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Comes a Horseman

by Robert Liparulo

Comes a Horseman


Comes a Horseman

  • Comes a Horseman by Robert Liparulo

    The Intro

    There's a new name in the burgeoning world of "Christian thrillers", the genre practically invented by Frank Peretti (who is still far and away it's best purveyor): Robert Liparulo. Liparulo, a veteran screen writer and prolific magazine feature author, has turned his hand to Christian fiction and crafted a novel that moves fast, covers a lot of ground and comes to such a sharp climax the reader will find himself going over it twice just to make sure he caught it all.

    Brady Morgan and Alicia Wagner are FBI agents. They are both assigned to testing (and, in her case, creating) new crime-solving equipment. For Brady, a man with a painful past, this is good work because it allows him to remain in shutdown mode emotionally, but for Alicia it's frustrating because she would like to be designing the equipment, testing the equipment, tracking down the bad guys, and jumping over moving cars. In short, she wants it all, everything e Bureau life could entail.

    Be careful what you wish for, as the old adage goes.

    In the course of investigating what appears to be a routine—if grizzly—serial killer, Agents Wagner and Morgan find themselves suddenly the target of the serial killer and, apparently, a here-to-fore unknown accomplice. They have to fight their way through the killers and even prophecy (more on that in a moment) to not just solve the case, but save their own lives, and maybe the world in the process.

    The Review

    You can take the writer out of Hollywood, but apparently you can't take Hollywood out of the writer. While reading this novel, you can see how it would look on the screen for all the stage directions are there and the characters are right out of one of the movies Liparulo admires (and frequently makes reference to) and writes. This isn't necessarily a knock because I think it's what the author intended. So, if you like reading novels that were written to be seen, this is right up your alley.

    Liparulo writes a good story, one that draws you in and pulls you along with twists and turns like a roller coaster. Like a roller coaster, though, once you're off of it there are no lasting effects and the adventure along the way seems (in retrospect) more contrived than real. When we ride roller coasters, we may have in our minds the stories from the news of people who died in an amusement park accident, but we don't really think it can happen to us (and, if you're reading this review, it probably hasn't happened to you). Comes a Horseman has that same sort of pulse-pounding but artificial danger.

    It started from the beginning of the book. It's exciting from page one, but when the two leads show up, they explain police procedure … to each other. The things they are explaining are things the average reader may not know (I didn't, anyway), but you'd think two FBI agents would, so why do they have to tell each other this? Rather like a Louis L'Amour cowboy telling another cowboy how to brand calves after the round-up.

    I was pleasantly surprised by the way the characters in this book, while they deal with spiritual issues, do not have a "Great Awakening" during the book. Unlike so many Christian books, where the hero and/or heroine save the world and find Christ, the status of the faith of both the leads is in question even to the end of the book. While this may be pointing to further stories with these two, and further chances to explore their faith, as a stand-alone story I found this part of it to be very realistic because it wasn't wrapped up in an overly tidy package. What they saw and dealt with in this story are traumas that a person, even a Christian, could not lightly brush aside and to pretend they could would be doing the reader a disservice.

    A Word About Prophecy

    While it's a blessing to finally read someone who apparently hasn't bought into the LaHaye School of End Times Prophecy lock, stock and check-your-brain-at-the-door barrel, Liparulo does seem to follow a line of end-times beliefs that I, personally, don't share. The annoying thing, for purposes of this review, is that I really can't go into detail about my disagreement without giving away too much of the story. Maybe in a year or so, when the movie is out, I can go into detail.

    Again, this is not a knock on the book for it's a poor man who can't read (and learn from) points of view he doesn't agree with. So, even as I read along thinking to myself, "Whoa! Where'd he get that idea?" I appreciate the fact that it sent me scrambling for my Bible. I still question his conclusion(s), but I appreciate him sending me to scripture to check it out.




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Other Recommendations from Best Christian Fiction

  • First Time: The Legend of Garison Fitch - by Samuel White

  • In His Steps - by Charles M Sheldon


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