Hello, friends! I’m back after an extended, yet unintended, hiatus! I’ll have to tell you about my November sometime soon…it was quite the month!
Well, today I have a special treat. Or shall we say, I’m sharing a book that was a special treat to me? I’ve been enjoying some great mysteries lately—just started one this morning, in fact—but I read one back in November that I ended up really enjoying. Not all of it was my favorite, but overall it was great. If you’ve ever read and enjoyed any thriller or suspense novels, I’d suspect you would like it. But first, here’s the back cover copy.
Note: Some links in this post are affiliate links. They help support this blog, at no added expense to you. Thank you! Also, I was given a free review copy of this book, and this is my honest opinion of the work.
About the Book:
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.
Read the first two chapters, provided by Kregel, by clicking here.
What I Thought:
I really enjoyed A Cross to Kill! During November, I had a lot going on and not a lot of time to read, so with what time I did have, I wanted something fun and engaging. This book fit that criterion perfectly, and I found myself sucked in right away. I enjoyed it so much that I told my brother about it, and he, too, ended up reading the book. I thought it would be fun for you to hear what he had to think about it, so I’ll share his review below.
I felt like this story had some great themes about trying to hold to our convictions and honor the Lord, while still delivering an engaging story. Some parts were unbelievable for me, and I definitely would not want to watch this as a movie, but seeing the main character trying to do what was right was great. The gospel message also came through here, which I appreciated. I don’t know if I would want to read the sequel to the story, because of the amount of violence in here (that was the one part I didn’t enjoy that much), but the mystery and characters and story plotting in general were all superb. If you’re looking for a gripping, fast-paced ride with Christian themes, check this out.
As I mentioned before, I requested a free review copy of this book, and that is the copy both of us read. 🙂
And now, for Elijah’s thoughts (thank you, Elijah!):
Recently my older sister told me about a book that she was reading at the time, giving it high acclaim. “An adventure novel” was her label, and so A Cross to Kill turned out to be.
John Cross, a former CIA member, now pastors a small out of the way congregation belonging to the Rural Grove Baptist Church. The congregation believes that he lost a good government job and that is why he became a pastor, but the truth is that he was one of the CIA’s top field operatives. He still does some work for the CIA, but he desperately wishes to bury most of what he has done deep in the past. All this starts to change with the very last mission he does for the CIA, rescuing an American reporter who was about to be executed by terrorists in Turkey. Though utmost secrecy was kept about the whole matter, Christine Luis remembers too much about her near-death experience and seeks out her savior. When they meet, they realize that there are evil plots afoot, endangering themselves and many of those around them. Can they uncover the truth in time to save the lives of many others? And what about Cross’ past—can he hide his lie to his congregation forever?
When I first heard about the book, I wasn’t too excited about it. But that changed over the course of the first few chapters. The pace started fast and rarely slowed down throughout the book. There were many points I appreciated. Though it doesn’t give a theological explanation in the book, Cross made a stand against killing. Similarly, it doesn’t tell the gospel message as such, but it shows the result of turning to Christ; seeking forgiveness for wrongdoing and a complete turnaround from the old man to the new.
I did not agree with the stand taken in the book on several levels. First of all, after his conversion, he repressed his conscience at several points in the story as far as “borrowing” cars went in order to get to where he needed to go. Another thing I would like to mention is his level of violence. He would not go so far as killing someone—or so he told himself. But a point that was brought out in another book I read recently was that “the road to gross sins is walked with small steps.” Like I mentioned before, he had made a vow against killing which I respect (as much as one can when referring to a fictitious story!) but I still do not like the lead in that direction taken in the story. As a final point, I didn’t appreciate the position of pastor he took in the light that he was just a new Christian. 1 Timothy 3:6 speaks on this subject. I believe that it clearly states that a young believer should not be put in a position of authority in the church. This is a general point, I will admit, not a blanket statement. If a new believer has matured enough in their Christian life I see no problem with him taking the position of pastor. But godly caution should be exercised and I personally think Cross took the position too early in his Christian life.
I appreciate that though he lived a lie throughout the story, he faced up to the truth when it did come out. And the congregation showed a good attitude when they accepted his apology and forgave him.
I was impressed with the story overall. The weaving of the story-lines is masterful and (if you are like me) as soon as you start the book, you won’t want to put it down until you have finished it.
Enter the Giveaway!
There is a giveaway going on right now, too! Enter below for your own chance at a copy of this story.
I’m looking forward to getting back to writing more regularly again! It seems like far too long. For now, what are you reading or have been reading lately? I’ve read some other great books the last while besides this one, so hopefully I can share them with you soon, too!