Cole Leighton can barely believe his eyes. A woman on his bus has just been abducted—in an exact reflection of a scene from the bestselling novel he's reading. Someone is bringing the book to life…and isn't above forcing an innocent woman to follow the story to its tragic end. Using the novel as his playbook, Cole catches up with the beautiful victim—but rescuing Kenzie Jacobs doesn't keep her safe for long. The killer is writing his own ending, and none of the twists and turns lead to happily ever after.
On October 13th, Jenness Walker's first Love Inspired Suspense, Double Take, hit the bookshelves. If you can't find it at Wal-Mart, then click here for a shortcut to Amazon.
This novel (formerly known as Déjà Vu) won first place in the 2008 ACFW Genesis contest, before one of the wise editors at Steeple Hill snatched it for their line. Most of the time first-round contest judges never see one of their judged entries turn into an actual published book. This is one of those rare moments. Consequently, I knew I had to review this book for y'all, despite the fact I really don't like writing book reviews. Why spend a thousand or so words telling you "I really really loved Jenness Walker's Double Take. Go buy it!" when I could do it in eleven?
We've oft heard the saying, "Truth is stranger than fiction."
The premise of Double Take is that a created storyline is strangely happening for real. Like Same and Frodo, Cole and Kenzie knew something larger was going on, yet they weren't exactly sure what tale they'd fallen into. That they WERE in one was the only surety.
Author Madeleine L'Engle insisted, "All of life is a story."
Makes sense. The basics of life has a beginning (birth), middle (stuff between), and end (death). I feel safe to say we're all in the middle, and for some of us the sagging is a bit unbearable at times. Please check Inkwell at a later date for a blog post on plastic surgery; for now, I'll not chase that gray hare. I'm coloring it tomorrow a nice medium ash brown.
Everyone loves a story. Beyond that, there's a deeper truth: Everyone wants to be part of a story. Thanks to our public school science teachers, we have a silent, underlying fear that life is only a tale "told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." From dust we came, from dust we return. The end.
In the end, science does not provide the answers most of us require. Its story of our origins and our end is, to say the least, unsatisfactory. To the question, "How did it all begin?", science answers, "Probably by accident." And to many people, the accidental life is not worth living. ~Neil Postman, Science and the Story That We Need
Ever felt that way?
Yet, I wonder what if...
What if there's more. Like Jenness created Cole and Kenzie's story, what if someone has created a world--a story--for us to live in. An adventure. A drama and a comedy. A love story.
He [God] has planted eternity in the human heart. ~Ecclesiastes 3:11
The reason we can watch a movie like The Matrix or Titanic, or a television show like Battlestar Galatica, and see elements of the gospel even when the writers aren't Christians is because The Story--God's story--is written in the human heart.
The heart is key. Emperor Palpatine knew if he could control Anakin's heart, then he could control Anakin.
In the middle of Eden enters the Villain. Darth Vader. Saurman. Commodus. Hitler. Stalin. Mao. Lucifer.
Save the cheerleader, save the world.
Destroy man's heart, destroy the world.
The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. ~Genesis 6:5
I read earlier this week that "rescuing the human heart is the hardest mission in the world." I'm not surprised. Mankind is addicted to self, to man-made idols, to a deep distrust of God. Mankind consists of a multitude of individual sinners. In bondage. Enslaved. Not free.
If you visit Washington D.C and the Korean War Memorial, you'll see a a black granite wall that extends into the reflecting pool area of the Korean War Veterans Memorial. In the stone is etched "Freedom Is Not Free."
In how many of the great stories does the hero have to died to win someone's freedom? William Wallace. Maximus. Aslan.
He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in him we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. ~Colossians 1:13-14
At the end of Titanic, as Rose completes the tale of her life, she says, "He saved me in every way a person can be saved."
The Life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth answer once and for all the question, "What is God's heart toward me?" At the point of our deepest betrayal, when we had run our farthest from him and gotten so lost we could never find our way home, God came and died to rescue us. You have never been loved like this. He has come to save you in every way a person can be saved. That is God's heart toward you." ~John Eldredge, Epic
Next week in Inktropolis, our theme will be Formula One Romancing. I'm convinced the reason romance novels are the top selling genre is because the yearning for a Happily Ever After ending is native to the human heart.
Scripture says Satan--our enemy--is a thief who strives to steal, kill and destroy. If he can't steal our hearts, he'll do all he can to destroy our joy of a happily ever after future. Too many of us live without hope. We're convinced this life we're living is as good as it gets. Heaven help us, but don't you all know a Christian or twenty who are convinced our eternity consists of us standing in a heavenly choir for FOREVER. Oh my aching feet.
I have news for you. That is NOT God's happily ever after ending for this story he's written.
Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. ~Isaiah 65:17
Think of all the things we'll be able to do in the glorious freedom of a world without death and decay? Explore. Discover. Create.
I'm thinking I'll go swimming in a lake or two. After all, there won't be a single human-eating bass lurking in the depths.
Oh, and since this is a book review post, let me end with saying, "I really really loved Jenness Walker's Double Take. Go buy it!"
I’ll be giving away a copy of Double Take signed by Jenness, so please leave your e-mail address if you’d like to be in the drawing. I’ll randomly choose a name at midnight eastern time October 24th. Remember to include spaces or brackets around the "@" sign so Net spiders, etc, can't phish your address.
A little bit about Double Take's author: Jenness Walker fell in love with books before she could even read them. Growing up, she read while she walked in line, ate lunch, played the clarinet, showered and brushed her teeth. Unfortunately she still hasn’t figured out how to clean the house with a book in hand. Blessed with a vivid imagination—sometimes too vivid—Jenness loves to create her own stories as well. Her writing journey has spanned over twenty years so far, from the contest she lost in first grade to the creative writing correspondence course she took through high school and the first novel she penned in college. Now Jenness lives in Florida with her beloved Web site–designer husband and almost-equally-beloved laptop. Read more about Jenness at her website: http://www.jennesswalker.com/.