Ulterior Motives

Mark Andrew Olsen, Author Bethany House Publishers $13.99 (317p) ISBN 978-0-7642-0275-9
Best known for his novel Hadassah (which was made into the film One Night with the King), Olsen packs everything Christian thriller fans enjoy in his newest. Greg Cahill is an ousted FBI agent called back for a dangerous mission for the U.S. government: thwarting a terrorist plot. Christian readers will find the interplay of faith and counter-terrorism interesting as Cahill shares his faith with a radical Muslim terrorist. But dialogue is clunky (""...since you people are so stinking familiar with all of my past pronouncements, then draw up an interrogation plan that's as aggressive as possible...""), and the author stumbles over finding believable ways to depict real characters while still writing for Christian readers. A month-long countdown to a terrorist attack builds suspense, but action is often summarized in a few sentences rather than used to build scenes. The climax includes a shocking decision of faith and sacrifice, but it comes five pages before an abrupt ending that doesn't exercise the heart muscle as much as thriller fans expect.
Reviewed on: 03/02/2009
Release date: 03/01/2009
Hardcover - 419 pages - 978-1-4104-1442-7
Open Ebook - 978-1-4412-0841-5
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