Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A Life Intercepted by Charles Martin

Book description:

Twelve years ago Matthew "the Rocket" Rising had it all. Married to his high school sweetheart and one of the winningest quarterbacks in the history of college football, he was the number one NFL draft pick. But on the night of the draft, he plummeted from the pinnacle of esteem. Falsely accused of a heinous crime with irrefutable evidence, it seemed in an instant all was lost--his reputation, his career, his freedom, and most devastatingly, the love of his life.

Having served his sentence and never played a down of professional football, Matthew leaves prison with one goal--to find his wife, Audrey, whom no one has seen since the trial. He returns to an unwelcoming reception from his Gardi, Georgia, hometown to learn that Audrey has taken shelter from the media with the nuns at a Catholic school. There she has discovered a young man with the talent to achieve the football career Matthew should have had. All he needs is the right coach. Although helping the boy means Matthew violates the conditions of his release and--if discovered--reincarceration for life, he'll take the chance with hope of winning back Audrey's love.

My review:

  This was not a book I was given to review, but was a Christmas gift. Occasionally, if I have the time, I will post a review of a book that impressed me... and this one did.

  I loathe football...maybe more than anyone else on earth...... but I had read a Charles Martin book  a few months ago (Long Way Home), and found it to be incredible, so I had to read more of his books. This was one I put on my Christmas wish list and did get for Christmas.

 I'm not a fan of first person point of view books, and that seems to be all Martin writes....which is one reason I never read anything by him until I reviewed and read the book I mentioned. I still think he'd do better at third person, but this was a phenomenal book. Yes, there were times my eyes glazed over from football play descriptions, but I still go into the book and the characters. It had a great plot, and I bonded with the main character and felt his pain and victories. I cheered at the climatic moment that I thought was coming, but it came in a different way than I expected and carried with it a big surprise I didn't see coming.

 The book has little Christian content... probably because of the publisher, not the author.... but there are Christian themes of hope, forgiveness, love, redemption, and others throughout the book. Though t he book is fictional, the message is not: that God can redeem anyone and any situation and bring good out of it. If you love football, you will likely enjoy this book even more than I did.  I highly recommend.

About the author, from his website in his words: 

I grew up in Jacksonville, Florida on the St. John’s River.  Somewhat of a Huck Finn childhood.  Most afternoons were spent mullet fishing—of which I’ve caught my fair share, canoeing, pegging cars with overripe tangerines—it really got fun when the red tail lights lit and the reverse gears ground metal on metal, or the backyard Superbowl which we replayed most everyday.  Through high school, football was my life.  School was the avenue that allowed me to play.  I walked on at Georgia Tech in 1999 and played one year under Bobby Ross.  “Played” might be a bit too liberal use of the term.  I dressed out for the games and served as a tackling dummy until I got hurt, cracking a vertebrae in my back and they carried me off.  Transferred to Florida State and tried to become a student.  As an escape, I starting racing bicycles up and down the east coast.  Not very good, but it allowed me an outlet.  Eventually landed in the English department after escaping Accounting with a ‘D.’  I was de-lighted.  After graduation, I moved to Atlanta and started waiting tables at Houston’s Restaurant so I could save up money to buy a ring.  Christy and I married in 1993, we drove to Virginia Beach, where she put me through Grad school.  When I wasn’t in class, I worked the morning preload for Ma’ Brown.  (UPS).  Went to work at 2 or 3 am, and clocked out about 9 am.  Didn’t get much sleep for almost 3 years.  In 1997, we got pregnant with Charlie and returned to Jacksonville—so our kids could grow up around our families.  When not a single educational institution in Jacksonville would hire me (including my alma mater, Bolles High School), my brother-in-law had mercy on me and gave me a job selling insurance.  2 years passed and to make a real long story short, a fortune 500 company offered me a VP’s position with a 6-figure salary, 6-figure signing bonus, etc.  I turned them down, resigned from the insurance agency, began pressure washing, building docks, etc., and began trying to sell my novel—what is now The Dead Don’t Dance.  That was 8 years ago.  ‘Where the River Ends” is my 6th novel.

Check out his website: