Brandilyn Collins introduces another fascinating tale in Exposure to succeed her previous stand alone novel dark pursuit. We’re introduced to Kaycee Raye who writes a column about fear: people’s worst fears, overcoming fears, standing strong when fear encloses you in its piercing grip. However, since her own fears remain longstanding from her childhood recollections of a paranoid widowed mother and seem to have flared into flame since the death of her dear friend, her helplessness to fight against her fears is once again amplified.
Captured in throat-drying reality by the author, we can more than sense this young woman’s obsessive compulsion to be afraid. When the first freaky episode with a camera in Kaycee’s home terrifies her and sends her speeding to the police station, she fears even more for her sanity when the attractive policeman returns with her to check out her home where not even the camera is found, let alone anything else to prove it was there.
Interwoven with Kaycee’s terror is the story of a young couple with a sick preschooler. Somehow through the agony of trying to take care of her illness, the young father who works at a bank gets desperate and finds himself in the middle of a circumstance he can’t control.
Included along with these two scenarios, Kaycee’s deceased best friend’s nine year old daughter, Hannah, is struggling with her father’s new wife and step-family. She wants to leave her home and come to live with Kaycee. When Kaycee won’t allow her to do so because she knows the little girl must learn to cope with the changes in her family dynamic, Hannah decides to run away and heads straight for Kaycee’s house in the dark of night.
That’s all of the plot line I’m going to tell you. I really think Brandilyn does a masterful job of twisting this story. For one thing, we’re never truly sure Kaycee is alright, that her experiences are in fact real until there’s an undeniable piece of evidence, even though it fades from “exposure”. The dots are all there, but we can’t quite connect them. We feel for the heroine because she is so crippled by her fears, and the farther the story advances, the more understandable those fears feel. We see her desire to overcome them, but there seems to be no solid ground for her to stand on to do so. No rock of reason. And no faith.
When Kaycee makes every effort to put one thing in front of fear and engages in haphazard prayer as a last result, she is finally able to achieve monumental results.
Brandilyn does a remarkable job of capturing palpable fear, its consuming power and debilitating responses. Most of us hope to be brave. Some of us truly are. All of us fear something or someone. Exposure exposes us to what fear is, how it feels, what it can do, and the only real remedy for it. In this life, this fallen state, it can be a constant battle to overcome.
This story is indicative of Brandilyn’s trademark: Seatbelt Suspense. You won’t be disappointed.
Father, you know how hard Brandilyn works, how she gives her best to every project and endeavor she undertakes. Please bless and strengthen her as she continues to do what you have for her. Encourage her as no one else can, and fill her with your Spirit. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.