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Mark Andrew Olsen is a talented screenwriter and the co-writer of Tommy Tenney’s debut novel, Hadassah: One Night with the King. Olsen has worked as a speech and promotional writer since his college days at Baylor University. He and his family make their home in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

This faith-expanding thriller revitalizes awareness of unseen spiritual forces at work in our world. A heart-racing page-turner.With the action and suspense of a Ted Dekker novel and the ...

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Overview

Mark Andrew Olsen is a talented screenwriter and the co-writer of Tommy Tenney’s debut novel, Hadassah: One Night with the King. Olsen has worked as a speech and promotional writer since his college days at Baylor University. He and his family make their home in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

This faith-expanding thriller revitalizes awareness of unseen spiritual forces at work in our world. A heart-racing page-turner.With the action and suspense of a Ted Dekker novel and the spiritual warfare of This Present Darkness, Olsen’s first solo novel poses an intriguing question. What if the Restrainer of II Thessalonians, the Holy Spirit who “holds back the lawless man until God takes him away,” indwells a man who has lived under various identities since the time of Christ, always moving on when his “agelessness” is discovered? An immortal man, but still just a man, ?awed and discouraged over his inability to better succeed at his immense mission: to restrain evil in the world. And what if at a time when the world hangs on the precipice of a third world war, this man were given one final opportunity to do battle with the Evil One?

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Editorial Reviews

Christian Book Previews
"Olsen weaves the present and the past together to show a man tormented by immortality. He demonstrates the increasing sense of loneliness, despair, disillusionment, and failure Lazarus feels each time Heaven rejects him.

Olsen combines well-developed characters, a fast-paced plot, and an intriguing problem into a fascinating suspense novel...The Assignment is a fascinating and exciting story."

Focus On Fiction
"His power of description is beautiful. The concept of the story is fascinating. The main characters are instantly captivating and likeable. Glimpses of Ireland, Jerusalem, and France through the eyes of the characters are so vivid you feel you've been there. The conclusion of the story, at least for the main male character, is satisfying enough to induce tears. Especially for anyone who knows the ache of a longing unfulfilled..."
InFuze Magazine
"A good book that relies on its story and characters rather than on sermonettes and churchy cliché....When I read fiction, I want to be entertained - and Olsen does a fine job of entertaining me as a casual reader. But I also like to be challenged spiritually and to be intrigued as the characters grow and discover things about themselves and God. On that level, The Assignment really works."
Publishers Weekly
Troubles plague this jumbled suspense novel for the CBA market by Olsen, a screenwriter who collaborated with Tommy Tenney on the novel Hadassah. Deep below the ground, sealed alive in a tomb for 60 years, is a "man" who is 1,734 years old and whose mission is to battle demonic forces on behalf of the Christian faith. Searching for him is Father Thierry, a 95-year-old priest who is part of the Order of St. Lazare, a secret sect that the Vatican has tried to disband. "The destroyer," Satan's evil spirit of destruction, war and bloodshed, is at work to prevent them from reaching their goal. He's already wreaked havoc over the course of history, as detailed in the novel in a tiresome litany of human atrocities. Complicating things is tension between Jews and Catholics over the priest's perceived desecration of a Holocaust site. Olsen peppers his tale with bang-bang action, supernatural warfare and Christian history, but too many points of view confuse the reader and make the pacing fitful. There's no shortage of kidnappings, quicksand, gunfights, secret membership amulets, harrowing escapes, rape, murder and terrorists as the plot unfolds. Numerous italicized journal entries, letters and flashbacks make for challenging reading. There's also an obvious nod to the The Da Vinci Code in the idea of a secret Catholic sect. Olsen writes some good scenes and knows how to raise the occasional goose bump, but readers will have trouble sticking with his story. (July) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Father Stephen has heard of the secret Church society known as the Order of St. Lazare, but he does not believe that it really exists until Father Dennis invites him to join this mysterious sect. After Father Dennis explains its mission, Stephen agrees to join in its search to find the "Restrainer," a man chosen by God to hold back evil until the end of this age. The order believes that this man, who has not been able to die in over 2000 years, is buried in the cemetery of the former Polish concentration camp Birkenau, a place where Stephen can still smell "the perpetual stench of evil." Some conservative Christians may find the theology in this suspenseful novel a bit farfetched, but Olsen's multifaceted plot of good and evil is a page-turner. This title makes a great follow-up for fans of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code and will also appeal to readers of Ted Dekker and Frank E. Peretti. Highly recommended for all collections. Olsen, who co-wrote Hadassah: One Night with the King with Tommy Tenney, lives in Colorado Springs, CO. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780764228179
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/28/2004
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 5.56 (w) x 8.46 (h) x 1.16 (d)

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2005

    Excellent Read.

    You won't be able to put it down. Excellent book. A lot of twists and turns and you will be wondering who the main character is throughout the entire book. Fantastic action and an excellent read. Very thought-provoking as well. Enjoy!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2004

    Fact and fiction collide in Olsen's newest novel.

    In 'The Assignment', a Catholic priest, a female collegiate, and an immortal Biblical character find their lives intertwined in a terrifying struggle between God and Satan's demonic hordes - a struggle that will decide the fate of the world... 'The Assignment' has breathless lead-ins, and the story moves quickly, albeit /too/ predictably in places. Unfortunately for Olsen, his absorbing novel is tainted by a one-world philosophy ('We all pray to the same Yah-weh' one character declares.), disturbing descriptions of demonic activity, and the absurd basic premise that Lazarus was raised from the dead in order to remain immortal for two thousand more years and prevent major catastrophes. Olsen has clearly done his historical research - 'The Assignment' is thick with rumenances of the turmoil of past times. Olsen has an obvious desire to promote truth, but perhaps he does not realise the entirety of that Truth himself...?

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Powerfully exciting

    He experienced the beauty of Heaven only to be brought back to life by Jesus to act as the Catacon, ¿the restrainer of destruction¿ who will be taken away just before the end of time¿. His primary role is to send the destroyer back to hell but every time he comes close, his enemy¿s minions bury him for decades at a time................................ The priests of the Order of St. Lazare spend decades trying to find him. When they do, he sees a world more technologically advanced but with the same old hatreds. The 2000-year-old man is tired and wants to go home for he no longer believes that the destroyer can be defeated. Nora, a Harvard graduate student, is almost kidnapped by members of Hamas and a Roman Catholic priest. He saves her and disappears but Nora tracks him down in Paris where she learns the truth about her long-living relative. The destroyer knowing he is loose, sets in motion a series of events that bring the world to the edge of war and he vows to fight him one more time........................ Told from the viewpoints of many different characters including the hero, one can understand why immortality is as much a curse as it is a blessing. There is no sense of Divinity about the protagonist but he is a catalyst that sets events in motion the ongoing battle of good and evil. Surprisingly, this is not a preachy or apostatizing story but reads more like an urban fantasy in which the powers of good and evil fight for supremacy. Mark Andrew Olson is a talent comparable to Frank Peretti and Jerry Jenkins..................................... Harriet Klausner

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