Sunday, November 22, 2009

Countdown In Cairo by Noel Hynd

Debate rages in Christian publishing: just how Christian does a novel have to be to be classified as Christian fiction? I've even seen postings of guidelines for some authors, informing them of what is acceptable in print and what is not.

Despite the debate, I'm a reader. I know what I like; I know what I enjoy. I want the faith element in my fiction to be genuine, not forced. I want my characters to be real, to be flawed, to be human.

Just not quite as flawed as I found in Noel Hynd's conclusion to The Russian Trilogy. Don't misunderstand me: his novel isn't profane or just didn't grab me. It had elements that I don't want in my fiction. And the faith...well, it felt tossed in for good measure (with the exception of the ending).

I felt like I was reading any ordinary spy novel. And I want more than that in my fiction.

Alex LaDuca is back, and this time she is on the hunt for a former colleague who was presumed dead. Is he, or isn't he? The death of her fiance still haunts her, as do other memories of the past.

Will her secretive mission to Cairo uncover the answers Alex seeks? Will she find closure, or is that merely an illusive term? And will Yuri finally win Alex's heart...or break it?

Midway through the story I found my mind wandering. I just didn't care to invest the time to finish the journey with Alex. Which is sad, as I really grew to like her in the previous novels, "Conspiracy in Kiev" and "Midnight In Madrid".

Alex's faith seems shallow at best most of the time, giving her leeway to do some things that are highly questionable. Lots of drinking in this one, as well as some mild language. That's not all, but I'm not here to list out the things I objected to.

That said, she's in the espionage business. What does it take from a person to do that kind of work? Does the constant barrage of violence, lies, and deceit take its toll? Does it cause a person to question their reject it even?

I don't know. I was worried about Alex throughout most of the novel...

The bottom line is the story never really grabbed me as his previous stories did.

Honestly, I didn't even finish it. I packed it in midway through part two and skipped to the ending. Oh, if only the beginning and the ending could have impacted the middle!

That was where the pulse-pounding events existed. But the middle...the so-called meat of the story...blah. Wandering. Not captivating.

This is an advanced reader copy, but I don't think editing will help. If you're a die-hard spy thriller fan, pick up a copy. You most likely won't be disappointed.

But...I was. And this was my second attempt at finishing the book. Made me really sad...and I tried to hang in there. So, I'm not rating this one. I'm leaving it up to you. "Countdown In Cairo" releases from Zondervan in January 2010.

Happy Reading!



Sell Used Books - Have Your Books Shipped To Us For Free And Get Fast Cash Back!

1 comment:

Kim said...

Whoo-whee, Deena! You could hear the struggle in this one! That happens to us all sometimes. In my case, I'm usually the odd duck that struggles with something everyone else is crazy about!

Happy Thanksgiving!