Danika Morales is a Border Agent, patrolling along the Rio Grande and attempting, along with other agents, to do the impossible - stem the flood of illegal immigrants and the even more dangerous influx of Mexican drug cartel activity. Though she believes her job is for the good of the country, Danika is an agent because of a far more personal reason: her husband was murdered two years earlier and the case is yet to be solved. In spite of her own efforts to move on, the unanswered questions about her husband's murder and her Border Agent brother-in-law's growing instability and volatility stand in the way. When attempts are made on Danika's life and her niece disappears, the battle for America's security becomes something more, a battle for faith and family.
Sworn to Protect is a romantic suspense that deals with a difficult and often controversial subject. Di Ann Mills does a great job of keeping the entertainment value of the story and the weight of the subject matter in balance. Through the medium of a story, Mills reminds us of how complicated the issue of illegal immigration is. On the day her husband was murdered our heroine discovered he had been an illegal immigrant activist for some time. The doctor she finds herself falling far, though not an activist, regularly treats battered illegal women with the promise of not reporting them. And, unknown to Danika, her trusted housekeeper of years is working in the country under forged papers. Even the people who seem most upstanding and legitimate in this border town are in fact holding illegals in what amounts to virtual slavery for their own financial gain.
With over one million books in print and fifteen novels, Di Ann has changed directions in her writing career from cozy mysteries and romance to the arena of suspense with good success. Readers that love Terri Blackstock and Dee Henderson will find the Call of Duty series a welcomed addition to their reading library. It's refreshing to see seasoned authors like Robin Carroll, Vicki Hinze, and Di Ann Mills stretching their wings a bit and perhaps the wings of their readers as well. Hardcore suspense fans may find the emphasis on relationships a bit of a test but issues of family and loyalty are matters we all can relate to.
With solid characters, a convincing plot, and good story resolution, Sworn to Protect is a fine addition to the field of faith-based suspense. For those who go hay-wire when they discover a book they are reading has a hint of religion in it, be forewarned. Though far from preachy, this is definitely a novel that deals with matters of faith. Then again, when faced with the mysteries of life and death, most people in the real world struggle with what they do and do not believe about ultimate matters. Danika's journey illustrates this well. Just compare an opening sentence of this novel with its last ...
... for Danika, the depths meant death, and it didn't' discriminate among its victims.
... for Danika, the depths had brought back life and love.