The Protector


by Dee Henderson

Published 2001

Sorry, I got the last three books of this series from the library in a single-bound volume, so I don’t have very good pictures for them.  Anyway.

In this fourth installment of the O’Malley series, we follow the story of Jack, a firefighter.  And while the other three books have stayed fairly focused on the individual sibling chosen as that book’s hero, this book actually spends a lot of time also following Jack’s sister, Rachel.  Jack is working as a firefighter and is close friends with Cole, who, among other things, does arson investigation.  Cole is interested in dating Rachel, and so all the main characters tie together harmoniously.

A series of arson fires seem to center around Jack and his shift, and Cole cannot figure out why.  As usual, the story pacing is excellent.  In this book, the fact that Jennifer, the youngest sister, is sick with cancer, is much more to the foreground.  That has always been something going on throughout the rest of the series (it is the catalyst for the fact that this entire family is reevaluating its religious perspective), in this book it becomes a more active part of the story as Jack, Rachel, and the rest of the siblings continue to wrestle with the fact that Jennifer may, in fact, die.

Jack, of course, is also not without his own love interest, and Cassie’s story is also an interesting one.  An ex-firefighter, she is still recovering from a major injury caused during a fire the year before.  As a Christian, she is working to keep her life in perspective, and it is good to see both her and Cole, also a Christian, work through some issues from that angle.  (Becoming a Christian does not magically fix all the problems in your life, and I appreciate the way that Henderson deals with that truth.)

All in all, another good story and an excellent addition to the series.  4/5.