Monday 26 September 2022

Unlikely Witnesses - Leslea Wahl - All For 1 Episode 3

Unlikely Witnesses
All For 1 Episode 3   
Leslea Wahl
Ministry Thru Mystery
ISBN 9781732903777

I read a different edition of this book about four years ago. Wahl is now rebranding her shorter works with these characters in the ‘All for One' series. I picked up this new edition and reread the story over a few sittings. Sometimes great things come in small packages, that was my first thought upon finishing this novella the first time, and that opinion remains. This story continues sometime after the short story that was part of the anthology Secrets: Visible & Invisible 7 Amazing Stories from Catholic Teen Books. That story combines the main characters from the novels The Perfect Blindside and An Unexpected Role. This story is strong enough to be read on its own. It is a great story to be read as a stand alone, or as an introduction to the characters from the other stories, and now as part of the story arc of the ‘All for One' books, or if you have already read the other novels. I loved not only the story but how it was told. 

The family vacation to a dude ranch in the Colorado Rockies, ends us throwing another mystery at the 4 teens. But first the story is told as FBI Agent Martinez is interviewing 4 teen witnesses. The story begins with these words:

“Sometimes fifteen minutes can make all the difference. Fifteen minutes later and he would’ve been gone for the day. A mere quarter of an hour…and this would’ve been someone else’s problem.”

But sometimes God has a plan even when we do not see it, and occasionally when we are trying to avoid it. Each of the four teens were witness to something, but at the beginning we do not know what. We have from The Perfect Blindside Jake and Sophie. And from An Unexpected Role we have Josie and Ryan. Martinez separates the witness into 4 interrogation rooms. He just wants to get their statements and get away for the weekend to his solitude at his cabin fishing. He begins by interviewing Josie DelRio, then he continues the story with Ryan, next is Sophie Metcalf. At that point it is getting late and he gathers the three he has interviewed with Jake to hear the end of the tale. 

It was really fun reading as each of the teens told part of the events of the last few days that lead to them being witnesses and giving their statements to the FBI. The story has the family fun of a vacation with three generations together. The continuing story of the two couples. The extreme competitiveness of Jake and Ryan, that seem to be able to turn anything into a competition. And the mystery, first a missing calf, and other missing items from farms and ranches around the one they are staying at. Seeing a guy who seems out of place in the woods. And spotting a campsite with 4 guys who appear to be up to something. An encounter with a pawn broker that does not seem completely forthcoming. And four young adults who are just trying to do the right thing.

The description of this book is:

“When four friends vacation together in the Colorado Rockies, they expect a week of hiking, biking, and rafting - not being interrogated by the FBI.

Unlikely Witnesses combines the characters of Leslea Wahl's award-winning YA mysteries, The Perfect Blindside and An Unexpected Role, in an all-new adventure.

Jake is a silver-medal-winning snowboarder. His famous face makes it hard to go anywhere unnoticed. Sophie, his devoted girlfriend, is an aspiring journalist whose camera is never far from her side.

Sophie's cousin Ryan, a high school baseball star, enjoys an ongoing prank war with his cousin. His girlfriend Josie adds excitement to all situations with her uncanny flair for the dramatic.

Between Josie's mishaps, Jake's celebrity status, and Sophie and Ryan's friendly feud their peaceful family vacation turns into a comedic adventure. But, when these four teens stumble upon a mystery, things become downright dangerous.

The fun and intrigue of this short story is paired with a reminder that if we live our lives as Christians, we never know when we might be a witness for Christ.”

It was great to reread this story. It was hard to put down and we are left wanting more adventures with the young adults and their families. It is clean Christian fiction. It is great Catholic Literature. It has great characters, and is a wonderful story, and a format for delivering the story. It is another great read from Leslea Wahl’s masterful pen!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2022 Catholic Reading Plan

Books by Leslea Wahl:
The Perfect Blindside
An Unexpected Role
Where You Lead
Unlikely Witness

eXtreme Blindside
Christmas Angel 
The Gift of the Angel Tree 

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