The publisher described the book this way:
A gripping debut thriller pits a man of God against terrorists—and his own deadly past
John Cross is a small-town pastor, bent on leading his flock to follow God's calling. He's not the sort of man one would expect to have a checkered past.
But the truth is that the man behind the pulpit preaching to his sheep was once a wolf—an assassin for the CIA. When John decided to follow Christ, he put that work behind him, determined to pay penance for all the lives he took. He vowed never to kill again.
Now someone wants the peaceful pastor to pay for his sins with his own life. And when a terrorist out for revenge walks into the church, John's secrets are laid bare. Confronted with his past, he must face his demons and discover whether a man can truly change. Can he keep his vow—even when the people he loves are in mortal danger? Will his congregation and the brave woman he's learning to care for be caught in the cross fire? In the end, his death may be the only sacrifice he has left to offer.
Andrew Huff's thrilling debut is not only a riveting story of suspense, it's also a deep exploration of the moral quandaries that face those who choose to follow the Prince of Peace in a violent world
What did I think?
I had a hard time putting it down. You start off right in the thick of things, inside the head of a reporter who is about to be executed by terrorists. The first sentence is, "Millions of people would witness the murder of Christine Lewis, and not one of them could do anything to stop it."
This is a suspense novel, and only the first chapter, so I don't think it is too much of a spoiler to tell you that this execution does not go as planned. John Cross shows up in chapter one in an attempt to save her, but that rescue does not go as planned either.
That makes for a pretty good synopsis of this book: plans are made, and plans don't work out like anyone expected. Lather, rinse, repeat.
It isn't quite non-stop twists and turns. Cross returns to the small church he pastors, and there is a breather where you get to meet some delightful characters that remind me so much of church people I've known over the years, particularly at smaller churches.
I would not have guessed that this was the first novel for Andrew Huff. And I highly recommend it.
Disclaimer: I received this book through Kregel Blog Tours. No other compensation was received. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.