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Hunker down for a spellbinding novel that might be described as Christian science fiction.

Six-year-old Paul Swanson of Tampa, Fla., is an eerie child, with his light-gray eyes, sincere demeanor and affinity for prayer. When he escapes abduction by a child molester, his adoptive parents, Rev. Tim Swanson and his wife Clara, are more than relieved. But Paul believes his escape was related to the flock of white birds that mysteriously appeared above him, coinciding with the collapse and instantaneous death of his would-be abductor–he thinks that God sent the birds to save him. Stranger still, the autopsy on the dead molester is inconclusive. Years later, through a series of dreams, handsome 23-year-old Paul feels compelled to visit the Dome of the Rock, an Islamic shrine in Jerusalem. Because his dreams have proved prophetic in the past, his parents gladly accompany him to the Holy Land. While the Swansons are in Jerusalem, the United States consulate is seized by terrorists, and Paul uncannily and accurately predicts the outcome of the siege. Miraculously, nine terrorists simultaneously fall dead without a single bullet fired, and once again those performing the autopsies are stymied. Who, or what, is responsible for the deaths? Does Paul have a divine destiny, or is some esoteric new technology at work? Soon Paul makes his desert prophecy, a no-nonsense, antiterrorism edict from God. The paparazzi take note of “the American prophet,” and the CIA begins investigating Paul’s sketchy heritage to determine if DNA holds the key to his supernatural abilities. Along the way, Rogers works in a brief historical and political lesson on the Middle East. Readers may skim lengthy religious passages, but the suspense never abates, building to a finale that few will surmise. Under a lesser pen, this could easily become incoherent mishmash, but Rogers makes it work, never losing sight of the human element. Paul is and remains a human being–perhaps an extraordinary one–but a person nonetheless.

Preachy at points, but packs the punch of a thriller.

Pub Date: May 14th, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-4196-9175-1
Program: Kirkus Indie
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IndieLILY GRACE by Susie S. Mozell-Smith
by Susie S. Mozell-Smith