Before I Wake

by Dee Henderson

Paperback, 2006



Call number



Tyndale House Publishers (2006), 416 pages


Fiction. Romance. Suspense. Christian Fiction. The sheriff of Justice, Illinois, is hunting a killer. Women visiting town are being murdered, tourists in nice hotels, money still in their billfolds, jewelry still on the dresser. Quiet killsâ??they go to sleep and never awaken. The sheriff is not pleased to find the new detective in town, Rae Gabriella, working the case on behalf of one of the families. She's staying in the same hotel as one of the victimsâ??and her looks suggest she could be the next v


Original language


Physical description

416 p.; 8.1 inches





User reviews

LibraryThing member multilingualmaid
Before I Wake hurtles the reader into the realm of major criminal activity taking place in a small town. Rae Gabriella is looking for a place to decompress after leaving a harrowing job with the FBI. What she finds however, is a job as a private investigator, a former boyfriend, a overburdened
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sherrif, a strike that threatens to turn violent, and a string of murdered women. Rae's first case as a P.I. is anything but routine.

The writing in Before I Wake didn't seem as fluid as in Henderson's earlier novels. Portions of dialogue came off sounding stiff and stilted. This, added to the typographical errors, was somewhat irritating. The plot is good though, and the characters are likable, if somewhat predictable. The actual suspense is somewhat moderate, focusing mostly on the uncertainty of Rae's future and the tenuous hold on peace in the town of Justice. If you're looking for Henderson's best work, I would reccommend her O'Malley Series (The Negotiator is the first book), but in all, Before I Wake is still an enjoyable read.
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LibraryThing member BinnieBee
I could not wait to be finished with this book! While the basic storyline was suspenseful and pretty good I was put off by the unrealistic relationships between the three main characters. Also, bugged to DEATH by all the grammatical and typo-graphical errors! This book is definitely suitable for
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young adults whose parents would like to push Christian values (everyone is always reading or quoting the Bible, praying or "planning" to go to church, although nobody ever seems to actually make it to church). I will not be reading another book by this author.
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LibraryThing member DCon
This author writes very interesting books. This is a suspense book that keeps you guessing. It will keep you up at night wanting to read more. A "must read" for suspense/thriller lovers!
LibraryThing member miyurose
This is my second foray into Christian (or “inspirational”) fiction in the last couple of months, which is unusual for me. In this case, I liked the story, a lot. There’s some lack of resolution at the end, so I expect this will turn into a series. I liked all three main characters, and I
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thought the mystery was interesting and complex enough to keep you guessing. But, I found the preaching to be a little heavy in this. It’s certainly not offensive to me, but I found myself tuning out during a few protracted conversations about God and religion. And after I while I missed the character conflict that usually comes along with a suspense story... Everyone was just so nice to each other. So, while I liked the story, I think I’ll be steering clear of this genre for a while.
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LibraryThing member lifespringworc
Sheriff Nathan Justice must track down a killer who is brutally murdering the women of Justice, Illinois, and joins forces with former FBI agent Rae Gabriella while trying to protect the town and restore its faith.
LibraryThing member MarieFriesen
FBI agent, Rae Gabriella, needs a career change. Her last undercover investigation ended disastrously, shaking her confidence in herself and in God. Moving to small-town Illinois, Rae joins her ex-boyfriend, Bruce, in his business as a private investigator, hoping the slower pace of life will
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provide the shelter and healing she needs. However, a major strike at the town's tile plant and the murder of an out-of-town reporter give Rae, Bruce and Sheriff Nathan Justice a more dangerous and perplexing challenge than any of them expect.

This is a great plot. It started a little slow, but I was hooked by chapter two, and shortly thereafter the suspense kept the book glued to my hands. I couldn't wait to know what clues (or bodies) would turn up next. Dee Henderson also opened my eyes to the politics of labour negotiations, the cutthroat business of illicit drugs, and the thankless job of fighting crime. I was a fascinated student from beginning to end.

They say conflict keeps a story moving, but it was Rae, Bruce and Nathan's gentle friendships, with relaxed dialogue and realistically-paced personal growth, that drew me in. Dee fashioned the characters as normal people with challenging relationships, troubled pasts, and tough questions about God, making the story reminiscent of real life without feeling mundane.

Some of the book's spiritual questions are left open, allowing readers to pursue their own answers about God's sovereignty in the midst of tragic circumstances. Some questions are too complex to ask and answer in a single book, and I'm grateful when Christian fiction acknowledges this.

The only point on which I'm left wanting is the romantic tension between Rae and the two men. Attraction is clearly alluded to throughout the novel, but the characters seem slightly too passive and the story-telling feels too ambiguous on this dimension. I also wonder why Nathan's parents aren't more involved in the conflict between him and his grandfather, but that's a minor point. Overall, I felt inspired by the characters' relationships.

Note: This review is not part of a blog review program.
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LibraryThing member emmyson
Kind of disappointed with this one. No resolution at all, and the love triangle bit killed me. You can't tell me she's going to just string both guys along forever. Kind of blah.
LibraryThing member olegalCA
And again with the horrible writing! I blinked in surprise to get to the end and have nothing resolved and then decided that I didn't care too much. It's such a shame when a pretty good author goes bad but my pocketbook will be happy not to shell out money for this series!

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