Reviewed byAllyson M. Hutchison, a professional writing major at Taylor University.




AuthorSamuel Parker


Publication Date2018

Format: Print Book

Length314 Pages


    Haywood wants revenge. Melissa wants justice. Michael wants freedom. Three stories of individuals driven by different goals merge in the town of Coldwater. Michael has a dark power inside him. He has done things he did not intend to do. Back when the darkness first took control of him, he hurt someone close to Haywood.  Equally bad, even before the darkness had its sway over him, Michael had made a decision that drastically altered the life of Melissa. Michael just wants to be free of the prejudice he faces in the one place he calls home, but Haywood, his goonies, and Melissa are not willing to let him escape alive.

     Parker does a great job of building suspense throughout Coldwater by concealing information and switching points of view after he reveals certain facts. Utilizing short chapters, Parker makes this novel one that readers will not want to put down. Though at first the reader is left out of the loop as to why Michael is being hunted, the details of his backstory slowly unwind through expertly placed flashbacks and pointed conversations interspersed throughout the novel.

     Coldwater is an exceptional story that tosses around the idea of how the darkness inside of all of us changes who we are. It also depicts an angelic figure without making him seem perfect. Parker, as a sensitive author, illustrates the trait and value of mercy through the life and actions of some of the key characters in the story. He teaches that nothing good comes from holding grudges, but he does this without preaching at his readers. Take caution in starting this book because it is extraordinarily hard to put down.


Rating (1 to 5)

5 stars

Suggested Audience

Ages 16 and older, a Christian readership, fans of thrillers or suspense

Christian Impact

This book illuminates just how simple it is to fall into the grip of inner darkness. Many of the characters throughout the story question just how far they will let the darkness lead them before deciding to turn away from the sins they are committing. It shows how having grace and mercy can be ways of escape from the darkness taking over.

Other Notes: The suggested audience is ages 16 and up because there are some violent and graphic scenes. Some content may be too jarring for a younger audience. However, it is entirely possible that someone younger than 16 can enjoy this novel and pull the important themes from it.


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About Ceil Carey

The Evangelical Church Library Association, founded in 1970, is a fellowship of Christian churches, schools, and individuals.

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