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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Book Review: Sky Zone: A Novel (The Crittendon Files) by Creston Mapes

This is an action packed thriller with a lead character whose faith is real and tested. 
Sky Zone: A Novel (The Crittendon Files)
by Creston Mapes
  • File Size: 3223 KB
  • Print Length: 448 pages
  • Publisher: David C. Cook (June 1, 2014)
Genre: Thriller, Christian Fiction
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0

Book Description
Publication Date: June 1, 2014
A rally for a controversial presidential candidate.
A terrorist threat.
A nightmare of cataclysmic proportions.

Jack and Pamela Crittendon have hit the breaking point. After months out of work as a reporter, Jack is playing Mr. Mom and working part-time at Festival Arena with his survivalist friend Brian Shakespeare. Meanwhile, Pamela has gone back to work full-time while eight months pregnant. Having her recently widowed mother on hand isn't making matters any easier.
With financial pressures boiling, Jack reports for duty at a rally for controversial presidential candidate Martin Sterling where he expects a mindless night on the job. But when Homeland Security picks up intel about a potential terrorist threat, Jack and Shakespeare are thrust into a life-or-death battle to save their own lives--and the lives of thousands of innocent people.

This third book in The Crittendon Files reminds us of the power of family, friendships and faith--and why we are never in as much control as we think.

Jack Crittendon lost his job as a news reporter and is struggling.  Jack’s friend, Brian Shakespeare, an obsessive survivalist, helped Jack get a part time job as extra security at the local event Arena. Jack’s wife, Pamela, has had to go back to work full time even though she is eight months pregnant. Her mother, Margaret, a recent widow is living with them and beginning to show signs of memory loss and confusion.

Jack has interviewed for a news position that is scheduled to open up if Martin Sterling does well in early polls. Sterling is a presidential candidate who is running on a controversial platform to restrict activities of all Muslims as potential terrorists. Sterling is scheduled to appear at a rally at the Arena and a popular rock musician turned Christian evangelist, Everett Lester, is appearing too.

Homeland Security announces a terrorist threat to the rally function but Sterling refuses to cancel the event. The Arena managers are poorly prepared to deal with the threat and call in a small team of experts as well as local authority. Shakespeare is convinced they have already missed clues as first one Arena guard, then a second disappears. Although the experts waiver, Shakespeare is sure that the terrorists are already in the building hiding in the upper levels known as the Sky Zone. Shakespeare has a weapon stash in his car that he retrieves in order to help protect the Arena guards, Sterling and Lester.

They tried to keep the fans out of the Arena but a couple thousand got in when doors were accidentally open. Shakespeare helps some people escape but among those who get trapped inside with the terrorists are Pam and Margaret. Pam goes into early labor while the terrorists kidnap Sterling and Lester.

There is plenty of excitement in this thriller as well as close character involvement. I did guess some aspects of the terrorist attack but it was fun reading how the truth was revealed. I enjoyed how the author portrays Jack’s true-to-life struggles with his circumstances even as he tries to understand how God is allowing these difficult things to happen out of Jack's control. Jack and Pam must cope with the possibility of health problems with their baby. Jack faces true temptation when doing the “right thing” will likely result in him not getting the news job he wants so badly.

The writing is direct and after a bit of a slow start the story reads at a good pace. This is apparently a third book in a series but I was able to enjoy it as a stand alone. I recommend this to readers who enjoy a thriller that presents Godly faith in the lives of the characters.

I received this book through NetGalley for an honest review.

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