The first thing you might like to know is that this is not the first 'Riley Covington Thriller' that Jason Elam and Steve Yohn have written - in fact it is the fourth. I had never heard of Riley Covington before I started the book and didn't know this. That's OK. 'Inside Threat' reads just fine as a stand alone book. Having said that, I may just have to find some of the others. (oops - just gave away my stand on this book. My bad.) Here's what it's all about.
So - pulp fiction. Really good, fun, suspenseful, Christian, pulp fiction. Now, I know some of you have an aversion to the terms good/fun/Christian showing up in the same sentence but hear me out:
I was a little worried when I found out one of the authors used to be a football player (that's American/Canadian football for those of you who equate the word with soccer) (oh - Jason Elam) I'm not what you would call a big football fan (understatement of the year!) (sorry Jason) Add to that, one of the characters in the book, Riley Covington himself, is also a football player and you have the makings of my own, personal nuclear bomb. The bomb was a dud - the book wasn't. Well written, great flow, lots of 'had me chuckling' humour, NOT lots of football. (thanks for that!) I completely fell in love with the characters. They felt real and were very accessible.
The banter between the characters was fast, smart and funny! The characters didn't take themselves too seriously, were able to laugh together and had me laughing with them. I especially loved the penalty jars in the analysts' office. The swear jar was labelled 'You kiss your Mama with that Mouth' and the penalty jar for using tired out cliches was 'Oh No You Di'int'. OK, maybe you had to be there but those jars got a real workout and it was funny!
Terrorist attacks happening all over the USA. Trying to figure out what is going on and how it all fit together was a stretch. I didn't get it until the authors were ready to let me get it - which I love. It is always such a bummer when I get it before the characters in the book do. And the hostage taking was truly frightening.
I have to admit, I get seriously tired of the preachy aspects of a lot of Christian lit - and there was definitely some of that. I did like the comparisons between Christian, devoted Muslim and extreme 'Muslim'. In fact, if there was one area of the book that could have been better developed, it was the exploration of devout Muslim beliefs.
The Best Part of the Book ...
is the part I really can't tell you much about without dropping a honking big spoiler (mean, I know. Sorry.) Suffice it to say, the authors weren't afraid to take the story where it needed to go.
The Worst Part of the Book ...
was the effort that went into trying to convert devout Muslim characters to Christianity. I realize this is a big part of Christian literature but it seemed rather arrogant to me. Luckily this was a very small part of the book.
Probably the best Christian literature I've read in a long while.
Character Development 4