Title: The Gray Zone
Author: Daphna Edwards Ziman
Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group Press
Publication Date: June 1, 2011
Hardcover: 304 pages
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
A terrified single mother must travel through hell and back to clear her name and protect her children from their maniacal father.
Kelly Jensen is only six years old when she witnesses her mother’s murder and her father’s wrongful conviction. Thrown into foster care, Kelly is both abused and neglected, and by age fifteen she is a runaway, relying on her street smarts to become a master at identity theft. Kelly accepts the marriage proposal of a man who she thinks can offer her a better life, only to fall victim to his vicious enslavement.
Years later, estranged from her husband and struggling to support her children, Kelly becomes a suspect in the murder of her lover, a congressman. Defense attorney Jake Brooks finds Kelly irresistible, and his obsession leads him to risk his own career to help her. Together, the two uncover a sordid link among immoral foster care parents, high rollers in Vegas, politicians, Kelly’s husband, and law enforcement itself.
Kelly ultimately takes fate into her own hands—in the gray zone that exists outside the black-and-white world of the legal system.
The Gray Zone by Daphna Edwards Ziman weaves together a suspenseful mystery with the ills of the foster care system and a touch of romance. When Natalie St. Clair was six years old, she witnessed her mother being murdered and her father sent to prison and soon afterward found herself in one foster care home followed by moves to other foster care homes, each one worse than the previous. By age 15 she had run away, at age 16 she was married and recreated herself as Kelly Jensen. When the reader meets Kelly Jensen, she is planning on running away yet again, this time taking her two children, 4-year-old Libby and 6-year-old Garrett. The night Kelly and her child run away, her lover, Congressman Porter Garrett is found murdered. Jake Brooks, a high-powered defense attorney, has been asked by Porter’s wife Suzanne to help with the investigation. Jake is reeling after the death of his dear friend while newly widowed Suzanne does not appear to be too upset. Ziman weaves together several plot lines, each tautly written with enough suspense to keep the reader engaged until the very end. The characters are diverse, some likeable and many not enjoyable, which really makes the story that much better. The manner in which Ziman draws readers into the ugly, corrupt side of the foster care system is extraordinary well done. I would recommend The Gray Zone to readers who enjoy a good suspenseful mystery with a touch of romance.
Daphna Edwards Ziman is actively concerned about the many abandoned children in real life who suffer the abuses she sensitively describes in her novel. As a compelling voice for child advocacy who has received numerous awards, the author is the founder and chairperson of CUN (Children Uniting Nations), the chairperson of ABC LOVE (Adoption Brings Children Love), and a board member for HIPPY (Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters). As the cofounder of Women’s Empowerment, she is also zealously involved in righting the wrongs against women in society.
To learn more about author Daphna Edwards Ziman please visit her website.
I received a complimentary ARC of The Gray Zone by Daphna Edwards Ziman from JKS Communications to offer my honest review of the book. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned book.