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Tested by Fire (The Baxter Series) [Kindle Edition]

Kathy Herman
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $19.99
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $10.00 (50%)
Sold by: Random House LLC


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Book Description

When a bizarre houseboat explosion rocks the close-knit community of Baxter, firefighters, friends, and neighbors stand powerless as the McConnells' blazing hull sinks to the bottom of Heron Lake. Grief turns to outrage as new evidence proves there was one survivor -- and points to murder, something this sheltered community has never faced in its hundred-year history. In a race with the FBI, Jed sets out to track down the sole survivor, coping meanwhile with his own painful marital struggle. Baxter's mystery and Jed's dilemma are ones only God can solve in this suspenseful, surprising story of redemption amidst despair in small-town America.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Herman's debut novel begins a series based in the small lakeside town of Baxter, near Atlanta. This first effort capably fulfills the series' promise to create "an absorbing story with biblically satisfying solutions" based on recurring characters. The story begins with a shocking tragedy when Mike McConnell's houseboat inexplicably explodes and sinks right before the neighbors' eyes, apparently killing all five members of his young family. But the plot takes a sinister turn when evidence suggests there is a lone survivor and the deaths may have been murder. The small town is beset with loss, trauma, the FBI and the modern media circus, and each character from the big-hearted county sheriff to the morally scrupulous local newspaper editor is faced with difficult choices in the aftermath. Jed Wilson, Mike McConnell's best friend and ardent drinking buddy, sets out on his own in search of the truth. Jed's life has been sadly warped by guilt from a past transgression, and his search for the truth of the mysterious explosion leads him down a path of spiritual discovery. The novel's sermons about God's limitless grace are nicely integrated with believable and sympathetic characters. Herman does wax mystical when she introduces Secret Service-like guardian angels dressed in plaid shirts and jeans, and her prose sometimes feels like a cross between the television scripts for Touched by an Angel and Law and Order. Still, she also spins an occasional line of real beauty, hinting at the poet that she is.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

The night an explosion rattles the windows in the sleepy little lakeside town of Baxter, GA, Jed Wilson's life falls apart. A houseboat belonging to his best friend, Mike McConnell, has sunk into the lake with no sign of survivors. As reports trickle in that divers have found the bodies of Mike's wife and three children but no sign of Mike, Jed sinks deeper into an alcoholic haze. Then a witness claims to have seen Mike at the site after the explosion. Jed's new purpose in life is to find Mike and clear him of the murder charges hanging over him, but he must first outwit the FBI. While the basic plot is solid, Jed's sudden decision to quit alcohol cold turkey is no more convincing than Mike's behavior when he is finally found. God appears mainly in the lives of the secondary characters, such as Jed's wife, Rhonda, who discovers faith as a way to cope with the recent tragedy, or as a deus ex machina to solve Jed's and Mike's problems. This first novel is marginally recommended for large, comprehensive collections.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1519 KB
  • Print Length: 324 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B000PLL7W4
  • Publisher: Multnomah Books (January 21, 2009)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001PSEQ4M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #324,839 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! August 16, 2002
By A Customer
This is my first reading by a Christian author and loved it! I have been so tired of trying to find a good book without a lot of garbage in it and this is exactly what I was looking for! Very interesting, suspenseful, and a good message through it all! Highly recommend it!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great start to a new series! September 23, 2003
This book is a real page-turner! Kathy Herman is a first-class writer. She gets you to care about the characters, and the story moves along quickly. Most series continue the stories of the same characters. In the Baxter Series, however, all 4 books (as of September 2003) are set in the same small town and seem to have the same background characters, but the major plot-line involves different characters for each book.
I loved the first book, but I was up late last night getting into the middle of the second one "Day of Reckoning" and I like that one even better! The third one is a "medical fiction" book, which I love. (See my other reviews of Hannah Alexander's and Harry Lee Kraus MD for other recommendations.)
This is series I can highly recommend! I'm glad that I started reading it when 4 books are out - I hate waiting months or a year to read the next book in a series! I'm excited about the 5th book in the series, which will be coming out in a few months!
Check out my other reviews!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tested By Fire by Kathy Herman March 24, 2002
I read Christian novels as fast as I can get them into my hands so I know good writing. I have some very favorite authors. Kathy is a new author to me and this debut novel was so thrilling, so wonderful that I would like her to know it. I can't wait until April for the 2nd. She is definitely a wonderful writer and it is hard to put the book down. I pray she can write many more.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down! December 21, 2001
Tested by Fire is the best suspense I've read in a very long time! The plot opens with a dramatic houseboat explosion and the action continues non-stop from that point on. I laughed, I cried, I other words, I joined with the characters during each aspect of the story. I enjoyed the tension of suspense, the drama of a best friends search for truth, the inspirational message, and especially the wonderful descriptions of place and town. I feel like I can walk down Baxter's main street and right into Monty's diner as if I do it every day. I can't wait for book two in the Baxter series!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down! December 20, 2001
If you like action, suspense and not being able to "figure out the ending" ahead of time, you will enjoy this book. I can't wait for the next one in the series to come out! The characters really pull you into the plot and keep you guessing. I look forward to reading this author for many years to come!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excelent Series!!!! May 2, 2003
I judge books by their cover, thus, I didn't read this book for a while. My roomate and my sister loved the series and keept raving about it. As I am an avid reader I finally picked this book up and Wow! I read the whole series (4 books so far) in two days! They are all excelent books about God and His faithfulness to his children. Take my advice, read the series, don't look at the cover, and you will be blessed.
Hint: don't start them if you have to get some sleep, you won't sleep.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting. Riveting. Can't put it down! March 5, 2002
"Tested by Fire" may be her first novel, but she writes like a veteran. This book is the first of five in the "Baxter Series" of Christian based myseries. It holds your interest from the very beginning. The story is about a houseboat explosion which is believed to have wiped out a complete family, but quickly escalates to a homicide investigation and a manhunt for the father of the family. This book will appeal to Christians, but will also keep the mystery book fan interested. Tastefully written, I'm impatiently awaiting her second book of the series.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CONTEMPORARY PAGE-TURNER December 22, 2001
I agree with the Publishers Weekly reviewer re: Kathy Herman's first Novel in the Baxter Series,TESTED BY FIRE---great first effort! She demonstrated insightful principles and profound spiritual wisdom in this top-flight, well written, compelling story. Everyday characters struggling without forgiveness and hope made me at times laugh and cry---some found that God intended grace to be their solution. This novel left me wanting more of Monty's Diner and the "cast" in Baxter,USA.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I really enjoyed the book! Starting on the second book.
Published 7 days ago by charlotte
5.0 out of 5 stars Such a good story!!!
This was my first Kathy Herman book and I can't wait to read more. I was entertained but also moved. The characters were realistic and relatable. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Nanny Nita
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful read
Mystery....suspense....inspiring. read this at a time I really needed the message.....forgiveness, hope and renewal. Would be really good for a women's book club or Bible study.
Published 4 months ago by Gretchen
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this series
Love this series. All the books can be read independently, but should be read in order since the books build upon each other. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Phyllis
5.0 out of 5 stars I can hardly put it down
I'm not finished yet but I am thoroughly enjoying this story. It has intrigue and is set in small town America.
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Suspense
The author of this book, Kathy Herman, is very popular with our church library readers, so this book was bought for the library. So far, all readers have liked it.
Published 18 months ago by W. D. McCurry
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow
I am already done with this book. It was excellent and in excellent shape. Hardly looked used at all. Another great purchase from Amazon.
Published 19 months ago by E. I. Witmer
3.0 out of 5 stars from guilt to drunks
i enjoyed this story of two men who hurt their familes and became drunks because of guilt. mike was the worst of the two in my opinion. he was spoiled and had everything his way. Read more
Published on February 6, 2012 by read der
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Christian Suspense
I highly recommend this novel. There is suspense and mystery, there is mercy and forgiveness skillfully meshed into the storyline. Read more
Published on June 2, 2010 by K. Waide
2.0 out of 5 stars OK but not great
An OK book . . . not a lot of suspense. The story is more about God's forgiveness than anything else. Read more
Published on August 17, 2008 by K. Bolen
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More About the Author

Kathy Herman is no stranger to the Christian publishing industry. Before becoming a bestselling author and award-winning poet, Kathy worked on staff at the Christian Booksellers Association for five years. She gained eleven years of bookstore experience as a children's products specialist and drew on that expertise to conduct related seminars in the U.S. and Canada.

Kathy quickly rose to the rank of bestselling author when her first novel, TESTED BY FIRE, became a CBA bestseller shortly after its release. Since then, eight more of her novels have claimed the title of bestseller: ALL THINGS HIDDEN, THE REAL ENEMY, THE LAST WORD, THE RIGHT CALL,FALSE PRETENSES,DANGEROUS MERCY, RELENTLESS PURSUIT and NOT BY SIGHT.

Her contemporary, fast-paced novels weave inspirational messages into the storyline so effectively that a college professor in Houston utilized her books as required reading to educate students on the value of teaching through fiction. Kathy's books have also been widely used in book club discussion and Bible study groups.

Kathy and her husband Paul live in East Texas and have three grown children, five "nearly perfect" grandchildren, and an adorable cat named Samantha. Her hobbies include photography and bird watching--especially an ongoing fascination with hummingbirds.

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