Faith Words (Hachette), May 25 2010, $13.99
As a teenager Laila was wild and in spite of a wealthy loving family, she goes down a dark road that leads to gang rape. Despondent she leaves her small Texas hometown for Chicago where she becomes a high priced escort. One night her client gets too violent and Laila shoots him. She thinks she killed him. For the next six months, Laila is on the run, but hears voices and sees visions.
She no longer can delineate between what reality and fantasy are. The brother of the John she shot goes after her and forces her to do his bidding which includes paying off a debt he owes to despicable men. Laila realizes the man she shot is alive. She flees to New Orleans, but they follow her with demonic determination to use her in their plan. Also in the Big Easy is her brother hoping to find her and praying if he does he can bring her back to God’s graces as something evil pursues her.
Laila is an interesting flawed individual who has lost her way because she believes she cannot be saved as redemption is out of reach. However, there is some hope still inside her especially when she encounters a being not of this earth. However, she is not the key to this strong inspirational drama; her enemies her fully developed atypical antagonists whose malevolence makes the beleaguered heroine see like a choir girl. Travis Thrasher provides a character driven morality tale as hope is a key element of faith.