cover image The Deposit Slip

The Deposit Slip

Todd M. Johnson. Bethany House, $14.99 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-0-7642-0986-4

Debut novelist Johnson, like fellow Christian novelists James Scott Bell and Randy Singer, has worked many years as a trial lawyer, a profession that seems to serve budding novelists well, perhaps not because they are accustomed to framing and structuring narratives of event but because they have seen much of the underbelly of society. When Erin Larson finds a deposit slip for $10 million in her recently deceased father’s safety deposit box, she hires Jared Neaton to help her find out where the money came from and why she never saw any signs of it. To take the case, Neaton must return to his hometown and face his father, who did time in prison for embezzlement. Johnson writes vividly; describing Neaton’s fathers eyes, he writes, “They showed no fight; only a rush of unexpected pain. It drained all the satisfaction out of the rage, seeing his dad like a fighter who wouldn’t raise his gloves.” With an irresistible set-up, suspense, a subtle love triangle, strong dialogue, characters, and a focused plot, Johnson makes a strong first literary case. (July)