5 Stars Out Of 5
Strobel Makes Succesful Jump to Fiction
May 17, 2011
Santa Clarita, CA
Popular Atheist turned Christian nonfiction author Lee Strobel, noted for his widely read "Case For" series of books on the intellectual support for the Christian faith, has made his fiction debut with a legal thriller novel. The action is based in Chicago and focuses on Eric Snow, pastor of a suburban megachurch.
The engaging mystery weaves intriguing characters into a fast paced story line. A corrupt judge, a cynical reporter and his girl friend, a gambling addict in possession of a secret tape, Snow's best friend and fellow pastor, an Elder in his church, his wife, and a mob king-pin all converge in a tale where the Governor's appointment to a vacant Senate seat is a stake - along with the lives of everyone who hears the secretly made tape recording.
New York Times bestselling author Lee Strobel takes his readers inside a suburban megachurch, a big-city newspaper struggling for survival, a court system tainted by corruption, and the local and national political scenes.
The action takes place in Chicago and includes the familiar sights, sounds, history, traditions and tastes of the Windy City. Having lived in Chicago, Strobel treats the local color perfectly. Only someone who truly knows that city could pen an entire page describing the nuances of a Chicago-style hot dog, for example.
An unexpected climax avoids any clichÃ© ending (with all the good guys living happily ever after.) In fact, readers are left looking forward to another installment in the form of a sequel.
Strobel, who has been prolific in nonfiction, writes with a confident and crisp style as he jumps over to fiction writing. He successfully avoids turning an excellent thriller into something less, with his measured injection of Christian themes. The story isn't interrupted by preaching, but the Christian worldview vs. opposing ideas is definitely included. Strobel's personal background includes involvement in a magachurch which leads to some very real feeling portrayals in that area. His background as an award winning legal journalist makes for a realistic portrayal of the legal and journalism themes in the plot as well. One character clearly mirrors Strobel's background in legal journalism. However, the author commendably holds back from resolving that character's skepticism, before the book ends, in parallel with the author's own journey to faith.
With a growing interest in faith-based films, I would expect this story might well make it to the big screen one day.
This one definitely belongs on your summer reading list if you haven't already devoured it like a tasty slice of Chicago-style deep dish pizza by then.