Three best friends from boyhood through their days in the war are caught in a car accident on a rainy day in Oregon as they drive home from a pizza shop: a Christian businessman, Finn, an adulterous relativist, Doc, who is head of surgery at the local clinic, and a secular liberal journalist, Jake.
The only one who survives is Jake, the journalist.
The accident was murder, however. The tie rods in the car were cut. Someone was being targeted.
Was it Finn, who was a passionate Christian and who fought in the battle for pro-life, so committed that he opened his home to unwed girls so they could have a safe pregnancy? Many people hated Finn for these activities, and Jake's own home newspaper had often misrepresented him. Jake didn't often agree with this kind and gentle man, but Jake admired his loving family and solid character: Finn left behind his beloved wife, a little son who had down syndrome and a much worn Bible.
Was it Doc? Doc lived more like Jake did, except that Jake's adultery had ended his marriage and left him estranged from his seventeen year old daughter Carly. Doc's life looked both good and terrible from the outside. He was always the head of everything, respected, and popular, yet his wife and daughter lived with broken hearts from his adultery, and Jake could see the wounds it left. Who would kill Doc? Jake knew Doc as well as he knew himself, and Doc was a "good" man... but did Jake really know him, and was he a good man?
Jake and Detective Ollie Chandler begin to investigate, and Jake's convictions about almost everything are shaken to the bone.
Jake's life is at risk as he continues the investigation, now aided by two men who profess to be FBI agents and swear him to secrecy.
Who will he believe? Who can he trust? Who is the killer?
The biggest question Jake must answer is Is there Truth?
Watching the life leave his friend Finn in the ICU reminds this journalist that his final Deadline is coming. Jake has always been able to meet his 11:30, 800 word deadline (sometimes at 11:50), but the deadline of his life will leave the article written with no edits left to make.
God himself is getting a hold of Jake.
Meanwhile, from Heaven, Finn watches Jake below in the dark world, praying fervently that his Jake will come to know the LORD whom Finn now worships face to face.
Finn's beautiful passage from his broken body in the ICU into the Joy of His Lord is written in Deadline. My family, listening as I read, loved this part.
Finn's conversations with his guardian angel were a thrill for me to read. Scripture says that the angels earnestly desire to peek into God's mystery of redemption, they are servants of God and exist to do His bidding amongst men on earth and in Heaven.
When the angel told Finn that he wished he were a human, for humans are made in the LORD's very, this truth washed over me. The knowledge that these powerful beings, angels, wish to be human as I am, because God made us in His Image is amazing to me.
When Finn was allowed to witness the formation of his first grandbaby's DNA, tears came to my eyes. This is what a pre born baby is, a miraculous, wondrous, creation of God.
These scenes from Heaven's view were good to read, they help us imagine our Real Home.
My favorite part of this gripping page turner were the themes explored as Jake searches for the Truth. This book was loaded with these themes. As a liberal columnist, Jake supported euthanasia, abortion, divorce, sex education, diversity, multiculturalism and self determined morality. He attended sensitivity training, and yet his opinion column attacked right wing fundamentalists each week.
"Tolerance for everyone else, intolerance for pro-life Christians" was the unspoken pledge for this writer at The Tribune, and with journalism gagged by tolerance the paper was becoming a special interest newsletter- and Jake knew it.
So many of his cherished beliefs had started to producing their fruit in the life of his child...his ex-wife and daughter need him like never before.
As Jake and Ollie investigate the crime, Jake is shown things he never expected.
Bonds he thought were bonds of honest friendship were lies, and things were not what they seemed. People whom he thought he knew were putting up a false front, and living a deadly other life.
As he comes face to face with questions he had dodged all of his life Jake is forced to change his mind about most things. Discussions in the newsroom and with his daughter give us a look at the world through the eyes of a journalist used to getting his story and backing up his own opinion. He is the perfect character to explore these themes through.
For a mystery and a look at life through Jake's eyes and his changing perspective, Deadline is a book I recommend.
I was glad this book was 400 pages long. Long books are good. I am glad I received Deadline from Waterbrook Blogging for Books to write this review.
As a final note, this review was written in Blogger's Normal Times font. You will understand why I mentioned this when you read Deadline.
Randy Alcorn in his new book, "Deadline book coverDeadline" Book One in the Ollie Chandler series published by Multnomah Books brings us into the life of Jake Woods.
From the back cover: His Body Hung Suspended Between Two Friends-His Soul Between Two Worlds
Doc's shoulder jammed into Jake as he swerved the Suburban sharply to the right, cut between a telephone pole and a billboard, then careened into a ten-foot high embankment. Sometime between the sound of Doc's last cry and the sickening crunch of bent metal from the car's first roll, Jake lost consciousness. The last sensation he felt was that of being crushed between the two men he had known since childhood_
When tragedy strikes those closest to him, award-winning journalist Jake Woods must draw upon all his resources to uncover the truth about their suspicious accident. Soon he finds himself swept up in a murder investigation that is both complex and dangerous. Unaware of the threat to his own life, Jake is drawn in deeper and deeper as he desperately searches for the answers to the immediate mystery at hand andÃ¢â¬âultimatelyÃ¢â¬âthe deeper meaning of his own existence.
Deadline is a dramatic and vivid novel of substance, filled with hope and perspective for every reader who longs to feel purpose in life.
"Deadline" is more than a murder investigation thriller. Randy Alcorn explores Heaven not as a theory but as a real place being visited by one of the characters. Mr. Alcorn takes on social issues in this book all the while keeping us riveted as the murder investigation continues. Jake Woods survived the murder attempt and, as a journalist, he works to discover just who it was that wanted him and his friends dead. In the process he has to deal with issues of abortion, and his own broken family and the consequences. Alternating between the events on Earth and the events in Heaven "Deadline" keeps you flipping the pages as Jake's life is in danger as the murderer still wants to see him dead. This book will give you fresh insight into Heaven and hell and to where you are going to wind up. It will also provide a new perspective on other issues that are still in the news today. And all the while keeping you entertained with a mystery. Who could ask for more?
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free from Multnomah Books for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Deadine is an awesome, well-written story that is captivating and thought provoking. I could not put this book down as there are many important real world issues throughout the story that gave me a very different perspective of heaven and hell. Randy Alcorn helps us to look at life, death, choices we make, and most importantly, eternity. He does an excellent job or reminding us that heaven really is a wonderful place. . .more wonderful than our human minds can imagine.
Buy it, read it, pass it on to family and friends.
The primary character, Jake, works for a large city newspaper as a liberal columnist. Jake is involved in a automobile accident that takes the lives of his two best friends who have been his friends since childhood. Soon after the accident when Jake awakens to realize he is the sole survivor, the mystery begins. Being the journalist he is, he digs, probes, and leaves no stone unturned. He soon realizes that there is more involved that a simple accident.
Moving into unchartered waters for himself, Jake soon finds himself facing moral dilemmas. His belief in life and its meaning in general are challenged. He meets up with police detective Ollie Chandler in the investigation who plays a definitive role. (Note: Randy Acorn's next three books in this trilogy are "Ollie Chandler" mysteries.) Included in the story are actual events that are well-researched and interwoven into this fictional story.
A major part of the story involves verbal interchange of the deceased from the accident and others in heaven over how events are unfolding. What they are seeing and feeling. Frankly, "heaven" scenes are not my cup of tea and I could have enjoyed the book more without them. I see a purpose in Alcorn's utilizing this mode of story telling, but I would have enjoyed the book more without it.
There is plenty of mystery, suspense, and action in the book to entertain and capture one's attention. Randy Acorn is a favorite author of mine and I look forward to more of his books. Deadline is a re-release from a 1994 first publish.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of Deadline from Blogging for Books on behalf of the publisher, Multnomah and the author to facilitate this honest review. No requirement for a
Randy Alcorn runs a great story along with great values. Helped me make sense of my values. In other words, he gave words to my values. The only problem was, which didn't depreciate my experience, was that the book had words jammed onto the page like sardines. That didn't bother me much, though. I loved the book. Had me on the edge of my seat, yet deep within my mind with thought.