In this seventh entry of a series, terrorists attacking Christians in the United States must contend with the proficient recurring protagonist armed with Scripture and a Glock.
When a bloody, nearly dead Fred “Freddie” Pederson stumbles into St. Mary’s Lutheran Church during a service, he has a message for his old SEAL pal Pastor Stephen Grant. Undercover for the FBI, Pederson just managed to escape an Islamic terrorist group planning strikes against “Christian infidels,” a specified target being Pastor Richard Leonard, son of another fellow SEAL. The warning’s unfortunately too late: men strapped with explosives walk into six churches in five states. Leonard, along with badge-carrying congregation members, fights off terrorists at St. Mark’s on Staten Island. But fearing Leonard will still be a target, Grant, who’s also a former CIA operative, offers pastoral assistance as well as protection. Meanwhile, an interrogated terrorist hints at additional attacks, putting many on high alert, including Paige Caldwell, Grant’s CIA partner, who now co-runs a private security firm. No one can foresee or prevent a subsequent assault that rattles the entire country. As a result, Grant and law enforcers are determined to ensure that no one else falls prey to terrorism on American soil. By now, fans of Keating’s (Wine into Water, 2016, etc.) thriller series will anticipate skillfully drawn characters. Grant, for one, is a considerate husband and unquestionably capable in action. But TV interviews with Leonard and Imam Anwar Abdullah bolster the tale by shedding positive light on both Christianity and Islam. The narrative’s swift momentum is retained even during profound moments, as in a scene in which terrorists debate their cause after murdering two men that’s intercut with clergymen reciting biblical passages. Though sequences of Grant or Caldwell and her team engaged in combat are exhilarating, the story’s brimming with everyday heroes. One political figure, for example, is rescued by a neighbor whose courage is measured by the hefty Desert Eagle gun he brandishes.
First-rate supporting characters complement the sprightly pastor, who remains impeccable in this thriller.