Monday, September 25, 2006

Seventy Times Se7en by Brandt Dodson

Some memories stay with you forever. One of those memories for me is the first time I saw a Humphrey Bogart movie. My first one was Casablanca. Once I saw it, I was a Bogie fan for life. Bogie played a tough guy with a heart of gold. He always played a character that had a problem. Rick in Casablanca tried to forget his broken heart by drinking his life away. But when his friends(including the girl who broke his heart) were in trouble, he would step up and do the right thing.
Watching Bogie movies led me to reading the works of various hardboiled crime writers. Authors like Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, and Lawrence Block. None of these wrote Christian fiction. What they did write about that appealed to me was people. Most of them are not perfect but they did the right thing when it mattered. They overcame their faults, rose above their problems, and helped the people who needed them. I don't have a problem with alcoholism. I never shot a person. But we have all fallen short of the glory of God and needed redemption. Everyday I ask God to forgive me for the sins I have committed. I believe that is why this type of story(whether it is a Bogie movie or a crime novel) touches my heart.
I have been looking for an author who writes hard boiled crime fiction from a Christian point of view. Brandt Dodson is that kind of writer.
Seventy Times Se7en is the second Colton Parker novel. Colton is a P.I. who used to work for the F.B.I. He was fired from his job and had a fight with his wife. She left and died in a car wreck. His teenage daughter blames him for her mother's death. Colton does not understand why his wife was a Christian. In this book, Colton is hired to find the wife of Lester Cheek. Lester's wife left without an explanation. In the process, Parker has to take on an international hit man and stop a murder for hire. At the same time he is trying to reconnect with his daughter. A daughter who wants nothing to do with him.
Brandt has managed to craft a Christian hard boiled novel. This book gives me the mix of Christian fiction and crime story I have been waiting for. Highly recommended.
Brandt Dodson will be featured in an interview that I will be posting tomorrow.

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