“Burn the Dawn” by Lisa Phillips: Book 2 in the Brand of Justice series (a review)

My friends! Do you love suspense? Do you love strong female characters that you can sympathize and root for? (And do you mind being scared just a little here and there?)

I have just the book for you then! Author Lisa Phillips provided a copy of Burn the Dawn for me. It’s the second of her books in the Brand of Justice books (the first one is Cold Dead Night, and that’s how I discovered Lisa and her fantastic protagonist Kenna!). Let me tell you more!

About the book

Kenna is still alone. But she prefers it that way. (Except for her AWESOME dog, Cabot.) Just as she did in her younger years with her famous author (and investigator) father, she travels the U.S., although she’s traded in her RV for a van that’s big enough to contain a kitchenette, mini-bathroom, and sleeping area. Just perfect for the two of them.

After her time with the FBI ended, Kenna was licensed as a private investigator. And she goes where others desperately need her help. Now, she’s in northern California. Where, in one small region, three young women have gone missing. One by one. Only to reappear, injured, dazed, and forgetful about what has happened to them. And no one knows who’s behind the abductions.

And now there’s another young woman missing.

My thoughts

Keenly observant. Slow to trust. Yet fierce and strong (her hand-to-hand combat skills!), especially when it comes to protecting vulnerable women and children.

Burn the Night begins with a search-and-rescue mission. Just outside of town, the pine forest begins, and a group of volunteers, including Kenna and Cabot, has gathered to receive last-minute instructions from the mission commander. But the two have noticed one man in particular. Perhaps it’s a gut feeling? But if both the dog AND the human have noticed him…

Let me tell you, you will NOT be able to put the book down from there. (And that’s just a few pages in!) It is gripping. Heartbreaking. And yet so encouraging to watch Kenna courageously, passionately, and fearlessly seek out the lost and target the criminals. It turns out that these abductions are not just the crimes of a single perpetrator. There is more than one person targeting these young women. And it’s not obvious who is on the side of the angels…and who isn’t.

In addition, Kenna discovers that her father just might have had connections in this town. But are they people that she can trust? And did they really know her dad, or are they just dropping names in order to gain Kenna’s loyalty?

I honestly could not predict what Kenna and Cabot were going to face next. She is so incredibly skilled as an investigator, even as she keeps her heart protected. But she’s going to need help from others in order to solve these crimes. Because the perpetrator has no qualms about killing those in the way, or those who aren’t of use anymore. (Or who’ve betrayed the organization.) She’s going to face killers. Kidnappers. The worst of criminals. Will she have to do it alone…or will she have allies? Besides her very, very good dog, Cabot.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough to you. Lisa Phillips is the most incredible storyteller–and Kenna is a fantastic protagonist. (I fell in love with her in Cold Dead Night, and I am ALWAYS going to be on the lookout for a new book about her!) If you love thrillers and, like Kenna, have a heart for the downtrodden and cruelly-used, you are going to love Burn the Dawn. You won’t be able to turn the pages quickly enough!

Visit the author, Lisa Phillips here

You can find the Lisa Phillips on social media on the following links:

Lisa Phillips’ author website



Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author. All opinions expressed here are my own honest ones.

“Cold Dead Night” ~ a JustRead Blog & Review Tour (& giveaway, ends 9/12/22)

#sponsor #partner

Cold Dead Night JustRead Blog + Review Tour Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Cold Dead Night by Lisa Phillips, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


Cold Dead Night

Title: Cold Dead Night Series: Brand of Justice #1 Author: Lisa Phillips Publisher: Two Dogs Publishing Release Date: August 25, 2022 Genre: Christian Suspense

The FBI betrayed her. Now they need her.

Private Investigator Kenna Banbury lost everything two years ago at the hands of a serial killer. From the ashes of that encounter, she’s built a life she believes in, searching for the lost and forgotten all over the western US. Bringing her own brand of justice. When a series of murders drags her into an FBI investigation, Kenna finds herself back in the place where it all went wrong. Struggling to make sense of the case, Kenna’s past and present collide in a deadly plot that risks another betrayal and threatens to shatter everything she’s built. Kenna faces the ultimate test in this first book of a brand-new series from Lisa Phillips. PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository | IndieBound | BookBub


Lisa Phillips

USA Today and Publisher’s Weekly Bestselling Author Lisa Phillips is a British ex-pat who grew up an hour outside of London. It wasn’t until her Bible College graduation that she figured out she was a writer (someone told her). Since then she’s discovered a penchant for high-stakes stories of mayhem and disaster where you can find made-for-each-other love that always ends in happily ever after.

Connect with Lisa by visiting authorlisaphillips.com to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.


(1) winner will receive a signed hardcover copy of Cold Dead Night and merch including a custom pen and chapstick. (3) additional winners will receive an ebook copy of Cold Dead Night.

Cold Dead Night JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight September 5, 2022 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on September 12, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only except books available internationally. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

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Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

My thoughts

I can’t tell you the last time I read a book and was afraid to go to sleep!

Well, actually, I can; it was the other night when I was about 1/3 of the way through Lisa Phillips’ Cold Dead Night. Phillips is an exceptional world-builder; she also tells her story with exquisite pacing. In this book, we meet Kenna; a woman who’s got some serious fears yet fights through them to rescue and to bring justice and closure to victims and families. She has incredible instincts and a law enforcement background and training to back them up, though she uses her skills as a private investigator these days.

But oh, the loss.

Kenna has packaged her loss into a tiny corner of her heart. That loss pushes itself to the forefront with dreams and nightmares, occasionally; yet most of the time she’s able to compartmentalize in an almost superhuman manner. (But no, this isn’t the story of a comic book superhero. Kenna is all too human.) Alongside that loss, Kenna has constructed a solitary life as a PI. She goes where she is needed, assists the police when she can, then moves on to the next location. Alone, still.

When something concrete seems to connect her to a crime in Salt Lake City, the town she avoids until she has to pick up her mail, she’s surrounded by former FBI and police contacts. And the secrets she’s hidden are written on the faces of the agents who despise her, for what they think she has done. Her only sources of support are a police lieutenant and a new special agent Jaxton. But despite that, the body count is rising. The perpetrators are hidden from sight. Kenna may not make it out of this one alive.

Here’s what I can recommend to you: if you love police procedurals, justice, or FBI novels, you will love this book. (Or suspense books or thrillers!) Phillips’ storytelling and character creation are marvelous. Kenna has untold depths to her backstory and inner life, even as she is an exceptional investigator and truly a strong woman. You will root for her, sympathize with her pain, and hope against hope that she’ll come out of this book alive.

Just don’t read it before bedtime!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.