Never by J. Grace Pennington

Travis Hamilton never expected to become a killer. One day he was studying to become a schoolteacher in the little western town of Spencervale, and the next he was sentenced to ten years hard labor in the Dead Mines outside town — from which few return alive.

Ross Hamilton is no detective. But when his brother is convicted of murder, he has no choice but to abandon his ranch and do all in his power to find out just what happened the night of the killing, and who is really responsible.

Neither brother is prepared to be stretched and tested to his limits and beyond by an adventure that is much bigger than either of them ever imagined.

But in the next few days, they will be. The only way to survive is to never compromise.



When I first started reading Never, I was half-expecting a typical western mystery from a Christian perspective. J. Grace Pennington’s book was a pleasant surprise, however. I found nothing typical or cliché about it, and it was intriguing, suspenseful, and entirely unpredictable, which was very refreshing after all the flat predictable mystery stories I had read.

The characters were very vivid, each with their own peculiar quirks and speech that made me want to know more about their background and lifestyle. They were well rounded, realistically complicated, and almost too easy to get attached to and to sympathize with. (Which is quite an accomplishment from a writer’s perspective.)

The Christian aspect was beautifully worked in as a necessary part of the whole book, and Grace pulled it off well without either sounding preachy or trying to minimize it.

All in all, it was a very satisfying book, a work of art with a sobering message that helped me to reevaluate the way I think and the values my own stories are unconsciously portraying. I heartily recommend that everyone read this book. Well done, Grace!

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