretty sure Heitzmann couldn't condone premarital sex.) And by that point I realized Heitzmann had created her ideal world at the cost of making her characters completely uninteresting to anyone who wants more motivation from literary characters than a passion for Jesus. You have to give me more than that, not because I am an atheist but because I am a discerning reader.

The comparisons with Spencer-Fleming are perhaps unfair, but inevitable. The scene where people are gathering to pray for someone lost in the mountains made me say, out loud, "Y'know, in Millers Kill they would have actually gone out and looked for her. Just saying."

(Reading the other reviews, I see that this author is known for her "conservative Christian fiction", which I did not know when I got this book from Early Reviewers. Hence my surprise and dismay when the book took the turn it did. But "atheist" is right there in my username, so what can you expect.)
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LibraryThing member katiecrews
I really liked this book. Despite an excellent ending I still felt deflated when I reached the last page and wished she had written more. One of Kristen Heitzmann's strengths as an author is her ability to write really interesting characters and give you snippits of their backstory without giving
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their whole history away within the first few chapters. Her characters in Indivisible had a mystery to them that kept me reading and everytime they had a moment of reflection a little more of their story was told. I thought she crafted the secondary characters really well, better than a lot of authors I read, and it was not difficult to feel like you were part of the story. This book dealt with some pretty big issues - addictions, child abuse, family separation, mental health (among others) - yet at no point did it seem forced or fake. The plot was nicely paced and as other reviewers have mentioned although you knew what was going to happen it didn't distract from the chilling scene as you read it. I would reccomend this book if you like suspense/romance/contemporary Christian fiction.
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LibraryThing member meland2lilones
This was the first time I have ever read anything written by Kristen Heitzmann. I really enjoyed this book. It was a fairly fast read that kept me wanting to keep reading to find out what happens next. This novel has the perfect blend of mystery and romance. I will definitely be looking for more
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book by this author.
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LibraryThing member sycamore52
Overall, I thought the book was worth reading, but I was disappointed by several aspects of it. It was obvious early on who the "bad guy" was. The only suspense after that was how long it would take to catch them. I also felt the relationship between the two main characters could have been
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developed a lot more. The flashbacks to their past helped explain, but the outcome didn't make sense without having more of a current relationship. The relationship between Piper and Miles also seemed to move quickly without much real explanation as to why. The animal abuse aspect was very creepy. I also was not big on the religious tone, but that is a personal preference and I'm sure others would appreciate it.
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LibraryThing member Altarasabine
Decent characters who are each struggling in one way or another with their past. Though the story line is not incredibly unique and not very hard to figure quite a bit of it out before any clues or answers are given to you, it is entertaining. At moments when detailing a crime it can be a bit
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squeamish, though important to the story line. There is a tad bit much going on. As much as I enjoyed the characters and what was going on with them it took away from the mystery/thriller part of the story. Making that part of the story more like background info instead of in the fore front. When you do get to the "who did it and why" the answer is revealed it is quick and over with. No lengthy or in depth explanation. It is well understood why things have taken place it just seems to lack that bit of extra impact. Heitzmann interweaves the Christian themes into the story in a more realistic tone downed way. Due to this reason this book would make a great gift for anyone you are trying to bring to Christ. Just for any one who may be concerned there are a few instances of swearing in this novel.
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LibraryThing member Readanon
Good read! Interesting characters whose backgrounds are slowly teased out through the course of the book. Intricate plotting - though I found it hard to believe that it took so long for anyone to see how "off" Liz was. I suspected very early on that Lucy wasn't real.
LibraryThing member ReviewsbyMolly
Three words: Oh. My. Goodness. Where have I been hiding to not have read Kristin Heitzmann's work before? I have heard nothing but highest praises for Kristin's work and was anxious to read one of her books, so when the opportunity arose to review this book, I jumped on the chance! I was NOT
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Kristin's words drew my mind in immediately. I felt a strong connection with all of the characters. The skill in which Heitzmann writes with is astonishing. The plot, characters, and events transformed into life before me. Amongst the thrilling suspense and romance that Heitzmann uses there is clean Christian values woven in, making this a breathtaking thriller!

I'm not going to say that this was a "light"'s infact the opposite, with emotional twists and edge-of-your seat thrills...but it is an easy read. One that I read in one night. Is this a book that I would recommend with 5 stars? Absolutely! Is this an author I would read books by again? Most definitely! So please....give Kristin Heitzmann's Indivisible a try! It's an adventure you don't want to miss!
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LibraryThing member juliebean
Normally, I would not review a book that I have not finished reading. But this is so awful, I refuse to turn another page, on pain of tearing out my own eyes. First, if a writer is a "Christian" writer and intends on having a lot of religious content in a book, I think that this fact should be
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clear in the publisher's description, or on the dust jacket, or in the press releases about the book, etc. Springing it on a reader in the midst of a novel is a bad idea. (I might read a book with religious content; I'm not against the idea. But I should know that it is a major factor in the story at the outset.) I never even got that far; apparently, she doesn't turn to religion until halfway through the book. I gave up a lot sooner.

Heitzmann is a lousy writer; she can't write suspense. Instead, she just withholds huge chunks of information, in an annoying, I-know-something-you-don't-know manner. This isn't good writing. This is a novice who needs an editor to tell her that this is not how you write suspense. Shame on someone for publishing this drivel. There's a difference between slowly revealing bits of information in a suspenseful way, and simply writing nearly incomprehensible drivel to give the hint that there is more to the story, but the author isn't going to let the reader know what is going on until many pages later. This is really annoying and childish. Instead of making me eager to read more, it just makes me mad.

But that's not the worst of it. Her characters are all pulled straight out of junior high. These are people with the emotional maturity of preteens. One of the main characters asks a lot of prying questions, as though she does not notice - or care - that no one wants to answer them. This same character works in a bakery with a grumpy old guy, and there is this annoying side plot about how she wants to introduce new baked goods, and the old guy won't let her, because he's been baking the same things since the dawn of time. She literally forces townspeople to try the new baked goods. (Again, she acts like she's twelve. Or maybe even four.) This comes up many times in the first 50 pages. Really? I'm reading a book about some bratty girl who wants to make different croissants? I don't care about this girl or her croissants. The author doesn't make me care, either.

Then there's apparently some history between the cop who has a problem with alcohol and the candlemaking lady, who is bratty girl's landlady. Bratty girl keeps asking candle lady about the cop, and she won't give her an answer. So she nags and nags and makes hints about how cute the cop is, and candle lady won't tell her what's going on. I want to force candle lady to tell her something - anything! - just so bratty girl will shut up already.

I do not care what happens to these characters. I do not care if there is a plot, and if there is, what happens as it unfolds. I do not ever want to read another word in this book, or in any other book written by this author. This is just bad writing. I am embarrassed for this author and for this publisher. I would give this book a negative rating if it were possible.
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LibraryThing member maryintexas39
I was pleasantly surprised by Kristen Heitzmann's "Indivisible." I am always leary of "christian fiction" and find most are too preachy, but "Indivisible" stands alone as a great suspense read. I also loved the thread throughout the book addressing loneliness. I found the characters believable. I
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will be searching out more of Kristen Heitzmann's other books to read.

Thanks again LT for your early reviewers program!
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LibraryThing member meganfredrickson
I did not enjoy this book at all. It was very hard to get into this story, the story did not have a good flow, or a good plot line. And the ending was very abrupt and disappointing. I thought that random thoughts and story lines were just dropped in and then wrapped up later. I would not recomend
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this book
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LibraryThing member seizethebook
This is the type of book that I have a love/hate relationship with. I pick it up, read the first few chapters, and then become increasingly frustrated as I learn facts about the characters lives that occurred several years in the past. These facts do not make much sense until more is revealed as
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the story progresses, then all is clear at the end of the book. I sometimes want to throw the book against the wall, then the next minute, I realize I am reading faster and faster because I want to find out what happens next.

Actually, I believe these are some of the things that make a good novel, especially a suspense novel such as Indivisible. I would rather be pulled into the story than be wondering whether I should continue reading because nothing is happening. Kristen Heitzmann seems to know how to do this really well. There was enough suspense and intrigue in the plot to keep this reader involved. There were some surprises and a satisfying ending. The romance in the story was not overdone, although I think the main characters were a little too selfish, which made the reading tedious in just a few places.

There were several places in the book where I wasn't sure what was being said until I read further or went back a few pages. I guess I was reading too fast, but this doesn't usually happen to me when I read a novel, so I became frustrated at times. I felt that there could have been more clarification in some of these places which would have made the story flow better.

In spite of that, I liked this book. I would probably give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Here is my favorite quote from the book:

"There is a fight going on inside of you, a fight between two hungry wolves. One wolf is fear, envy, sorrow and regret, greed, spite, arrogance, and self-pity. It is guilt, resentment, false pride, superiority, ego, and unfaithfulness. The other wolf is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, and forgiveness. It is integrity, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generousity, truth, compassion, and faithfulness. The fight goes on and on, each one trying for control. Which wolf wins? It is the one you feed."

So true.
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LibraryThing member Carolee888
I enjoyed this book in fact after the last sentence was read I had withdrawal pains. I wanted another book to tell me what happened to the characters next.
My only criticism is that this book seemed slow paced at the beginning so I am afraid some would quit on this book before the reader is hooked.
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Other than it was beautifully written. It was easy to smell and taste the bakery treats and to imagine what the handmade candles looked like.
The characters seemed real. There was the ruggedly handsome Chief of Police struggling with trying to stay sober and guarding the secrets about the former Chief of Police, his father. There was the redhead who denied her love for the chief and made candles while feeling shamed for something she did nine years ago. There is even a character with severe OCD who even reminded one of the characters in this book of the TV show Monk. There is even a coydog. I learned that coyotes could mate with dogs.
The character’s secrets in this story are very slowly revealed and the mystery of who is torturing poor innocent animals draws to a chilling end at the close of the book.
I will recommend this book to everyone who loves mysteries and love stories but warn them that the book takes off at a snails’ pace at the beginning. This is one book that it is well worth to stick it out to the end.
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LibraryThing member justablondemoment
Really enjoyed this book. Was a first for me from this author and left me wanting to read others. Although I agree with other reviews that the villain in the story was easy to figure out, for me it did not hurt the story. The characters were engaging and I felt the story moved like water in a river
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towards a huge waterfall. The ending blew me away even though I knew what was coming. Another reader quoted the "wolf" paragraph and I agree it was my favorite passage in the whole book. There was one other that I really liked......"Anger is an expression of grief. You don't get mad when you don't care. Love and anger are entwined." I try to remind myself of that when I tell my kids no on something they want to do...they in turn get pissed at me and tell me they hate me with tears streaming down there faces. ;)
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LibraryThing member mmmorgan1089
This review is the first in a series of reviews of the 2011 Christy-nominated titles. “Indivisible” is an enticing blend of mystery, psychological thriller and romance. Redford appears to be a quiet town nestled in the mountains of Colorado, offering a picturesque retreat to vacationing
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tourists. But beneath the surface currents between the inhabitants run deep. Police Chief Jonah Westfall struggles to maintain his sobriety. His childhood friend Tia, whom he now loves, has kept him at arm’s length for nine years with great personal sacrifice but out of a misguided sense of loyalty to her sister who was once engaged to Westfall. Page by page Heitzman reveals the deep wounds which have brought them to this impasse while highlighting the suspense of the chief’s race to solve a string of bizarre animal mutilations before the perpetrator escalates to human victims. The new veterinarian in town is an attractive, almost reclusive woman who fantasizes about a future with Westfall as she aids in the investigation. Heitzman not only constructs evocative settings, she also has a gift for creating believable characters and making her readers care about them. “Indivisible” is Heitzman at her best. Readers will not be disappointed.
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LibraryThing member bohemiangirl35
I loved this book! This is my first novel by Kristen Heitzmann, but it definitely won't be my last. Her writing style is so eloquent that the words don't get in the way of the story. Her character development is incredible! Usually hard-headed characters to beat themselves up or refuse to accept
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love or change their ways for the better, get on my nerves because their actions and dialogue is redundant. However, Heitzmann manages to create several neurotic, stubborn characters who can't get out of their own way, but they are real instead of cartoonish.

The book is filed as a mystery/suspense/Christian/romance. Based on that, I would not have expected to like it, but the Christianity is just part of the story, not preaching to the reader. And the romance is like everyday relationships, not some sappy, swooning "Lifetime" drama.

The only part that didn't quite fit was the villain. That character wasn't as developed as the others and it showed. Maybe Heitzmann just doesn't know how to be bad. :)
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LibraryThing member Justjenniferreading
Being an animal lover this one was kind of hard for me to read. The writing was great but the subject matter was something that really makes me emotional. I can't stand to read about hurt animals, and this book had quite a few hurt animals in it. The whole book I wanted to know who did it and I
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wanted to do the same horrible things to them.

I couldn't figure this whodunit out until the very end. I guessed it just a few pages before they discovered it in the book. I was so surprised, it was such a crazy twist! I would have never thought of ending the book the way it was. But it was so awesome that now that I know how it ends there's no way I'd ever want it to change. It really blew me out of the water!

The writing was very well done in this book. I didn't get lost in the dialog, and the dialog actually was "real." I also think the handling of the subject matter was done nicely. This book had a few gruesome parts, but it didn't focus on the gruesome, it focused on the love story that arises from the chaos is great. A real love triangle!

Despite the gruesome parts this book was still very good and I couldn't put it down. I think I laid in the tub for well over an hour because I didn't even want to set it aside while I got out of the tub. It really keeps the suspense going. Just as things start to wind down they get going full speed again. I really makes for a fast and compelling read.
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LibraryThing member reciperhon
I picked this book to read because of all the mixed reviews that I saw on Amazon and on this site. Some of the reviews seemed extreme opposites of each other: one of them was critical about the graphic descriptions of the animal cruelty case, one of them was critical of profanity, and one of them
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was critical of the immorality in the book.
The main thing I was afraid of is the graphic descriptions of animal cruelty. However, the descriptions really didn't bother me. I guess because while I was reading them, I was wondering why someone would do what they did to the animals. I think that the author was intending the reader to question the motives and not to get caught in graphic descriptions. I guess it also didn't bother me as much because I knew it wasn't real. I am extremely sensitive when it comes to animal cruelty issues so I wasn't sure if I would have trouble with these issues or not. However, there were only two instances of graphic animal cruelty.
I really did not consider profanity an issue because during the whole book, I think "Hell" was used once as an obscenity. I do not use obscenities and I don't like them in my books; however, I think one time really isn't something to get worked up about. And it could have been worse language that "hell."
And the last thing that was mentioned in the reviews was the immorality in the book. The immorality that was in the book was written very factual and nongraphic. It was told in a way so that the reader would understand the characters pasts and how Christ is forgiving.
All of this being said, this book kept my interest all the way through. There were so many twists and turns, I couldn't put the book down. This is my first book written by Kristen Heitzmann, and I will definitely be looking for more of her books to read. I am very excited about this book. I wish I knew of someone I could talk to about the book because I don't want to write anything and spoil any of the storylines for prospective readers. I highly recommend this book.
However, one thing I will say is that this is an adult book. I'm not sure that all the topics in this book would be appropriate for some children to read seeing that it does mention some adult topics in it such as rape, drug and alcohol abuse, and infidelity. So it you're a parent who's child is going to read this, it will depend on the age and maturity of the child that will be reading this. It does not condone any of these adult topics but you will want to understand that these topics come up so that the book does not open up a big can of worms for your ethusiastic younger reader.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
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LibraryThing member brandyhei
My only disappointment with this book was that I had read its sequel first without realizing, so many of the story angles were effectively spoiled. Ah well--still a good read.
LibraryThing member FloridaMom1234
I have read several other books by this author, but didn't enjoy this one as much. There were a lot of characters to keep track of and wondered if there may have been too many story lines. The author gives little hints as to what the background of the characters are like and finally gives a little
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more detail towards the end, but it would have been nice to have a little more in the beginning. It seemed a little scattered sometimes as the story bounced around. I prefer to read more conservative Christian fiction where the characters in the book are not involved in or would never think of having premarital sex or drinking wine or alcohol, so I was disappointed to find that the main character was thinking about it and the other characters drank wine several times. The mystery about the animals was rather gross and did give pretty gruesome details. Although the book was slow-moving, it did keep my interest until the very end. I really enjoyed her other series better.
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LibraryThing member RGaryRasmussen
Indivisible is a story of several people living in a Colorado mountain community that is beginning to feel the pressures of development. Piper is a novice baker, and Sarge owns the bakery. Tia is a shopkeeper and Piper's landlord. Miles has a crush on Piper. Jonah is the police chief. Liz is the
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recently arrived veterinarian, and Lucy is her sister. There is a storyline, involving an unknown perpetrator, who is mutilating raccoons and other small animals. And Jonah is trying to find out who is responsible. But the strength of this book, I think, is not the plot, which is OK, but the character development, which is very good. Everyone has a back story, as we learn as the book develops.
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