I enjoyed this novel very much. Creston Mapes does a fine job weaving together two dissimilar plot: one about a troubled man who is stalking Jack Crittendon’s family, particularly his wife, Pam; and a second involving the disappearance of a pastor, whose suicidal tendencies suggest he may have taken his life.
How these two unrelated story lines eventually merge is potential for an intriguing tale, and this one doesn’t disappoint.
Mysteries abound, and journalist Jack is up to the task, using his investigative skills to unearth the truth. Meanwhile, the stalker ups the stakes, and Jack must become more aggressive to keep his family safe. When the unthinkable happens, his faith in God is put to the ultimate test.
Creston is an author to watch. His masterful pacing starts from the first page’s home invasion and rarely, if ever, slows down. The adrenaline-laced plot is tight, and the characters—even the primary villain, whose journey of abuse is heartrending—are believable and sympathetic.
The novel had several qualities that particularly appealed to me. As a former college journalism major, I could relate to Jack’s news-gathering skills and his drive to find the truth. I particularly liked the depiction of Jack’s loving marriage to Pam and the relatable fatherly urge to protect those we love. For this reason, the novel will particularly appeal to men, especially fathers, though Jack’s wife gets plenty of camera time for the ladies.
Most of all, I was impressed with the strong faith elements that showed realistically drawn Christian characters grappling with real-world issues. It’s nice to read a Christian novel that isn’t afraid to be overtly Christian in content. The sympathetic characters were never sugarcoated and always rang with truth. Though they were imperfect, in their weakness they always turned to God for help.
For this reason, this novel has great spiritual takeaway value. It was a delight to find a novel that kept me riveted and challenged my faith at the same time.
I’m happy to recommend Fear Has a Name. It has no foul or crude language. Some marital subject matter plants the story squarely in the adult category, but nothing about the content was offensive.
Add these qualities to a never-slows-down plot, and you’ve got a winner. You don’t want to miss this one. I’m looking forward to reading the second installment in the Crittendon Files. This is my first Creston Mapes novel, but it won’t be my last.
Note: I received a free copy of the novel, thanks to David C. Cook, in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.
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