Christianbook.com Ratings and Reviews

Customer Reviews for Kregel Publications The Sound of Red Returning, Red Returning Series #1

Kregel Publications The Sound of Red Returning, Red Returning Series #1

After losing everyone she loves, concert pianist Liesl Bower has nowhere to go but to escape into her music. Searching for the peace she usually finds in her concertos and sonatas, Liesl can't shake the feeling that she is being haunted by her past...and by someone following her. As she's giving a concert for the president in Washington D.C., she looks out into the audience to see a man that she'd seen before--that eerie face--she'd seen that face the night her Harvard professor was attacked, and now he's back!
Average Customer Rating:
4.7 out of 5
4.7
 out of 
5
(10 Reviews) 10
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (10 reviews)
5 stars
7
4 stars
3
3 stars
0
2 stars
0
1 star
0
10 out of 10100%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for The Sound of Red Returning, Red Returning Series #1
Review 1 for The Sound of Red Returning, Red Returning Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

International intrigue

Date:July 31, 2013
Customer Avatar
Vera
Location:North Carolina
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
A couple of months ago I had the opportunity to review Red Dawn Rising which is book two in the Red Returning Triology. It was such a good read, I wanted to read and review book one in the series, Sound of Red Returning. I was not a bit disappointed! Although I knew from book two that book one was going to come out alright, it was still a good adventure.
Our heroine, Liesl Bower, is a gifted concert pianist who has studied with the famous and who has given concerts on the stages across the globe. But she seems targeted by international agents who are after something she possesses but that she doesn't realize she has.
Having studied under the superb tutorage of Schell Devoe, an internationally acclaimed Harvard music professor, she was able to travel for study in Russia. After her beloved mentor's murder, she learns he was a double agent - betraying both his own country, America, and Russia.
Sound of Red Rising is set primarily in Charleston, South Carolina but you will flit in and out of Washington as well. The characters in this book are Cade and his grandfather, Ian, who live in the basement apartment of Liesl's grandmother's home. There is a bit of beginning romance between Liesl and Cade, and the grandfather, Ian, is a "real character." Ian and Chad "cowboy" in on the adventure with the CIA and FBI.
There is a good measure of sound spiritual wisdom without sounding preachy. A good book and I'm glad I went back and read book one, Sound of Red Returning. Can't wait for the third book to come out.
Experience footnote of my own: Having lived during the "Cold War" and knowing the very real tension between the US and Russia during this period, I found this story especially interesting. The underlying theme of Red Returning is daunting.
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy of Sound of Red Returning by Kregel Publishing in exchange for my honest review.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 2 for The Sound of Red Returning, Red Returning Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:June 14, 2013
Customer Avatar
lcjohnson1988
Location:Indiana
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
The Sound of Red Returning is the first book in a new trilogy by Sue Duffy. It is set largely in Charleston, South Carolina, with a few other venues used in the story. The second book in the trilogy, Red Dawn Rising was released about two months ago and will be reviewed here in the next few days.
Liesl Bower has had a childhood filled with loss. First, her favorite aunt and one she is very close to dies at the hands of her father when Liesl is 14. Then, she receives word a few years later that her father has died in Mexico. Two years later her mother dies from cancer. Lastly, her mentor and the man who was like a second father to her is shot right before her eyes and declared guilty of treason while she is in college. Liesl now is 37 years old and a very successful, well known pianist. She has played before heads of state, royalty and the famous. However, soon her past is going to emerge as she becomes the target of Russian intelligence forces. Why is she a target? What do they think she knows? Her life is again invaded by the CIA and she encounters an old agent who had interrogated her after her mentor’s murder. Who can Liesl trust now?
Readers will see Liesl initially as concerned only with herself and how everything affects her. She has no real regard for how actions affect others. She begins to understand the bigger picture in her life and slowly acknowledges the Creator and His presence in her life. She learns that only He can fill the void and emptiness in her life.
Cade O’Brien is unemployed and living with his grandfather, Ian O’Brien, in Florida. Cade is determined to return to his home in Charleston and find a new job. His grandfather returns with him to help him get settled. The relationship between the two men is funny, loving and just a delight to witness. Cade lives in an apartment below Liesl though she has been living in Georgetown for the past year. Liesl returns, looking for something the Russians and CIA are desperate for and soon Cade and Ian are involved in the search. Cade and Liesl soon develop romantic feelings for one another. Cade has learned about God from his grandfather and trusts Him completely. Will Liesl be able to do the same?
The plotline is very interesting, entertaining and the action fast-paced. I found this book exciting and filled with tension and I am looking forward to the next book in the series. I thought Liesl at times was selfish and childish, but in the end she was growing spiritually and relationally. I loved the addition of Ian O’Brien to the story for comic relief and spiritual wisdom. The pages will turn quickly in this spy thriller novel, so don’t miss out!
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 3 for The Sound of Red Returning, Red Returning Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

An exciting new suspense series!

Date:April 24, 2012
Customer Avatar
Heart2Heart
Location:Victorville, CA
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Liesl Bower is now the center of attention. Not that she didn't want this attention but those that are looking for her want something more than her ability to play the piano as a prodigy! She learns she has been given a gift by her beloved mentor, Schell Devoe, a prominent Harvard music professor who was murdered in his own home. What he gave Liesl was some sheets of music, in which she didn't think anything about it, until unexpected people began following her.
She later learns that Schell Devoe was a double agent for both the US and Russia and in his final moments passed off some music to her that everyone wants that has been secretly coded in some fashion and people will stop at nothing to ensure she gets it. Now the stakes are high when Russia has sent some agents to locate Liesl, retrieve the music and leave no lasting witnesses.
I received The Sound of Red Returning by Sue Duffy, the first book in the Red Returning series compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review. While this book was a bit of a slow start for me, I found it began to pick up by about the 5th chapter. For those fans of stories of espionage and suspense, then this will be a must read for you. I would rate this one a 4 out of 5 stars.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 4 for The Sound of Red Returning, Red Returning Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Intriguing Mystery

Date:April 2, 2012
Customer Avatar
Carole
Location:Illinois
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This was my first book to read by Sue Duffy, and it won't be my last as I look forward to reading the other 2 books in this trilogy.
Weaving together classical music and spy mystery Duffy's writing is believable and intriguing. Not only is this is a great mystery, but we get to really know the characters ... who they are and why they are who they are.
+1point
1of 1voted this as helpful.
Review 5 for The Sound of Red Returning, Red Returning Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Enjoyable

Date:March 2, 2012
Customer Avatar
The Happy Reader
Location:Columbia, TN
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Back Blurb:
It's been fifteen years since famous pianist Liesl Bower saw her beloved Harvard mentor gunned down, since the CIA disclosed his double life as a Russian spy. She was interrogated and released, with no incriminating evidence against her. But now, something has happened to set Russian and CIA agents on her heels. New intelligence suggests that Liesl possesses a coded message critical to a resugence of Soviet power.
As global tensions mount, the Russians are in a frenzy to find the code before the Americans. Standing in their way, though, is the young pianist from the tidal creeks and secret-shrouded lanes of Charleston, South Carolina. As Liesl outruns the tip of the Russian spear, she must reckon with the wounds of her past, the love of a man she never thought could be hers, and the prevailing power of God. In the final hour, on a world stage, Liesl must deliver a message of her own.
My Review:
Liesl Bower is hiding. Not by choice. She is the possessor of the fate of the nations. And she doesn't even know it. Russian spies follow her every move and struggling to keep ahead is the CIA. I thought everything happened a little to fast. The action, the romance, etc. Also Sue seemed to describe everything to the point to where you didn't believe it anymore. I also got a little confused to by all the flashbacks. I didn't even know how old Liesl was until the 4th chapter, I thought she was a little girl. My favorite character was the grandmother. She was so cute and funny! So although this book wasn't my favorite, it was clean and enjoyable.
~B
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 6 for The Sound of Red Returning, Red Returning Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Rogue Russians

Date:February 9, 2012
Customer Avatar
MaureenT
Location:Syracuse NY
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Once you open this book it will grab your immediate attention. The story revolves around Lisle Bower, and her refuge of music, she is a classically trained pianist.
The Red Returning is Mother Russia...or the corrupt people who want control. Poor Lisle it seems anyone she cares about or befriends seems to have a problem, or end up dead. This page turner is so filled with action and surprises. You will think you have everything figured out...but you don't!
You will meet other wonderful characters in this book...such as Lisle's grandmother Lottie. A CIA agent, who Lisle originally did not like...Ava. Then there will be Chad and his delightful grandfather Ira.
Lisle has obtained, without her knowledge some information that is vital for National Security.
The story takes place in many cities around the world and back. Loved the hidden areas in Lottie's house, someone had a lot of imagination. Then there's the secluded cabin, a family refuge, and the family boat the Exodus.
Your going to find everything her from wonderful music, espionage, murder, ransacks, traitors, and a bit of romance!
I received this book from Litefuse Tours and the Publisher Kregel, and was not required to give a positive review.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 7 for The Sound of Red Returning, Red Returning Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

the Russians are back

Date:February 3, 2012
Customer Avatar
bookwomanjoan
Location:Oak Harbor, WA
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Liesl Bower is an accomplished pianist. She had been mentored by her Harvard professor, Dr. Devoe. Fifteen years ago she saw her mentor killed, shot by Russians. She was shocked to find that Dr. Devoe had been a double agent for the CIA and for the Russians.
Unknown to Liesl, as she picked up her music, she also picked up a piece Devoe had altered to reveal the name of the Russian mole high in the Israeli Ministry of Defense. While she had been interrogated, no evidence was found to incriminate her so she had been released. She had been pursuing her music since then. Liesl had once played the piece of music Devoe had altered, was a bit confused at the “errors,” but had merely packed it away.
International tensions have been recently mounting as it appears some in the Russian government are planning to regain the nation's former power. New intelligence suggests that Liesl has a document that would impact the security of the U.S. and a favored ally. Finding the coded piece of music may be the only hope in keeping Israel from being destroyed. But the ruthless Russians know of the music too and are bent on finding it before the Americans. Liesl's life is in danger as agents from both countries are desperate to find the document.
This is a well crafted book. The plot is reasonable and realistic.
I have to admit, at the first I felt like I was reading a sequel, as there is great deal of important action that happened fifteen years before. However, as the book progressed, Duffy deftly included the past into the current action so that it was a pleasure to read.
There is a good measure of intrigue and suspense. There is a past that Liesl must deal with, including a father who abandoned his family. There is a nice hint of romance for the independent Liesl to embrace.
And there is the God who Liesl shuns. Be He will not let her go, bringing people across her path who keep reminding her of His love.
This is the first in a series so I look forward to the sequel.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 8 for The Sound of Red Returning, Red Returning Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A finely-tuned & well-orchestrated suspense novel

Date:January 30, 2012
Customer Avatar
Christianfictionaddiction
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
A finely tuned and well-orchestrated suspense novel, The Sound of Red Returning held me spellbound from the opening chapter. The suspense is faced-paced, and the book drew me in early with the search for the coded message and the global implications of a Russian power-play. Liesl is a complex character who you cannot help feel empathy for as her life is unveiled layer by layer, and she held me spellbound during her race from the enemy forces drawing in around her. I myself am a piano player, and so reading a story featuring a remarkable pianist made this book extra enjoyable for me. I also loved it when characters Cade, and his "Pop" (grandfather) were brought into the story, for they brought in a depth that added extra richness to the story. Most appreciated, the story's faith elements are woven naturally into the story, bringing to life the power of God's presence and the beauty of His grace. I loved the line uttered by Cade when he and Liesl are sitting on the dock in the dark of night, when he says "But it was God who saved me from myself". It is, indeed, only God who can save us from our own destructive desires and choices and bring good out of the bad.
I have never had the pleasure of reading a mystery from Sue Duffy before, but I will certainly be returning for book 2 in this excellent series. I highly recommend this book and grant it 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Book provided courtesy of the publisher and Litfuse Publicity Group, for the purposes of this unbiased review.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 9 for The Sound of Red Returning, Red Returning Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A Fast Paced, Suspenseful, Romantic Thriller!

Date:January 30, 2012
Customer Avatar
Tammi
Location:maine
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
If you grew-up during the 60’s. 70’s or the 80’s then you, like me remember the cold war. I can remember the fear of nuclear weapons being sent across the sea, and I also remember when the Berlin Wall fell and the end the of the threat of the cold war.
The Sound of Red Returning brings the suspense of the cold war to the forefront of my mind. The CIA and KGB are still trying to keep and retrieve national secrets in order to maintain security, and the world I grew-up in still exists.
I enjoyed this story very much, The characters are very likable and and I fell in love with them right away. Ian O’Brian adds humor into the tenseness of some of the scenes, while Cade O’Brian brings Liesl someone to open her heart to.The story is fast-paced, with a lot of twists and turns which kept me guessing what would happen next.
I give the book 5 out of 5 stars and am looking forward to the next book in the Red Returning Trilogy.
**The Sound of Red Returning by Sue Duffy was provided for me free by Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 10 for The Sound of Red Returning, Red Returning Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Fast-paced, suspenseful, romantic!

Date:January 24, 2012
Customer Avatar
Pam Burke
Location:Potosi, MO
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Russian spies, CIA agents, world-renowned musicians, charter boat operators -- Washington, DC; New York City; the Kremlin; Charleston, South Carolina -- just some of the characters and locales in Sue Duffy's page turner, The Sound of Red Returning. To use a well-worn cliche, she "had me" at page one and never lost me up to the very end. Intrigue, suspense, danger, and romance all came together into a well-crafted story that was hard to put down.
Liesl Bower, a world class pianist, is in danger because of her connection to events that happened fifteen years ago when she witnessed the murder of her mentor and friend. She fights against unwanted protection until she realizes she has no choice but to give in. When she tries to find a safe refuge in her hometown, strangers are brought into the web of trouble . . . and romance grows alongside the danger. Only as Liesl begins to open her heart to the love of a man and to the love of God can she begin to heal from a hurtful past and learn the peace that comes from surrender and forgiveness.
There were lots of plot twists and turns that kept me involved in every page of the book. Sue did a masterful job of keeping the story flowing in the present, while visiting past events to fill in the important details. And near the end, when . . . well, I can't tell you what happens, but I was caught off-guard by that twist! You'll just have to read this great book for yourself to see what happens. And I was excited to know that this is Book 1 -- anxious for Book 2 and more to come.
This book was provided free of charge by Litfuse Group for my honest review.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.