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Brink of Death (Hidden Faces Series #1) by…

Brink of Death (Hidden Faces Series #1) (edition 2004)

by Brandilyn Collins

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1747100,507 (3.68)None
Title:Brink of Death (Hidden Faces Series #1)
Authors:Brandilyn Collins
Info:Zondervan (2004), Edition: First Edition 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1, Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Christian Fiction, Mystery

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Brink of Death by Brandilyn Collins



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I chose an oldie, but a goodie, for my morning walks when I downloaded the audiobook of Brink of Death, the first book in Brandilyn Collins’ Hidden Faces series. Published back in 2004, this novel kicks off a four book series featuring Annie Kingston, a recently divorced mother of two. Seeking to protect her children from bad influences back in the San Francisco Bay Area, Annie moves them to her late father’s (a controversial and hated defense attorney) home in an exclusive fly-in neighborhood. But bad things can happen in good neighborhoods too, as Annie soon discovers when her neighbor is murdered.

Told in Annie’s first person voice and the 3rd person POV of the bad guy, the reader gets a good look into Annie’s fears and doubts and the maniacal thinking of the psychopathic murderer. Collins promises Seatbelt Suspense, and she delivers with this book. Annie, a courtroom artist, is recruited to come up with a composite of the murderer from the eyewitness account of the victim’s daughter. Annie’s discovery that she has seen the man before sets her on a investigation of her own. The action comes fast and furious as Annie uncovers the motive behind the murder. I loved that Annie explores the field of forensic art — lots of great info and insight shared. Annie is a non-believer going into the story, but her neighbors’ witness in a time of trauma kindles her interest in a God who promises always to be at her side.

Brink of Death is a great choice when you just need a suspense-filled book. It’s a quick read that keeps you turning the pages and staying up past your bed time. 😉 It is also the first book in a series that promises more of the same. And the good news is all the books are out — binge-reading here you come! Brink of Death is currently $2.99 on Kindle, and the other 3 in the series are discounted as well — all 4 for less than $18!


(I purchased the audiobook from Audible. All opinions expressed are mine alone.) ( )
  vintagebeckie | Jul 5, 2018 |
Title: Brink of Death (Hidden Faces Series #1)
Author: Brandilyn Collins
Pages: 422 (large print)
Year: 2004
Publisher: Thorndike Press (large print)
I have read some of Brandilyn Collins’ more recent works and enjoyed them, so I thought I would go back and read some of her earlier books. This book is set in California, and the main character is Annie Kingston.
Annie is a divorced mother of two children. Her son is 15 and has begun to hang out with the wrong crowd and do drugs. In an attempt to help him, she moves to her wealthy father’s home away from the city that he left her in his will upon his death. Upon her father’s death, Annie quit her job as a courtroom artist. One night Annie is awakened by sirens and discovers her neighbor has been murdered. Due to her skills as an artist, the local detectives asks her if she can help by drawing the murderer as seen by the only eye witness, the murder victim’s 11-year-old daughter. Once the picture is finished, the detective places it in the local newspapers without any response.
Annie feels she is to blame for the murder as she has found a file in her father’s home office from a case he was working on at his death. This file seems to be what the murder was after; he just chose the wrong house in order to get it. Annie continues to plead with the detective to let her be involved in the case to assuage her guilty conscience. She has never been a Christian, so she has no avenue other than work to try to work through this guilt. She does meet the police chaplain as well as the murder victim’s church friends and begins to think maybe there is something to this God stuff and prayer.
To me this book didn’t have the suspense throughout the book apparent in later books. The main character’s insistence in being involved in the case and the detective allowing her to be involved didn’t seem very realistic. I did like how she was portrayed as a struggling, single, divorced mom, raising her children alone; I did think that was very realistic. This story just didn’t seem to grab my attention like her other books. I do plan to read the next book in this series and hopefully it will be more to my liking.
Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/Brink-Death-Hidden-Faces-1/dp/0310251036/ref=sr_1_1?s=book...
My rating is 3 stars.
Note: I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book. The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/. Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457 ( )
  lcjohnson1988 | May 1, 2014 |
I enjoyed most of the book, although the final,confrontation between Annie and Tip almost ruined it for me. Annie had a cell phone, but didn't use it to call for help? I was also disappointed by her wishy-washy handling of her son. ( )
  aztwinmom | Jul 14, 2013 |
Decent mystery, but I'm not a fan of the writing style. I have never read any book by Brandilyn Collins so I don't know if this is her normal style. Annie is courtroom artist that tries her hand at forensic artistry when her neighbor is murdered and the daughter, Erin, saw the killer. The writing contained entirely too much psychological anxiety in Annie's thoughts and not enough story for me. I did like the way Erin's family showed love and Christian compassion in the midst of their grief. ( )
  msh09 | Jan 2, 2013 |
Feeling beaten down by life after her husband leaves her for another woman, Annie Kingston moves to Grove Landing where her father was a detested defense attorney. When the mother of her daughter's best friend is killed, Annie's life takes a dramatic turn. The twelve-year-old Erin, who witnessed her mother's death, is too traumatized to give the police a complete description of the killer. Annie is called upon to use her skills developed as a courtroom sketch artist to help Erin create a police sketch. As she works to catch the killer, Annie discovers a new profession as a forensic artist, as well as a renewed and deeper belief in God and the power of prayer. The Hidden Faces series chronicling Annie's work and faith continue through the 2006 Web of Lies.
  npl | Dec 4, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0310251036, Paperback)

The noises, faint, fleeting, whispered into her consciousness like wraiths passing in the night. Twelve-year-old Erin Willit opened her eyes to darkness lit only by the dim green nightlight near her closet door and the faint glow of a street lamp through her front window. She felt her forehead wrinkle, the fingers of one hand curl as she tried to discern what had awakened her. Something was not right . . . Annie Kingston moves to Grove Landing for safety and quiet---and comes face to face with evil. When neighbor Lisa Willet is killed by an intruder in her home, Sheriff's detectives are left with little evidence. Lisa's daughter, Erin, saw the killer, but she's too traumatized to give a description. The detectives grow desperate. Because of her background in art, Annie is asked to question Erin and draw a composite. But Annie knows little about forensic art or the sensitive interview process. A nonbeliever, she finds herself begging God for help. What if her lack of experience leads Erin astray? The detectives could end up searching for a face that doesn't exist. Leaving the real killer free to stalk the neighborhood . . .

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:51 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Annie Kingston moveds to Grove Landing for safety and quiet- and comes face to face with evil. When neighbor Lisa Willit is killed by an intruder in her home, sheriff's detectives are left with little evidence. Lisa's daughter, Erin saw the killer, but she's too traumatized to give a description.… (more)

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