Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Not In the Heart by Chris Fabry

Truman Wiley used to report news stories from around the world, but now the most troubling headlines are his own. He’s out of work, out of touch with his family, out of his home. But nothing dogs him more than his son’s failing heart.

With mounting hospital bills and Truman’s penchant for gambling his savings, the situation seems hopeless . . . until his estranged wife throws him a lifeline—the chance to write the story of a death row inmate, a man convicted of murder who wants to donate his heart to Truman’s son.

As the execution clock ticks down, Truman uncovers disturbing evidence that points to a different killer. For his son to live, must an innocent man die? Truman’s investigation draws him down a path that will change his life, his family, and the destinies of two men forever.

My review:
It took me a while to like the main character in this book. Put simply, he is a jerk. Gambling addict, absent father and husband, and he hasn't even been to visit his son in the hospital. Over the course of the book, I came to like and appreciate him in spite of his many faults.

This is a very moving book, with a little bit of suspense thrown in. Once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down, and got totally caught up in the story. I haven't read much written by Fabry, but this book was top-notch. The story is gritty, showing the depths of the emotions of the characters, and had a terrific plot: a man on death row, wanting to give his heart to a teenage boy who desperately needs a new heart. The boy's father is writing the inmate's story, but finds evidence that could mean his innocence. But the inmate's innocence means no new heart for the boy who so desperately needs one.

I wondered from the beginning of the book how the author would solve that dilemma. Would the boy just die, needing a new heart that he never got because of his father's great investigative prowess? Would the father keep the evidence to himself and let an innocent man die, so his own son would live?

One thing the author did do, was pull me into the story, and I did read it in one day from the beginning to the very bittersweet and surprising ending. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and highly recommend it.

About the author:
Chris Fabry is an award-winning author and radio personality who hosts the daily program Chris Fabry Live! on Moody Radio. He is also heard on Love Worth Finding, Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, and other radio programs. A 1982 graduate of the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism at Marshall University and a native of West Virginia, Chris and his wife, Andrea, now live in Arizona and are the parents of nine children.

Chris's novels, which include Dogwood, June Bug, Almost Heaven, and Not in the Heart, have won two Christy Awards and an ECPA Christian Book Award, but it's his lyrical prose and tales of redemption that keep readers returning for more. He has also published more than 65 other books, including nonfiction and novels for children and young adults. He coauthored the Left Behind: The Kids series with Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye, as well as the Red Rock Mysteries and the Wormling series with Jerry B. Jenkins. RPM is his latest series for kids and explores the exciting world of NASCAR. Visit his Web site at http://www.chrisfabry.com/.

Not In The Heart is available from Tyndale Publishing.

Thanks to B&B Media for the review copy.