For those of you familiar with Jerry Jenkins of The LeftBehind series fame, you are in for a treat should you decide to read, The Last Operative. According to the author, “The Last Operative is a thorough retelling of my very first standalone novel, which marked what I considered a major step in my writing journey.”
This novel begins with a revelation. Jordan Kirkwood, an NSA undercover operative, is given secret information from another trusted member of the intelligence community. Someone in one of the intelligence agencies appears to have gone rogue, but which agency? Who can be trusted? Is the information credible? Is the rogue agent really enabling terrorists? If so, a catastrophic event is about to unfold on U.S. soil far worse than 9/11. Will Kirkwood be able to unravel this mystery and eliminate the threat in time? I really enjoyed the twists and turns in this story.
Somewhere Fast, by Bob Beltz, is a fictional story written in the order of Pilgrim’s Progress. The main character, John Calvin, is a broken man in need of some answers. An extramarital affair has cost him everything; his job as a pastor, his children, marriage and friends. He has reached a point where he doesn’t know what he believes. John decides to embark on a solo motorcycle trip along Route 66 to clear his head and gain a new sense of direction.
Along the way, he plans encounters with a few sages whose opinion he respects. In addition to the planned interactions, he has several unexpected encounters with complete strangers. Part way through his journey, one of the encounters leaves him overwhelmed by grace. The book conveys a gradual revelation of knowledge relevant not only to John Calvin but to readers as well. Somewhere Fast is good read, especially for those of the male gender.
When someone first recommended this author, I was reluctant to spend money on a writer I’d never heard of. Months later, Send Down the Rain by Charles Martin, is the second book of his I have read. He’s become one of my favorite authors. I find myself asking, “why is that?” Maybe it’s because Charles Martin novels make you feel part of the story; what happens to the characters matter. In this latest read I became so immersed in the story I found myself assessing the outcome of the book for days afterwards.
Send Down the Rain is a great read! It’s a classic struggle of good verses evil. The main character, Jo Jo Brooks, claims, “evil can’t kill evil.” He believes love is the only thing that can challenge hate and overcome it. Send Down the Rain is filled with secrets and plot twists. The reader is fed a steady diet of them both. It is a tale of how far is a man is willing to go to make a stand against evil.
When you are finished reading this book you will want to keep it handy for a second read.
The List, by Buck Storm and Bill Perkins is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. The novel falls into the Christian fiction genre and captures the essence of what life must have been like in Israel under Roman occupation at the time of Christ.
The storyline follows the lives of Joseph of Arimathea (a Saducee) and Nicodemus (a Pharisee), both of whom were part of the Jewish religious council called the Sanhedrin. The unlikely pair become friends and secretly set out to prove/disprove that Jesus of Nazareth is the promised Messiah. They accomplish this by creating a list of prophecies Messiah must fulfill.
My favorite part of the book was how the authors managed to capture the tension between the people’s love for Jesus and the religious leader’s loathing of him. A must read for people of faith. I was excited to learn there will be a sequel.
I must admit I wasn’t expecting much when I picked up a copy of Crimson Snow by William Kritlow. He’s an author I’ve never heard of. I confess it was the novel’s setting, the Lake Champlain region of New England, that lured me to check out this book.
In the opening pages a murder has been committed at a community church in the small town of Sugar Steeple, Vermont. The body lying in the snow is that of the assistant pastor. The police detectives have precious little information to go on and suspect it could be someone connected to the church.
Meanwhile in Atlanta, Georgia, we are introduced to a socially immature seminary graduate named “Win” Brady who still resides at the seminary three and a half years after his graduation. A Dean at the seminary is pressured by Brady’s wealthy father to force Win’s exit from the safe confines of the seminary, wanting him to do something “productive” with his life. The Dean just so happens to have ties to New England, and you guessed it, the town of Sugar Steeple.
From this point on the book sprouts wings and soars as I watched Win Brady clumsily navigate his first ever assistant pastorate. He becomes enamored with a woman police officer who somehow convinces him to work undercover for a hard-nosed detective. As the book progresses, a spiritual battle unfolds pitting good against evil.
Kritlow has succeeded in creating well-developed characters and an engaging plot that keeps you guessing as to who the real killer is. I’m looking forward to reading the next two books in the Lake Champlain Mystery series.