Shepherd Suspense Novels by Andrew Huff

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The action-packed thrillers with conscience and spiritual sensitivity will delight young readers of the Shepherd Suspense novels.

A Cross to Kill and Shadow Cross by Andrew Huff. Kregel Publications, 2019 and 2020. 250+ pages.

  • Reading level: Adults
  • Recommended for: From 15 years old

John Cross, a former CIA pastor, "happens to be" nearby when journalist Christine Lewis is beheaded by angry terrorists from the Middle East. A dramatic chase, life or death situations, and a sudden exit from abroad temporarily bring John and Christine together. Or is it temporary?

Suddenly Christine (and also) is attracted to John. And terrorists are also attracted to John. Revenge is a strong motivator, and John is forced to grapple with his ex-CIA past, align it with his current situation (pastor of the small country church), and grapple with his new interest in Christine. The second book is picked up a few months later when John and Christine are involved in a murder involving Christine's step-brother. It turns out that murder is just the tip of the iceberg.

Cover picture cross shadow

These books are Jason Bourne-style Christian fiction; The Shepherd Suspense novels grab the reader from page 1 and keep the action going until the end. Blockbuster action movie fans will enjoy the chases, the extreme danger, the necessary self-defense actions and the wild way of destruction. John Cross has a conscience thanks to his newly discovered belief in Christ. As such, he opposes the use of lethal force, flinches when he has to lie to maintain cover, and does a serious soul search in Book 2. This adds an interesting dimension to an otherwise typical action story. Huff makes the moral problems credible; This is not the usual cheesy Christian rhetoric.

Considerations

  • These books are remarkably clean in terms of language and sexuality. Curses are referred to, but no actual words are printed.
  • Depending on the genre, there is a lot of violence in this series. Still, John Cross’s determination to avoid deadly actions (including the lack of a weapon) is an admirable contrast to most action-packed thrillers.

Overall rating: 4.25 (out of 5)

  • Weltanschauung / morality rating: 4.5 / 5
  • Artistic rating: 4/5

Related reading from the redeemed reader

  • A review: MindWar by Andrew Klavan (Christian thriller)
  • A review: Allies by Alan Gratz (historical fiction during D-Day)
  • A review: Wildfire by Rodman Philbrick (action-packed adventure)

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