|Published: August 2012|
About the Book:
Previously published as The Cross Examination of Oliver Finney. When a brilliant billionaire is diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer, he realizes that all his considerable wealth cannot prepare him to meet his Maker. But he has an idea that might: he will stage the ultimate reality show. With his true agenda hidden, he auditions followers from all the world’s major religions, inviting them to the trial of their lives on a remote island, where they must defend their beliefs against spiritual challenges.
Oliver Finney, a feisty old judge with his own secrets, is chosen to defend Christianity. As the program takes a strange twist, he quickly realizes he is trapped in a game of deadly agendas that may cost him his life. With Internet access monitored, Finney sends coded messages to his law clerk, Nikki Moreno. Aided by a teen crypto-geek, Nikki soon discovers the key to understanding Finney’s clues in an apologetics book Finney wrote and must race against time to decipher the mysteries contained in the ancient words of Christ before her boss dies defending them.
My Rating & Thoughts: 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 (4 stars)
Story began by giving the reader a glimpse into thoughts of the patient, the assassin and of course the judge. I found the story started suspenseful, with me trying to figure out who the patient and assassin where as the story progressed and trying to figure out how all the characters introduced connected. The story did slow down a bit in the middle for me, with all the talk about the coding and ciphers, but wow did it ever become tense with suspense the closer it got to the end. There was a lot of stuff packed into this story - defending religious faith on a reality show, an assassin, terminal illness, revenge, coding and ciphers, relationships, reading people and self-sacrifice. I was suspicious of a few people and it turned out I was right on a couple but was surprised on a few too. I really liked Judge Finney and enjoyed the way he defended his Christian faith. I admired that he was presented as a strong character but was not perfect. The other character I liked was Nicki even though she didn't share Finney's beliefs she respected him and was willing to go the distance for him. I shed some tears at the ending but felt it was fitting. I think this was an unique way of sharing about Christian beliefs and was very well done.