John Bevere & Mark Andrew Olsen
Bethany House Publishers
Most people drift through life with little thought about the spiritual ramifications of the choices they make. Even Pastor Alan Rockaway from Denver, CO didn’t consider this spiritual dimension until a sudden crisis called for his entire focus. Rockaway leads a small group of couples from his church on a week-long cruise to the island country of Barbados. He is with his new bride Jenny and has coaxed his teenage son Jeff to join them.
While Jeff waits on the dock, the couples enter a submarine; during the trip, a brand-new luxury yacht runs right into their vessel and crashes on top of it. As local divers attempt to save the tourists, the boat blows up and plunges the submarine and church group into an even more difficult life-and-death rescue.
Through flashbacks, readers begin to understand some of the family dynamic between Jeff and his father. While his Denver Summit Chapel grew from a small start-up to become a mega-church, Pastor Rockaway and his wife, Terri, had drifted apart in their relationship. Eventually Rockaway divorced Terri and married Jenny. With such a high-profile marriage breakup, the church supported their pastor and cut off their relationships with Terri and the Rockaways’ two sons, Jeff and Greg.
For the couples in the submarine, there is little hope of rescue with the debris from the boat above them. They discover that they have a very limited amount of oxygen, so they use a video recorder on battery to preserve last messages to their loved ones. Several founding members of Summit Chapel die waiting to be saved, including Hal Newman, whom fellow member Carrie Knowles tries unsuccessfully to revive.
Displaying his techno-savvy, Jeff is able to establish a communications link between himself and his father in the submarine, and the church in Denver. Members of the congregation are spellbound watching the drama unfold and are committed to praying for their pastor and fellow church members.
Throughout the story, the spiritual dimension in heaven is mixed into this well-told thriller. In the opening scene, a woman is on her way to heaven and looks briefly into the Valley of Gehenna, where anyone who doesn’t know God will be forever punished. The guide, called Storyteller, tells this startled lady a story that consumes the majority of the novel.
While RESCUED is plotted and shaped as a suspense thriller, the message is strong with spiritual depth about the ramifications of life choices. First-time novelist John Bevere has produced a page turner that I strongly recommend.
--- Reviewed by W. Terry Whalin, writer and editor in Scottsdale, Arizona. His latest book is BOOK PROPOSALS THAT $ELL, 21 SECRETS TO SPEED YOUR SUCCESS (Write Now Publications). http://www.bookproposals.ws.
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