The Healer by Dee Henderson

Tyndale House Publishers, October 14, 2005

A flood brings them together…
Rachel O’Malley is a trauma psychologist who works disasters for the Red Cross; her specialty is helping children. Captain Cole Parker has spent the last year fighting fires, investigating arsons–and falling in love with Rachel. When a flood surges through their community, it’s a chance in the midst of tragedy to spend some precious time together.

And Rachel is relying on Cole’s love.
For years, Rachel has touched grief while helping others work through it, but now grief is getting very personal… she may lose her sister to cancer. She’s depending on Cole–her rock, immovable–to help her make it through.

But the floodwaters conceal a deadly surprise…
A crime scene is swallowed up by the waters. One person is dead, and the police suspect there may be a second victim. The murder weapon has fallen into the hands of a child, and the flood disaster is about to be eclipsed by gunfire at a local school.

And Rachel is caught in the crossfire.
Rachel knows one of the injured students, a child who died, and the shooter. She’s struggling to do her job even as she copes with her own trauma. For she must deal with more than just grief among the children she is trying to help–one of them still has the gun. And Rachel fears a third tragedy will soon follow unless Cole and the O’Malleys can solve a murder still hidden by the floodwaters…

I totally bawled my eyes out in the final few chapters and at other points during the book too! This book really packed an emotional punch and I’m so glad Dee created Cole Parker to be Rachel’s rock in the storm because that’s exactly what he felt like!

I think some people might complain about the mystery not taking front and center in this novel but I think it’s not meant to here. Yes, the mystery is there, but the suspense isn’t in your face. Much of this book is Rachel’s journey as she deals with grief on many levels and how her faith and Cole’s love and support see her through. We also get to see the joy of Rachel falling in love slowly but surely even through the sadness of the events in the book. Seeing this happen for Rachel brings some much needed joy to this book. When I say that, I’m not saying that the book is filled with depressing stuff, but a lot happens here and it’s good to see Rachel embrace love with Cole in the midst of all the crazy stuff going on.

I have the sixth book in the series ready to go in my bookshelf, but I’m going to wait a bit. I don’t quite want to leave the O’Malley’s just yet.  This one of all the series will stay with me the longest.