A Cross to Kill

A Cross to Kill

by Andrew Huff

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Overview

A gripping debut thriller pits a man of God against terrorists—and his own deadly past

John Cross is a small-town pastor, bent on leading his flock to follow God's calling. He's not the sort of man one would expect to have a checkered past.

But the truth is that the man behind the pulpit preaching to his sheep was once a wolf—an assassin for the CIA. When John decided to follow Christ, he put that work behind him, determined to do penance for all the lives he took. He vowed never to kill again.

Now someone wants the peaceful pastor to pay for his sins with his own life. And when a terrorist out for revenge walks into the church, John's secrets are laid bare. Confronted with his past, he must face his demons and discover whether a man can truly change. Can he keep his vow—even when the people he loves are in mortal danger? Will his congregation and the brave woman he's learning to care for be caught in the cross fire? In the end, John's life may be the only sacrifice he has left to offer. . .

Andrew Huff's thrilling debut is not only a riveting story of suspense, it's also a deep exploration of the moral quandaries that face those who choose to follow the Prince of Peace in a violent world.

"An action-packed nail-biter from beginning to end! . . . I couldn’t put it down.”

—Lynette Eason, best-selling, award-winning author of the Blue Justice series

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780825422744
Publisher: Kregel Publications
Publication date: 10/15/2019
Series: A Shepherd Suspense Novel , #1
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 573,432
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Andrew Huff is the product director at Igniter Media, one of the largest church media companies in the nation. He has also spent ten years in church ministry as both a youth pastor and creative arts pastor. Andrew currently lives in Plano, Texas. This is his first novel. Learn more at www.andrewhuffbooks.com.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Millions of people would witness the murder of Christine Lewis, and not one of them could do anything to stop it.

Greasy hands forced her into a chair. An orange jumpsuit pulled tight against her body. The fabric hid months of abuse at the hands of her captors. She choked back tears as slick hands tugged her blond hair behind her ears and lifted her chin. Thin fingers slid a trail of grime down her neck.

"Head up. Straight ahead."

She obeyed without argument and stared into the dead black eye of the camera a few feet in front of her. Weary and broken, Christine's former existence as a courageous, perhaps brazen, reporter standing in the middle of Jordanian rioters only a few months ago hung as a mere shadow in her mind. Life before her kidnapping seemed a dream. Now she only submitted to her captors' commands, resistance no longer a choice.

She was going to die.

With her peripheral vision, Christine examined the half dozen or so masked terrorists gathered to witness the event, each nearly identical to the others: nameless soldiers clad in faded military attire and cradling an assault weapon. The shemaghs wound around each head disguised any features, save eye color. At the beginning of her captivity, Christine had studied each passing face for a sympathetic glance, but as the inevitable approached, she'd lost all hope of salvation.

Months had passed — she still wasn't sure of the exact length of time — since they'd grabbed her from the streets of Amman. The riots she'd covered for the North American Broadcasting Channel turned out to be a smoke screen to the more illicit practices of the Alliance of Islamic Military, or AIM. While the public protested the government in the streets, AIM picked off key policymakers in the shadows. She sat in the front row of the real conflict, prison bars gagging her words of warning to the world.

Replaying faint memories, Christine scoffed at her ineptness. She'd been preoccupied with crafting a headline to drive the political conversation back home: "Demonstrators in Jordan Support Current US Policy" or some such nonsense. She could understand, even affirm, her kidnapping if there'd been a real scoop in her hands. Instead, she was just another sideshow attraction in AIM's shell game.

The executioner barked orders in Arabic, and the hooded figure behind the camera pressed a button. A red light pulsed above the lens. More orders were given, and a thumb jutted upward, signaling the start of the show. The favorite new trend of militant radicals across the globe? Beheading journalists on live camera. And the stream of her execution just went active to anyone with an Internet connection.

The executioner pressed the cold blade of his knife against the small of her back and produced a ripple of goose bumps down both arms. He raised his free hand and pointed a finger toward the camera with vigor. The shemagh wrapped around his chin muffled his speech, but in clear English he forced his words through the cloth.

"Mr. President, we are outraged by your insolence toward the Islamic Alliance and your refusal to cooperate with the leaders of our military. We warned you about your unity with our enemies and your support of the continued bombing of our communities. As a result of your actions, we have no choice but to retaliate with the life of another American citizen. If you insist on holding a blade to the neck of our country, we must hold a blade to the neck of your people."

The executioner slipped the knife from behind Christine and waved it near her neck. A soft gasp escaped her lips as the tip brushed against her skin.

"And now, I send my warning out to any country wishing to take the side of the American president and go to war against our people. This is what we will do to any who brings harm against us."

One of the men watching from behind the camera took a step forward and thrust a sheet of paper into Christine's hand. He grunted in Arabic and prodded the paper with his index finger.

Christine gripped the sheet with both hands, her chipped and stained fingernails pressing through the paper and pinching her palms. Emotion beaten from her over the past month bubbled deep in her heart like a spring discovered in the desert. A script would be her last words. Fitting, given her chosen profession.

"My name is Christine Elisabeth Lewis," she said, staring more into the camera than at the print. "I am thirty-one years old and a reporter with NABC. I am guilty of crimes against the Islamic Alliance and of allegiance with the war criminal Jefferson Gray, the president of the United States. Mr. President, it is because of your actions against the people of the Islamic Alliance that I must pay for my crimes. To all those who would support you and your illegal activities against this people, I say this ..."

Christine's voice trailed, her eyes locked on the camera. The men behind the camera tensed at her unplanned pause. She released her grip on the paper, and it fluttered to the ground at her feet. "Mom, Dad," Christine said. "I love you. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." Tears stung the corners of her mouth as she spoke.

The executioner slapped her cheek. Christine shrieked, life returning to her abused spirit. She raised a hand on instinct to defend her cheek from a second blow. Her murderer knocked the hand away, grabbed a clump of her hair, and pulled her head back to expose her neck.

"President Gray, we demand justice!" the executioner yelled. He placed the knife on Christine's neck. She closed her eyes and considered crying out to God.

It'd been too long. There wouldn't be a reply.

A loud pop startled her, then a swarm of bees buzzed in her ear. She opened her eyes. Her heart pounded against her chest as her adrenaline refused to wane. The knife gone, her executioner stood next to her, shaking his limbs as if trying to fling them from his body. A black disc with glowing tentacles of electricity clawed at his chest. Christine watched in horror, expecting his body to explode any second.

It didn't explode. The black disc released its victim, and he slumped to the ground, unconscious. Christine turned to find the armed soldiers behind the camera just as confused. But then she spotted him: one of the guards in the back of the room held a black alien-looking handgun. A faint wisp of smoke snaked its way out of the barrel.

Along with Christine, the other men realized the presence of the intruder, and it took only seconds for chaos to erupt in the tiny room. Her mouth agape, Christine watched the gunman aim the pistol at the nearest soldier to his right and pull the trigger. A second disc exploded from the gun and latched itself to the man's shoulder. He screamed in agony and fell to the ground, wrapped in the powerful embrace of an electric shock.

Soldiers raised their automatic weapons. With the pistol in his hand, the gunman whipped one of the militants, stunning him. In a blur of movement, the attacker shoved two men together. A rifle discharged, the noise ricocheting off every wall in the room.

Christine cupped her ears and ducked. Her brain screamed run, but her muscles refused to cooperate. She sat frozen in the chair, watching the melee. Fists connected with chins and boots with kneecaps.

She counted three men on the floor. A fourth raised his rifle. The black barrel pointed at the attacker's head. Christine caught her breath. A valiant effort to stay her execution, but now it was over. Her savior would be shot, then her in turn. A sob worked its way up her throat as the terrorist pulled the trigger.

A rapid succession of clicking sounds announced the ammo clip was empty. An Arabic oath preceded a frantic attempt to reload. The attacker leapt over an unconscious body, grabbed the rifle, and shoved it into the man's nose.

Movement caught her attention. The executioner clutched at his chest. He pulled the black disc away as it protested with a blast of sparks. He tossed it aside, then crawled across the floor to the knife. He jumped to his feet. Fire blazed from his dark eyes. He drew the knife back, ready to plunge it into her.

Christine screamed. The knife plummeted toward the bulging arteries in her neck. The distinct pop of a weapon discharge reverberated around the room. She felt the weight of the chair give way beneath her. A burst of debris from one of its legs showered her foot. The chair fell forward, taking Christine with it. She slammed face first into the concrete floor. Blood erupted from her nostrils.

A rush of wind from above ruffled her jumpsuit. The mysterious gunman collided with the executioner, and they crashed into a stack of barrels and wood scraps. Christine twisted her head on the floor to watch, but the dizziness from the impact clouded her eyes. The two distorted figures grappled until one gave the final blow and stood victorious over the other.

Christine's vision returned, and she pushed off the bloodstained floor. Hands grabbed her shoulders from behind and pulled her to a sitting position. The masked gunman knelt and cradled her head in his strong hands. He pulled the shemagh from his face, and Christine gasped at the sympathetic hazel eyes of an American man staring back at her.

He unwrapped the shemagh from around his short-cropped hair and used it to wipe the blood from her mouth. "Sorry about the nose," he said. "My name's John. We've got to go."

Questions beat against her forehead, but she could only think to respond, "Go?"

"Yeah," he said. "Home."

Christine couldn't stop herself from laughing and crying at the same time. She died. No, she was supposed to be dead. Why was this strange man with a firm chin talking about home? And yet she believed him; somehow, she knew he would get her home.

"Christine," he said.

"You know my name," she replied. Why wouldn't her mouth close all the way?

John repeated the command, this time with vigor. "We have to go."

The power in his voice brought Christine's mind back into focus. She stood and took one last look about the room before John grabbed her by the hand and led her to the exit. Bodies were strewn about the place, subtle groans the only clues her captors lay unconscious and not lifeless.

John led her through the door and down a dark hallway. He put his hand to his ear and started talking. "Control, this is Shepherd. I have the asset in hand, and we are en route."

Christine imagined the mechanical voice inside John's ear responding with operational vocabulary in kind.

"Copy," he responded and pulled his finger from his ear. He glanced over his shoulder at Christine. "Don't worry. Our ride will be here any second."

A set of wooden stairs greeted them at the end of the hallway. Warm rays of sunlight peeked through boards nailed against the windows of the staircase, and dust swirled in a violent dance within the light. They made it halfway up when a door near the top of the staircase swung open and the largest creature of a man Christine had ever seen stepped through. She gasped. Muscle wrapped around muscle, and between tattoos were scars and abrasions. One of his eyes appeared hazier than the other, which only added to the terror of his visage. He opened his mouth and roared his disapproval.

John made an immediate reversal in direction, pulling Christine close behind. "Not that way," he said.

They picked up speed as the drum of heavy boots marching downstairs chased behind. Christine looked back long enough to catch a glimpse of the big, hazy-eyed man reaching the bottom of the stairs, a handful of his friends on his heels. He roared again, but to Christine's ears it sounded like a bell being rung.

They ran through door after door. John never broke stride as he used an elbow to bully them open. Her legs felt like soft noodles, but newfound determination encouraged her to try to match his speed. He kept a tight grip on Christine's hand, and energy seemed to flow from his hand to hers, giving her a boost despite months of incarceration.

They descended another flight of stairs and burst through one last door into an abyss of blinding white light. Christine choked at the blast of hot air. A sour smell invaded her nose, and the chaotic noise of street vendors and playful children bombarded her from all directions. They were on the street and still running.

Christine's vision returned, to little avail. Their pace disoriented her. She focused on John and noticed his hand digging into his ear canal. She tuned her own ears to sift through the street noise and find his voice.

"... compromised. Moving north on Al Nasira." He pulled her in tighter behind him as they squeezed through a crowd of tourists. "Copy that. We're on our way."

John's pace slowed, and Christine finally gained her bearings. Vendors surrounded them as they walked through a small roadside market. None of the merchants hawking their wares paid mind to her disheveled appearance as they presented scarf after purse and promised the finest quality in exchange for the lowest charge.

Christine winced as she pulled air through her broken nostrils. She rubbed her sleeve against the caked blood on her upper lip. Still wet. As she inhaled with her mouth, the beat of her heart normalized. She felt a strange sense of security in the bustle of the market. She imagined if they were to be attacked now, the peddlers would come to their rescue, determined to protect the prospect of a good sale. A comforting fantasy.

They passed with relative ease through the crowd packed into the small market. Christine's feeling of safety waned, and she looked over her shoulder, longing to return to the shelter of the chaos.

She shouldn't have looked.

The horrible man with a hazy eye stood a full head above a couple bargaining with a trader near the back of the market. His good eye locked on to her. Christine cried out and collided with John's back. He stood motionless at an intersection as blurred streaks of buses and cars sped by.

"John!" She grabbed his forearm and spun him around.

His eyes widened as he made eye contact with their pursuer. The hectic activity of the market faded away, and Christine believed she could hear nothing but their breathing.

The commotion of the street corner came booming back into her ears. A horn blared as a car zoomed by. The hazy-eyed man made wild gestures in their direction, and a wave of brawny, menacing thugs exploded from behind him, running through the market, shoving tourists into vendors, and turning up carts of merchandise.

John squeezed Christine's hand tighter and pulled her into the street. A moped came close to shaving his chest, but he didn't lose a step. They crossed the intersection, dodging car after truck after motorcycle. The prospect of being taken a second time only heightened Christine's doubt of surviving this real-life game of Frogger.

Just when she thought they would be smeared across the roadway, John's boots landed on the sidewalk. He kept running. She glanced over her shoulder to see the men trying to follow their path through traffic. One of the men misjudged the speed of a car, and it struck him. He rolled across the car's hood and cracked the windshield before sliding to the ground. His compatriots ignored his mishap and maintained pursuit.

John ducked into an alley and led Christine up a flight of narrow stairs. They emerged from between the buildings on a street resembling the one they'd just left. Their hands were still locked, and Christine matched John's speed down the road. She welcomed the adrenaline, thankful for the active lifestyle she'd enjoyed before her imprisonment. If she knew where they were headed, she even felt like she could take the lead and beat him to the tape. Freedom proved to be a better energy boost than three shots of espresso.

They approached another intersection, and John slowed.

"Where are we going?" Christine asked.

"Our extraction point," he replied.

"Where is that?"

John shouted over the backfiring of a passing truck. "About three klicks northwest."

"Really? They couldn't get any closer?"

"Yeah, well, nothing seems to be going my way today." He didn't sound happy.

Their route through the intersection cleared, and they started across. Christine took another look over her shoulder and couldn't spot any of the men in pursuit. She turned back in time to spy an approaching vehicle out of her peripheral vision. A black mass of metal and rubber tore down the road, intent on flattening them to the pavement.

Christine took the only second available to react. She pulled free from John's hand and shoved him in the back. He stumbled forward. She jumped backward and tumbled to the road. The SUV braked and its tires squealed. It came to a stop, separating Christine and her liberator.

As she pushed herself off the ground, Christine searched for any sign the car had missed John, but a pair of dusty khaki pants leaping from the open passenger door of the SUV blocked her view. Someone grabbed her under both armpits and lifted her off her feet.

"Let go of me!" She wriggled against the vice grip and dug her heels into the pavement. Pulling an arm free, she threw her elbow behind her head, hoping to connect with a vital organ.

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "A Cross to Kill"
by .
Copyright © 2019 Andrew Huff.
Excerpted by permission of Kregel Publications.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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A Cross to Kill 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Ourpugs 22 hours ago
A Cross to Kill This book was a exciting book. I am looking to reading the next book in the series. It is a great first novel for the author. The book started out with Christine about to get killed but John Cross has other plans for her. But actually someone else has other plans for John Cross. Will they both survive? I loved both the characters. But I especially loved Christine, she was so brave. I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher. This book review is my own opinion.
Ourpugs 22 hours ago
A Cross to Kill This book was a exciting book. I am looking to reading the next book in the series. It is a great first novel for the author. The book started out with Christine about to get killed but John Cross has other plans for her. But actually someone else has other plans for John Cross. Will they both survive? I loved both the characters. But I especially loved Christine, she was so brave. I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher. This book review is my own opinion.
MelissaF 13 days ago
This book starts with a bang and just when I thought it might get boring another bang happens. This book started raising questions for me, like what would happen to John’s small church if the people that were after him got a hold of the church? I loved the contrast of this war guy to the small town pastor, it really added an unexpected layer to the book. I honestly wasn’t sure if I would like this book but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised and looked forward to coming back to this book. A copy of this book was given to me. All opinions are my own.
MelissaF 13 days ago
This book starts with a bang and just when I thought it might get boring another bang happens. This book started raising questions for me, like what would happen to John’s small church if the people that were after him got a hold of the church? I loved the contrast of this war guy to the small town pastor, it really added an unexpected layer to the book. I honestly wasn’t sure if I would like this book but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised and looked forward to coming back to this book. A copy of this book was given to me. All opinions are my own.
Anonymous 14 days ago
If you like plenty of action scenes with guns blazing then this book is for you. It starts with a hostage rescue attempt and progresses directly to bad guys chasing good guys right till the very end. In fact there are 3 high speed car chases (plus a boat chase & a train top fight) all with fists and bullets flying and improbable stunts. It reminded me of a Jason Bourne movie that is rather ridiculous but enjoyable all the same! However overall there was too much fighting for my taste. John is on a spiritual journey towards accepting forgiveness and redemption and whilst he still has a way to go, I am hopeful this will be realized over the coming books. Christine is just starting her walk with Christ and I liked how it was an elderly lady and mature Christian who was the one to lead her there. I received a free copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving a review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.
PreppyBookQueen 15 days ago
A Cross to Kill is an action packed nail biter right from the opening sentence, and I found myself barely able to put it down. I appreciated that it's truly a unique story in the Christian genre, as it's an edgier suspense novel that will appeal to a lot of readers who may not enjoy some of the more traditional Christian published titles. I was intrigued when I first read the synopsis; as the idea of a retired CIA agent turned preacher who's past life soon resurfaces, sounded unlike anything I'd ever read before, and I knew there was great potential for where the author chose to take the story. The action is non stop across the pages, and includes car chases, brawls, explosions-basically you name it, it happens. The action scenes are extremely realistic, and almost feels like a James Bond type movie script come to life on the pages. After reading this, I still can't believe that this is Andrew Huff's debut novel, as his writing and settings speak of a veteran of the craft, and not of someone who's new to the game. I was expecting the story to be action driven, which it definitely is, but I was pleasantly surprised with how much reliance is placed upon the characters themselves to carry the bulk of the story. All the characters included were three dimensional, and I found myself invested in each of their journeys they travel throughout the plot. John's character had a great background, and I enjoyed the way that the author chooses to develop this. It raised some pretty great questions about trying to move on and make amends from a troubled past. And showcased the notion that true repentance and forgiveness is not possible apart from Jesus, and no matter what any of us do we will all fall short without His Holy Name. I was a little leery of Christine's character at first, as I'm not always the biggest fan of journalists as main characters. However, I loved that she wasn't written in a stereotypical way, and instead, showcases the belief that there's more to life than chasing a life changing story. I also enjoyed the secondary characters, and I'd love to see Lori, Guin and Eric all pop up in the upcoming books in the series as well. Perhaps, however, my favorite part of all was just how strong the faith element is throughout the entire developing story. John Cross cares for Christ first and foremost, and this fact is demonstrated again and again throughout his journey. He refuses to take the easy way out, and go back to a life that wouldn't line up with God's plan or purpose for him, and he continues to practice what he preaches even in the middle of the dire circumstances that his past brings back to the present. I wholeheartedly enjoyed this one from start to finish, and I'm looking forward to reading on in the series to discover where the author plans to take John, Christine and us readers on the next journey. I highly recommend checking this one out, especially if you're a fan of action movies or books and want a Christian component in that genre. Final Rating: 4/5 Thanks so much to Andrew Huff and Kegrel Publishing for the opportunity to read and review this! I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher (Kegrel) and the author (Andrew Huff) in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I was not required to give a positive review.
dhiggins4 16 days ago
This book had non-stop action throughout the whole thing! I have to admit, it wasn't my typical style of book that I usually read. The action was good, and it kept my attention through most of the book. However, there was a little more description in the book than what I prefer. There were Christian elements throughout which I liked. It wasn't preachy or pushy. Therefore, I have mixed feelings about this book. However, for anyone who enjoys a clean, non-stop action read (which are kind of hard to find), I definitely recommend this book. I received this book from the publisher through NetGalley for my honest opinion.
AFerri 22 days ago
This is a well written book that grabs you on the first page and doesn't let go. This is a great start to a new series. If you are looking for a good clean book that is full of action, suspense and drama, grab this book. I can't wait to read the next book in this series. Thank you INscribe Digital Kregel Publications via NetGalley for the copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.
DarleneLTurner 24 days ago
Pastor John Cross only has one thing on his mind—feed his flock, but when his past catches up to him, he must once again take on his role as Shepherd. But can this CIA assassin-turned-preacher set aside his new-found faith not only to rescue an innocent woman but also stay alive? How do the assailants stay one step ahead of him? Kidnapped by a terrorist in Jordan, reporter Christine Lewis was supposed to die. However, a man known as Shepherd came to her rescue. Now she wanted to tell his story, but can she do that without revealing his secret and putting him and those he loves in danger? Thrust together, John and Christine must stop the terrorist from wreaking havoc on American soil. But who can they trust? A Cross to Kill is Andrew Huff’s debut novel and wow—what a novel it is! If you liked Jack Bauer in 24, this is a novel for you! Breathtaking action scenes will keep you turning the page and twists upon twists will surprise you around every corner. I loved this book and was glued from the first line. The tension and conflict in this story were well placed. Just when you think they were safe, wham! Something else happens. This puts the reader right into the story, holding their breath. The author’s use of sensory is done effectively. It brings the words on the page to life. The characters are well-rounded and the reader will find themselves rooting for John and Christine. I can picture this story on the big screen for sure! It’s an amazing story of God’s love, forgiveness, and redemption. This is book one of the Shepherd Suspense trilogy. I can’t wait for book two—Cross Shadow—coming in May, 2020. I give A Cross to Kill five right hooks. You will ignore the ticking clock as you dive into this book—guaranteed! **Book has been provided courtesy of Kregel Publications in exchange for my honest review.
72BRUIN 26 days ago
An excellent beginning of a series I hope to continue reading. Former CIA officer John Cross has left the Agency and is pastoring a small congregation, but his past keeps chasing him. The non-stop action begins with the rescue of a reporter and follows him back to Virginia. The spiritual aspects of the story are very well done, and I would have liked to have more of those scenes instead of chase scenes, which play better on the screen than in the book.
Blooming-with-Books 28 days ago
A Cross to Kill A Shepherd Suspense Novel #1 By Andrew Huff John Cross has a secret past and he wants to keep it that way, but occasionally the CIA needs his help. But he is determined to not take a life if he can help it. His past as an assassin for the CIA is at odds with his current call - that of a small-town pastor. When he is again called to rescue Christine Lewis, a news journalist captured by AIM (Alliance of Islamic Military) he has to act fast and keep his shots sure so as to not take a life. But his rescue of Christine soon has her on the scent of a story - the story of her own rescue and the mystery man who saved her just in time. But when Cross's past comes looking for him everyone he cares about is in danger. Can he keep his vow of peace when lives are at stake? A Cross to Kill is the first book in the Shepherd Suspense series and it promises to be a most intriguing series if this book is any indication. And if you are wondering about the "Shepherd" well there are two reasons - the first with Christine's rescue the code name Cross uses and the second that Cross is a pastor. This book is Christian Suspense and it definitely falls well within this heading but don't expect a clean no violence read - it just isn't excessive like some suspense reads. This book explores the moral compass of a life that has determined to change. But can the sins of the past ever truly be left behind? This is the situation that John Cross finds himself in and it proves to be a most excellent story thread throughout without being in your face and preachy. I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher with no expectations but that I provide my honest opinion. All thoughts expressed are my own.
ARS8 29 days ago
It's always great to see the Christian market publishing more than just Amish, literary, and romance, so I was already on board for this little something different. That this book is about a preacher with a dark past as a CIA officer made me not want to ever get off the ship. This story is almost non-stop action, but the characters shine in this. There's John Cross, our preacher who thinks he can redeem his own past, poor confused soul; Heather, the reporter who he rescued and is trying to track him down; Guin, his former co-worker; and a mysterious villain as upset about all this killing as our hero is- along with many others, all dealing with big life issues against the backdrop of something even bigger than themselves. Unfortunately, they mess up a lot. Like the church choosing an unmarried, newer Christian to be their preacher- that was a big mess up even though John Cross tried so hard to live up to the role. And Heather slaps injured men in the face because they're late to dates... making Guin the obviously superior woman in John's life. Team Guin all the way. This book was almost non-stop action all the way, with hilarious comic scenes that can only come from a CIA officer turned preacher, and an epic climax to cinch it. I can't wait for the rest of the series with more John Cross- and, I can only hope, more Guin. I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
Deana0326 3 months ago
The book grabs your attention right away. . We have a front row seat to an execution of a news reporter that plays out on TV. Christine sits in a chair surrounded by people who want to send a message to the United Stated. I could feel the terror as she waited to die. At the minutes tick away , her heart starts to pump faster. Can she be saved in time? John Cross is an experienced undercover agent for the U.S. He is no stranger to danger and he is determined to save Christine’s life. What happens next is a combination of 007 and an edgy undercover operation combined in an explosive rescue that has you on the edge of your seat. John seems to be outnumbered but with his determination and training he may just pull off the save and get them both to freedom. It was interesting to learn that John is now a pastor and wants nothing to do with his past. He loved his church and the members take to him right away. I liked how the women in the church took him under their wing and made sure he had food since he was a single man. By asking the right questions, Christine is able to find John so she can thank him. That really surprised me that someone would give up his whereabouts to a stranger. What really troubled me was how John shared information with Christine about his previous undercover jobs. To me this seemed a bit unrealistic and I wondered why he was so quick to trust Christine with information that could get him killed. Danger seems to follow him and his life is put in more danger when he finds out people are looking for Christine. He will risk everything to rescue her. There is a scene that really sent shivers down my spine. John is at church kneeling on the stage. I had this image of God surrounding him as John falls into His arms. All the things that John has done in the CIA comes to the surface and now his life is minutes away from ending. The twist are endless and it is hard to decide who to trust at times. This is a good start to a promising series. The lesson on forgiveness is endless in this story and reminds us that God does forgive us and is there waiting for us to come home. I received a copy of this book from Kregel Publications. The review is my own opinion.
Deana0326 3 months ago
The book grabs your attention right away. . We have a front row seat to an execution of a news reporter that plays out on TV. Christine sits in a chair surrounded by people who want to send a message to the United Stated. I could feel the terror as she waited to die. At the minutes tick away , her heart starts to pump faster. Can she be saved in time? John Cross is an experienced undercover agent for the U.S. He is no stranger to danger and he is determined to save Christine’s life. What happens next is a combination of 007 and an edgy undercover operation combined in an explosive rescue that has you on the edge of your seat. John seems to be outnumbered but with his determination and training he may just pull off the save and get them both to freedom. It was interesting to learn that John is now a pastor and wants nothing to do with his past. He loved his church and the members take to him right away. I liked how the women in the church took him under their wing and made sure he had food since he was a single man. By asking the right questions, Christine is able to find John so she can thank him. That really surprised me that someone would give up his whereabouts to a stranger. What really troubled me was how John shared information with Christine about his previous undercover jobs. To me this seemed a bit unrealistic and I wondered why he was so quick to trust Christine with information that could get him killed. Danger seems to follow him and his life is put in more danger when he finds out people are looking for Christine. He will risk everything to rescue her. There is a scene that really sent shivers down my spine. John is at church kneeling on the stage. I had this image of God surrounding him as John falls into His arms. All the things that John has done in the CIA comes to the surface and now his life is minutes away from ending. The twist are endless and it is hard to decide who to trust at times. This is a good start to a promising series. The lesson on forgiveness is endless in this story and reminds us that God does forgive us and is there waiting for us to come home. I received a copy of this book from Kregel Publications. The review is my own opinion.
amybooksy 3 months ago
A Cross to Kill is a great start to Andrew Huff’s series, Shepherd Suspense. I have not read anything by this author before and it will not be the last. I found the writing to be refreshingly unique. The story is full of non stop action and adventure. The twists and turns to the suspense kept me reading on. There are, also, some scenes that made me giggle. I am giving A Cross to Kill four and a half stars. I look forward to the next installment from Shepherd Suspense series. I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.