Listen (Center Point Christian Mystery (Large Print))

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9781602857797: Listen (Center Point Christian Mystery (Large Print))
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Someone is listening . . .

The quaint, close-knit community of Marlo was the ideal place to live -- until someone started posting private conversations online for everyone to read, word-for-word. Now it's neighbor against neighbor, friend against friend, as careless comments and hurtful accusations turn the town upside down. Violence and paranoia escalate, and the police scramble to find the person responsible before more people get hurt -- or even killed. But what responsibility do the residents of Marlo have for the words they say when they think no one is listening?

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From Publishers Weekly:

Clever novelist Gutteridge (the Storm series) has consistently upped the ante of Christian storytelling by offering her readers intelligent and entertaining texts. Her newest work delves into the deepest recesses of the human heart via the spoken word. The small town of Marlo, where nothing newsworthy ever happens, is blindsided when a mysterious Website begins posting the private conversations of its citizens. Intrigue and suspicion mount quickly and everyone is suspect and suspicious. When one of Marlo's police officers dies, newspaperman Damien Underwood commits himself to pursuing the site's creator. Damien's search hits close to home as he attempts to protect his wife Kay and two teens, Jenna and Hunter, from the escalating mistrust, lies, and deceit. Swirling acts of violence and voices of condemnation serve to heighten an already tense and fragile citizenry. Gutteridge's skillful handling of the power of words will have every reader quietly introspective. (Feb.)
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From Booklist:

Belief in the power of words led Damien Underwood to a career in journalism and a job on his hometown newspaper, the Marlo Sentinel, where he uses words to persuade in op-ed pieces. But when an anonymous person records private conversations in people’s homes and posts them on a new Web site, Listentoyourself, words turn even loved ones against each other and threaten to tear the town apart. Suspicion about the originator of the Web site centers first on Underwood’s best friend, police officer Frank Merret, then on Underwood himself, before he finally discovers the source. The meanness of teenage girls, particularly against each other, also leads to violence and near tragedy, but the more relentless message is that “life and death are in the power of the tongue.” Gutteridge is fine at telling a story and portraying characters, including Underwood’s well-drawn teenage daughter and son, but her primary point about the power of words, with its religious undercurrent, would be more persuasive if it were less incessant. --Michele Leber

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