Saturday, February 16, 2013


Deadline - Randy Alcorn Deadline is a gripping page turner.
    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 Heavens 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.

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