Blood Evidence is the second book in a three book series by Mel Odom. I haven't had the pleasure of reading the first in the series (Paid in Blood).
Commander Will Coburn of NCIS and his team discover two bodies long-deceased on the property of an ex-con after raiding his farmhouse to rescue the daughter of Marine Captain Whitcomb. Coburn's team secures the girl after significant gunfire, an injury to one of his team, several prisoners captured, and a few escapees.
The two bodies belong to a missing Marine and the missing daughter, Chloe Ivers, of a Navy officer and her ex-husband Congressman Ben Swanson, Chloe's step-father. As Coburn, his team, and the Medical Examiner, Dr. Nita Tomlinson, attempt to determine the hows and whys of their deaths and what their connection could be, the intrigue and power plays begin.
Everyone loves to suspect the slimy politician will meet his match, and Ben Swanson is the consummate politician who will blame everyone else for personal woes, mislead, lie, and pontificate with poise to throw blame and suspicions elsewhere. Seemingly capable of anything to maintain his power, it's Coburn's and his team's job to hunt and search for the ties between the deaths and Swanson.
It's a good story with plenty of conflict, frustrations, emotional issues and upheavals, and filled with interesting characters. The thing I really liked about this story was its "structure". All suspense and thriller novels take the reader to the edge of excitement and then reroute them to another incident or character situation leaving the reader on the brink of chaos. Mel Odom does it extremely well, highlighting different characters, good and bad, in the midst of their struggles or schemes.
Ultimately Odom uses one of the least likable but impeccably skilled characters to find the keys to the case. There is one scene near the end of the story involving this character which didn't quite feel plausible based on her established personality but presented a welcome change in behavior.
Understated but definitely present, Christian faith is organically expressed and evident in the lives of certain characters.
Blood Evidence by Mel Odom (Tyndale Fiction, published 2007) is well worth the read for those who love military, procedural, suspense, and well-characterized novels. Probably should start from the beginning with Paid in Blood, but you won't feel "behind" if you read Blood Evidence.
Father, please continue to bless the writing and teaching efforts of Mel Odom. May he do as you ask of him and enjoy every minute of it. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.