Sunday, April 22, 2018

Circumvent by S. K. Derban

Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Length: 233 pages
Published: November 2017

In reading the back cover synopsis of Circumvent by S. K. Derban, the reader learns that the story is set in Hawaii and France. Yes, Hawaii and France. Reading really can take you to the most beautiful places! The mystery genre is one of my favorites, so I was excited to jump right in. 

The protagonist, French-born journalist, Nikki, is recently married to Swiss pastry chef, Ruggiero DelĂ©mont. On her way to Lyon, France for a work writing assignment, she meets a dangerous fate. When she doesn't check-in as planned with her husband, who is back at home in Hawaii working at his up and coming restaurant, he fears the worst and contacts the police. With the help of unlikely friends at home and abroad, Ruggiero engages in a cat-and-mouse chase as he desperately seeks to learn what has happened to his beloved wife.  

The story includes strong Christian themes with the main characters demonstrating an active prayer life, which I appreciated. The author is very well traveled and versed in a variety of cultures. With her strong use of imagery, Derban takes the reader on an international trip. I enjoyed reading the different languages (with translations), the descriptions of the delectable cuisines, and learning about the structure and architecture of France. Derban gives us a view that goes beyond what a tourist might see. 

My criticisms are few. I did not like how the author focused so much on the physical appearance of both Nikki and Ruggiero. She went into great detail on multiple occasions throughout the book explaining how beautifully tan Nikki was and how her gorgeous, long, and dark brown hair complemented her. She also touched on Ruggiero's athletic physique. Sometimes I got the feeling that if they weren't as beautiful they wouldn't have been as deserving of the search for a happy ending. Additionally, this quick-read is nicely tied with a bow in the end. I felt like the reconciliation between Nikki and Ruggiero was a little forced. However, if you accept the story for what it is - a fun, escape from reality, I think it is an enjoyable read for most. 

Recommendation: If you're looking for a fast-paced, weekend and/or beach read with a hint of romance, a Christian focus, and some beautiful people, be sure to check out this suspense-filled mystery. 

Please note: I received a complimentary signed paperback copy of Circumvent in exchange for my honest review. 

Until next time ... Read on!


  1. Thank you Melyssa! I am so glad you enjoyed reading Circumvent. What a fantastic review! Blessings :)

  2. You’re welcome! Thank you for writing!