The Outreach Committee
C.L. Woodhams (2015)
Reviewed by Sheri Hoyte for Reader Views (12/15)
“The Outreach Committee” by C.L. Woodhams is a powerful mystery/thriller that takes readers through the lives of abused women, and how one group is making a difference and offering hope.
The Battered Women’s Escape Foundation (BWEF) has shelters all over L.A.’s South Bay area, providing shelter, counseling, and training to abused women. The founder, Mora Rey tragically learns that there is one group of women unable to take advantage of the support provided by the BWEF, women with influential husbands. These men have unlimited means and connections, and the ability to expose any one of the shelters with a single phone call. Mora, along with Carol Ewald, another survivor of spousal abuse, started the Outreach Committee, a committee with the sole purpose of protecting the women unable to take advantage of the shelters because of their influential husbands.
The Outreach Committee specializes in creating “accidents” to rid these women of their abusive spouses. The BWEF is thrilled when the CEO of a prominent local bank volunteers as Chief Advisor to their Finance Committee, but after a few meetings with the banker and his wife, it appears their newest benefactor may be an abuser himself. The Outreach Committee soon find themselves in unchartered territory, heading down a dangerous path that threatens the very existence of the shelters. How far will these women go to protect the foundation and those seeking help?
“The Outreach Committee” is one of those books that captivated me from the very first page. The writing is stimulating, the story moves at just the right pace, with the continual escalation of building suspense. The characters are moving, realistic and well defined. It was maddening to go through the seemingly hopeless and helpless journeys with the women in the story. I felt a deep connection to these women, even without having their first-hand experiences.
There are storylines for each of the women serving on the Outreach Committee. It was enlightening to see how they dealt with their own internal battles of morality versus justice, and the conscious decisions made in order to move forward with their lives. With just a few pages left to read and the continual escalation of suspense, I wondered how the story could possibly end, but the author tied it up all the details with a surprising twist of events.
I highly recommend “The Outreach Committee” by C.L. Woodhams to anyone that loves a good thriller. This story is very well done. It will keep you on the edge of your seat with suspenseful entertainment, while also providing education and awareness on a very serious subject matter.