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on May 31, 2003
Dee Henderson, you've done it again! The fifth book of the O'Malley series, "The Healer" will just captivate you! And if you've read all three books and loved them as much as I do, I'm sure you feel a part of the O'Malley family now!
The O'Malley family consists of seven brothers and sister, three boys and four girls. Since they were little they had been in the same orphanage and when they got out of the orphanage, they decided to 'adopt' each other, taking the name O'Malley as their family name. They all have very important jobs, Marcus is a U.S. Marshal, Kate a negotiator for hostage situations, botched-up robberies, etc., Jennifer is a doctor, Jack a fireman, Stephen a paramedic, Rachel a trauma psychologist, and Lisa is a forensic pathologist. This story is about Rachel O'Malley, 'the healer'.
Rachel O'Malley by the faith and prayers of her family is now a Christian. But being a trauma psychologist is a tense and stressful job. Working at disasters for the Red Cross, trying to heal the lives of children torn apart by parent's divorces, Rachel finds it hard at times to trust in Jesus to help her let go of the hurt she sees.
Captain Cole Parker, captain of a fire company who has spent the last few years fighting fires and trying to stop arsons. A devout Christian from a young age, Cole sticks by Rachel and helps her through the hard times. It is inevitable that they become closer, even reaching the point of falling in love.
But in the midst of Rachel of having to deal with the fact she might lose her sister Jennifer to cancer, tragedy strikes. When Rachel's sister Lisa O'Malley discovers a murder scene discovered in a flooded community, it is suspected that there may be a second victim. Things become worse when there is gunfire at a local school. Children are injured, children are dead, and what's so terrible is that the shooters were children. But the mystery begins when one of the bullets matches the one which had killed the victim in the flood. And that gun has disappeared. What is going on, how are the two cases connected? Rachel, Cole, and the O'Malley's must race to find the missing gun, before tragedy repeats...
Of all the books, I think that "The Healer" is one of the weakest in the series in that there isn't much of a mystery. I had already guessed much of the plot and most of the guesses were correct. But I must confess, this story is the most emotionally and spiritually touching of all the O'Malley books. From the aftermath of the shooting to Jennifer's sickness, there were moments where I felt like crying. Dee Henderson is a master at letting you get caught up into the story. The characters are likable, and I especially love Cole!
These are five books in the O'Malley Series in order, all highly recommended:
#1 "The Negotiator", Kate O'Malley's story. One of the best of the series.
#2 "The Guardian", Marcus O'Malley's story, the oldest of the O'Malleys. A great love story with an incredibly suspenseful plot!
#3 "The Truth Seeker", Lisa O'Malley's story, very suspenseful!
#4 "The Protector", Jack O'Malley's story, not as good as the previous three books yet still enjoyable.
#5 "The Healer", Rachel O'Malley's story.
#6 "The REscuer", Stephen O'Malley's story. One of the BEST books I've ever read!
Other books by Dee Henderson are:
"Danger in the Shadows", written before "The Negotiator" whose main character is the sister of Kate O'Malley's boyfriend, Sara and Walsh
#1 "True Devotion", the first in the Uncommon Heroes Series tells about the Navy SEALs.
#2 "True Valor", about Navy Pilot Gracie and Air Force Pararescuer Bruce.
#3 "True Honor", the best of the series so far with Navy SEAL Sam 'Cougar' Houston and CIA officer Darcy St. James.
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on May 25, 2003
I've read the entire O'Malley Series and Rachel is my favorite character in the "Family." I didn't find the storyline about the school shooting any less (or more, for that matter) plausible than the storylines in the previous five books. Dee designed these family members to be magnets for trouble. The read is much smoother if it's an accepted truth in the beginning rather than trying to hash it out as you go.
I found the situation with Rachel's sister, Jennifer, was very well handled. My mother was dying from cancer when I originally read this and I bawled, but in a good way, during her moments in the book. I'm now reading it again, especially Jennifer's parts, to gain insight into how my mother may have been feeling before her death. I also appreciated the fact that Rachel was already a Christian at the onset of this story, having to deal with a new faith during such trying times rather than explain why the character didn't believe through most of the read as happened in the other books. A refreshing change in my opinion.
Finally, I absolutely loved Rachel and Cole's relationship. Their first kiss had my hair standing on end. Very well written.
In all, this was a fantastic book. One I'm reading again, and will be passing on to friends.
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on March 20, 2003
The Healer by Dee Henderson is the story of Rachel O'Malley. If you have read the previous book in the O'Malley series, you will already be familiar with Rachel. She is a trauma psychologist who works disasters for the Red Cross.
This book begins with flood relief, moves to a school shooting, and ends with the first O'Malley family funeral. While the story does present the reader with a couple of unlikely situations, Henderson gives the reader one of her best stories. The whole O'Malley family is back together in this book. Despite the burnout and emotional drain that several of the O'Malley's are facing, the joy of family loyalty and love comes through in parts of the book. Despite the fact that Jennifer O'Malley loses her battle with cancer, the reader sees a portrayal of how a Christian faces such an end.
Emotions run deep in this book and Henderson has written them well. I think this book reveals a great deal of maturity in Henderson's development as a writer. If you have read the other O'Malley books, you'll enjoy this one. If you haven't read the previous books in this series, this book is probably not the best entry point. It would be worth your while to go back to the beginning and get to know this great family. The O'Malley family is brilliantly conceived. Enjoy getting to know them!
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on September 24, 2002
Henderson has the potential to be a great writer. She can write succintly and keep a plot flowing, yet still sprinkle in little details that make the story very vivid. She can create different, unique, and lovable characters. The Negotiator and the Guardian are VERY VERY good.
(This is not a plot summary. There are already several very good ones.)
This one, like the preceding one (the protector) isn't half as good. The book is supposedly about _Rachel_ and _Cole_ with perhaps some of her family showing up *occasionally* to provide some depth to the story. Ha ha ha. The other O'Malleys already *had* books. Their characters have not really changed since their books! So, um, how come they keep showing up again and again and again and again... I thought this was "Rachel's" book. It's the O'Malley's book....and the book of all the people they are engaged/married to (which is a lot). In the first few chapters alone, we have Rachel and Jack and Cole and Lisa and Stephen there and others mentioned. Confusing to new readers, boring to old. They seem to sound less intelligent and more almost obsessively focused on family family family family with each book. The romance is tepid and dull. There is no way I will be buying her next O'Malley book.
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on July 8, 2002
This time the story focused mainly on Rachel O'Malley, a trauma psychologist, and Captain Cole Parker, a fireman. One of Rachel's old patients witnessed a murder and then disappeared. Marcus, Quinn, and Lisa help with the investigation. A flood had surged through the area, making the task difficult.
As the community began to pull itself together, a school shooting occurred. Worse, there was a lin from the school tragedy to the murder.
Rachel and Cole stay busy as they try to help so many grieving people. At the same time, though, the O'Malley family was going through their own rough time. Jennifer was dying.
*** Unlike the others of the series, this book focused a lot on depression. That was inevitable considering Rachel's profession. However, in my opinion, there was far too little joy in the story. I found myself having to take long breaks from reading for fear it would spill over into my personal life. Therefore, I read a couple other books (during my long breaks) to counter all the gloom.
Author Dee Henderson showed remarkable talent in the writing since I ended up reacting that way. I FELT the moods of the characters and cared deeply for them. Yet I can only hope that the next book in the O'Malley series (Stephen's story) will be more upbeat. ***
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on June 19, 2002
In my lifetime I have read thousands of books. I always look for books to scare me, inspire me, make me dream, and make me cry. I have never found a book that makes me do all of those things at one time until... The Healer.
I have read all of the other O'Malley books, including the prequal. This has been my favorite addition to the series. The books are written as a series and should be read like one. Each storyline builds off of the other books. In order to get the full effect and emotion of THE HEALER, you need to read them all. Ms. Henderson writes with passion and faith. The powerful messages this book has to offer are infinite and grand!
The romance between Rachel and Cole are what dreams are made of. The warmth and support they show each other during rough times is touching and real. Henderson makes the O'Malleys feel like real people. When they are hurting or happy, it is easy for the reader to feel the same emotion while turning the pages through tears of joy and pain.
THE HEALER is great! Read it...You won't be sorry.
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on June 13, 2002
As a fan of all her books, I was a bit let down with THE PROTECTOR but THE HEALER more than makes up for it. I want to know where to find heroes like Cole Parker, hurray for Beta Males!!!! This one felt like it was right off the front page of today's news but it was realistically handled creating both a comforting and heart warming conclusion. There will be some wonderful surprises, with laughs and tears along the way, but then loyal O'Malley readers have come to expect the most human of emotions from this unique family.
Rachel and Cole were surrounded in love with all the family present, which can make for crowded quarters at times, but Ms Henderson handled it with a deft hand as she kept the mystery, and relationship in equal servings before her readers. Although each book does stand alone, if you haven't real all the of the O'Malley's this is not the one to start with, the impact of the journey will be lost. I know the reader will just have to find out who Dave/Kate, Marcus/Shari, Quinn/Lisa, Tom/Jennifer are from their respective stories, so this may not be the one to start with. Yet, buy it now and read them in order so you will have it done just in time to find out where troubled Stephen has gone in her last of the series THE RESCUER.

Dee Henderson is the Queen of Inspirational romances and here's hoping more romance readers will discover her unique talent. Her characters are Christians with their journey in faith to grow with their God as part of the story, it is but a part of who they are. Her readers aren't preached at or brow beaten as is the case with many Christian writers, often leaving a bad taste in the mouth of those with who are non-Christian. Henderson's stories are what good Inspirational romances should be, but are so very often aren't.
Brava!!! Ms Henderson
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on June 8, 2002
They met when they were children at Trevor House, an orphanage located in the greater Chicago area. They looked out for one another and supported each other emotionally. When they grew up, they moved into an apartment together and changed their surname to O'Malley. Though not bound by blood, they were a family in every sense of the word. Even when they went their own ways, they still visited with each other and communicated via the telephone.

Rachel O'Malley works for the Red Cross as a trauma psychologist, helping people cope with tragedy. Her latest assignment is in Chicago, helping flood victims deal with the aftermath of losing most of their possessions. When she needs somebody to lean on, fire fighter captain Cole Parker is there for her. Cole, who wants to marry Rachel, also supports her during her sister's illness and when she is involved in a school shooting that is linked to a homicide case her sister is working hard to solve.

THE HEALER is a poignant love story, a five handkerchief reading experience that readers will never be able to forget because it is so beautiful. The heroine of this novel is a very special woman who gives of herself no matter the cost while Cole is her caring anchor. Dee Henderson is a brilliant storyteller who constantly writes tales that the audience wants to read.

Harriet Klausner
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on September 27, 2002
I own all of the O'Malley series and I have to say that 'The Healer' is my favorite. I absolutely love the O'Malley family. You really need to read all the books in order so you can learn the history of this family and watch as each character evolves. I started with 'The Negotiator' and immediately knew that I had found an author that could keep me enthralled in the plot and also share my faith.
'The Protector' let me down a little. I just couldn't mesh with the characters like I did with the other books. But Ms. Henderson totally made up for it with 'The Healer'. This book had all of my emotions in an uproar. You really feel for Rachel because she has to deal with so much in this book. But sometimes we have to go through the difficult times to grow closer to God.
I would definately recommend this book to any lover of Christian fiction or even any type of fiction. Dee Henderson is an author who knows how to captivate her audience and keep them there.
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on November 26, 2002
Rachel O'Malley is part of a self-proclaimed "family" of orphans that can teach all families how to love. Each of the O'Malley family members is a daily hero, i.e. firefighter, negotiator, doctor, etc. Rachel is the one who helps heal the souls bruised and torn by trauma. Working for the Red Cross, Rachel assists victims in the grieving and healing process.
Rachel and Cole's love story begins in book 4 of this series, The Protector, and continues here. This book more than any of the others ties all the O'Malley family members together. While this book could stand alone, it is more interesting if you already have connections with the other family members.
Jennifer's story line is precious in The Healer. She teaches us how to love and how to heal as a natural result of her relationship with God and those she loves.
Dee Henderson is a master of dialogue. You will be pleased you spent the time with the O'Malley family once more.
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