Acceptable Risk (Danger Never Sleeps #2)

Reviewed by:

G. Connor Salter, Professional Writing alumnus from Taylor University, Upland, IN.


Acceptable Risk (Danger Never Sleeps #2)


Lynette Eason


Revell (a division of Baker Publishing Group)

Publication Date:

August 4, 2020




320 pages


Sarah Denning has no idea why she was taken hostage overseas. When she’s rescued by former Army Ranger Gavin Black, she’s not entirely sure how to feel about him. Her anger at learning her father has gotten her discharged from the Army on trumped-up charges quickly turns to shock when she discovers her brother has died under suspicious circumstances. With Gavin’s help, she works to uncover what led up to her brother’s death. Unfortunately, learning this secret may have deadly consequences.

This is the second book in a series, and based on references to past events, the previous book focused on one of Sarah’s friends. All of her female friends seem to work in dangerous jobs, and Sarah’s soon-to-be love interest is a military contractor who hires other veterans for his company. We can guess how the ratio of men to women compares, and (with each book apparently involving a crisis which puts one of the women in peril), how things will go. This concept has been used before, such as in Susan May Warren’s Global Search and Rescue trilogy, and has some great advantages. Each book can have a crisis, but with a different protagonist each time, which avoids making the series a Die Hard-ish series of repetitions with diminishing returns. The primary difference is Global Search and Rescue used a natural disaster as each book’s plot vehicle, which was exciting but hard to maintain. When a group of friends gets involved in an avalanche, a hurricane, and then an erupting volcano, readers may wonder if the real point is these characters attract chaos whenever they travel. Eason goes for a military espionage crisis instead, and since her characters all work in that world, the big crisis feels much less contrived.

Equally satisfying, Eason takes ideas which are overused but finds ways to make them believable and fresh. Like many Christian Fiction novels, a struggle to reconcile with a flawed parent is central to the narrative. In a Christian Romance novel like Melody Carlson’s The Happy Camper, this is the flighty mother who hasn’t figured out she’s a busybody. This being a Christian Thriller, it’s a selfish father whose dangerous job puts his children in danger. As is typical for this kind of Christian Fiction character, the father is self-centered and oblivious to (or just not willing to face) the pain he creates. However, Eason fleshes out the father, making him more than just a stock character. There are scenes of the father discussing his past with a friend, considering what formed him. The father’s choices are still selfish, but readers get a good look at what made him so cold and defensive. This doesn’t let him off the hook, but it makes him a character rather than a caricature. As a result, readers feel invested in both parties, and want to see them reconciled.

Being a Christian Fiction novel, the characters’ struggles eventually become loaded with religious language. Traitor’s Pawn by Lisa Harris went straight for the obvious, with the protagonist talking about how she forgave her father by realizing her identity as “the daughter of the king.” The problem is that a little goes a long way. It only takes a handful of clichés to overpower a narrative, like filling the first 30 minutes of a romantic comedy with 15 scenes of people kissing in the rain. Eason uses her religious discussions sparingly, and keeps the cliché phrases to a minimum. As a result, the spiritual conversations feel surprisingly genuine, even clever compared to what readers usually get.

The overall effect is this book work better than expected. In another writer’s hand, this plot would turn into contrived action-adventure with tired religious phrases (“Jason Bourne – now with Bibles verses!”). In Eason’s capable hands, the plot becomes compelling and the characters interesting and believable.

A rare Christian thriller that pulls off its premise and its aims.


Rating (1 to 5 stars)

5 stars

Suggested Audience

Christians who enjoy military espionage or spy fiction, with an emphasis on contemporary politics.

Christian Impact

Several characters talk about the idea of being saved by what seemed to be a miracle, and the peace and security that only God can bring. The character arcs, with a strong emphasis on estranged relationships and uncovering what led people to their current emotional states, delve into questions about forgiveness and repentance. As noted above, these may not be unusual themes, but Eason handles this themes with subtlety and craft that makes them work much better than normal.

Note to readers:

Readers may want to first read the previous book in the series, Collateral Damage. To read ECLA’s review of it, go here:

Acceptable Risk (Danger Never Sleeps Book #2)


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