Comes a Horseman

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I apologize to you, my weary audience, for I've already pushed out a great mass of stuff, but before the heat dies on the burner of memory, I thought I'd post just one more--a book review.

Westbow, an imprint of Thomas Nelson publishers--renowned largely for their gigantic Bible-publishing enterprise--is a smart, savvy press that seems to "get it." In recent days I've read a number of books that have been issued by this press, and they have been uniformly well-written and at the core Christian. However, none of them bear the traditional marks of some Christian publications. That is, Christian publishers are catching on and finding out that you need engaging characters, a plot, and good writing to lure readers. The Christian message will out in the course of things if you keep the reader reading.

So, we have Comes a Horseman by Robert Liparulo--an unlikely entry in the Evangelical publisher's catalog--Pagan Norse serial killers with wolf-dog hybrid assistances working for the would be Antichrist on his way up. We have two FBI CSI-like investigators who start with the serial killings and then are well on their way to becoming victims themselves. The book is an intricate, complicated thriller that centers around the rise of a pretender to the position of Antichrist with the assistance of a group of watchers. There are several separate strands that are finally brought together in a satisfying if somewhat protracted conclusion.

The book is long and there's a bit more explanation toward the very end than seems plausible given the circumstances. However, these are the same problems that show up in nearly any book of the genre. What is here moves quickly and carries the reader along. Faith is an ordinary part of the lives of the characters and is portrayed as such. When a character prays it makes sense and seems real in the context. One of the main characters is an agnostic who does not miraculously by the end of the book "come to Jesus."

In all, we have smart fiction for the Christian or, I suspect, the non-Christian reader. The non-Christian approaching this book will not be alienated by overly pious characters suddenly falling on their knees just before the villains are about to descend upon them. Indeed, as with Tolkien, the religious message is there and is probably more effective for its stealth treatment and its permeation throughout the text rather than for preaching directly.

A good read for those into the serial-killer/apocalyptic thriller genre. A big beach book--so buy it for summer reading and leave it where someone who may not be Christian can find it. Evangelism through art--sweet!

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Great! We need more books like this one!

Hats off to Thomas Nelson! May their tribe increase. They also published Dawn Eden's book.



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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on February 14, 2007 9:05 AM.

"Nonviolent Civil Disobedience in the Temple" was the previous entry in this blog.

"Radical Discipleship to Jesus" is the next entry in this blog.

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