“I’ve found the only thing I can control is how well I tell the story and follow the truth... The truth will always lead you to a good place.” Truman Wiley used to report news stories around the world, but now the troubling headlines are his own. He’s out of work and out of touch with his family, but nothing keeps him awake at night more than his son’s failing heart. With hospital bills mounting faster than Truman can gamble his life savings, it seems there’s no way out... until his estranged wife throws him a lifeline—the chance to write the story of a death row inmate willing to donate his heart to Truman’s son. As the execution clock ticks, Truman uncovers disturbing evidence that may point to a different killer. For his son to live, must an innocent man die? As Truman’s investigation escalates, he’s forced to face his failures and make a choice that will change his life, his family, and the destinies of two men forever.
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 6.50(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Chris Fabry is an award-winning author and radio personality who hosts the daily program Chris Fabry Live! on Moody Radio. His novels, which include Dogwood, June Bug, and Almost Heaven, have won two Christy Awards and an ECPA Christian Book Award, but it’s his lyrical prose and tales of redemption that keep readers returning for more. Chris and his wife, Andrea, have nine children and live in Arizona. Visit his website at www.chrisfabry.com.
Read an Excerpt
NOT IN THE HEART
By CHRIS FABRY
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.Copyright © 2012 Chris Fabry
All right reserved.
Chapter One30 DAYS BEFORE EXECUTION
The trouble with my wife began when she needed Jesus and I needed a cat. Life can be that way. That's part of the reason I was on Sanibel island in the cottage I had always dreamed of owning and she was in Tallahassee tending to the sick son of our youth. But it's more complicated. There was more troubling me than religion or people who think problems can be solved with a leap of faith.
Said cottage was a tiny house that seems to be the rage among those who believe we are warming the planet with each exhale. I didn't buy it because of that, but I recycle my Coors Light cans. My little contribution to the cause. Lately it's been a hefty contribution. there was one bedroom in the back and a little bathroom, a walk-through kitchen, and a living area that I used as an office. Murrow usually sat in the window looking out at the beach with as much interest as I have in paying both of my mortgages. It's not that I don't want to pay. I can't.
I was on the bed, surfing news sites, fueling the ache about my lack of direction and lack of a job. The satellite TV company disconnected me a few months ago, so I got my news online from the unprotected network of a neighbor who can't encrypt his wireless router.
I could see the downsizing coming in every area of the conglomerate media company. I knew it would hit the newsroom, but I always thought when the music stopped, I would have a chair. what I got was severance, a pat on the back, and a shelf full of awards I stuffed into a suitcase that sat in the attic of a cottage I couldn't afford.
I closed my laptop and told Murrow I'd be back, as if she cared, and walked barefoot out the front door and down the long, wooden stairway to the beach. I bought this cottage for these long, head-clearing walks. The sound of the waves crashing against doubts and fears. The smell of the ocean and its salty cycle of life and death.
A mom and a dad dressed in white strolled along the beach with two kids who squealed every time the water came close.
I walked the other way.
The phone rang as I passed a dead seagull. Not a good omen.
"Tru, it's me."
The woman of my dreams. The woman of my nightmares. Everything good and bad about my life. The "I do" that "I didn't."
"Ellen, what's up?"
"How are you?" She said it with a measure of compassion, as if she weren't holding back years of boiling anger. As if she didn't have something else she wanted to ask me and wasn't just setting the stage for the coup de grâce.
"I'm good. Just taking a walk on the beach."
Wish you weren't here. Wish you weren't still in my head. Wish you hadn't called. Wish the last twenty years were something I could bury in the sand. What were you thinking marrying a guy like me? My life is a sand castle and my days are wind and water.
"Hear anything back yet? Any offers?"
"There's nothing plural about my job prospects. Not even singular. I did hear from the Fox station in Des Moines yesterday. They went with somebody with longer hair and bigger lungs."
She spoke with a wry smile. "It's only a matter of time; you know that."
"Right. It's always been a matter of time, hasn't it?"
She let the irony hang there between us, and I could picture her in her wedding dress and without it. Then the first time we met in the university newsroom, big glasses and frilly blouse. Hair that smelled like the ocean and felt like silk. A sharp wit, infectious laugh, and the tenacity of a bloodhound on every story she covered. I thought we were always going to be on the same page, but somehow I kept chasing headlines and she moved to the Life section.
"I have something that might interest you," she said.
"How old is she?" I'm not always a smart aleck with the people I love. When I'm asleep, they tell me I don't say much of anything.
"It's not a she. It's a he with a pretty good story. A great story. A life changer."
"Not into guys."
She sighed and plowed ahead. "Have you heard of Terrelle Conley?"
That was like asking a history major if she'd ever heard of Alexis de Tocqueville. "I know he's facing the needle."
"Right. Next month."
"Wonder what his last meal will be. How do they choose that anyway? shrimp and steak or lobster bisque? Macaroni and cheese? How can you enjoy a meal knowing you only have hours left? Or what movie to watch? what would you choose?"
"I know his wife, Oleta. She wants somebody to write the story from his perspective. The whole family does."
I laughed. "in thirty days or less."
"They've scraped up some money. Not much, but it could probably help."
"How much is 'probably'?"
"I don't know exactly, but I was thinking you could call Gina and find out if—"
"I'm not with Gina or the agency anymore. She dropped me. Said it was a hard decision on their part. I guess they took a vote."
"Just another bump in the literary highway. I don't think writing is my thing, anyway." I said it halfheartedly, coaxing some kind of compliment.
"You're a great writer," she obliged. "You haven't had as many opportunities lately, but ..."
"I haven't had any politicians who want to be president or sports stars who've been accused of steroids approach me in a few years. that's what you mean," I said. "Where did you meet Olatha?"
"Oleta. I met her at church."
Groan. How did I know that was coming?
I paused at a sand castle that had been constructed with several five-gallon buckets. Towels and chairs had been abandoned for the moment. Water filled the moat, and I heard laughter from a bungalow perched like a lighthouse above. A couple in love.
"You must have some idea of how much."
"A few thousand. We didn't talk about that. The important thing ... it's not just an opportunity for you. It's for Aiden."
"Now you're really getting cryptic. You want to back up?"
"Terrelle's wife is in a study group with me. She's known about Aiden's condition for years. Always asks for updates. Terrelle came up with the idea—he wants to be a donor. A second chance for Aiden."
I should have been doing cartwheels. Our eighteen-year-old son could get a new lease on life? instead, I was skeptical, like any good journalist. "Ellen, there's no chance. Do you know how long something like that would take?"
"It's been in process for a while."
"Why didn't you tell me?"
"You haven't exactly been available."
"The prison system, the authorities, they'll never let this—"
"The governor is taking it seriously. I've heard he's working with the legislature. It's not a done deal, but there's a chance."
The governor. The hair rose on the back of my neck.
"Ellen, there's some law firm in Tallahassee salivating at all the appeals and counterappeals that are going to happen. This is less than a long shot."
"Yeah, but right now it's looking like a pretty good long shot." There was emotion in her voice and for the first time I noticed noise in the background.
"Where are you?"
She swallowed hard and I imagined her wiping away a tear. My wife has had plenty of practice.
"At the hospital again," she said. "ICU."
I cursed under my breath and away from the phone. Not just because of all the hospital bills I knew were coming my way, but also because this was my son. I'll be honest—the bills were the first thing I thought of, but picturing him hooked up to tubes and needles again crushed me.
"How is he?"
"Not good. They're monitoring him. Same story."
"How long have you been there?"
"Since late last night. He was having trouble breathing. Lots of pain. He asks about you."
Guilt. She had to get that in there, didn't she?
"Tell him to hang in there, okay?"
"Come see him. It would mean so much."
"Yeah. I will." I said it fast, though I knew I'd have to launder all the cat hair from my clothes because Aiden's deathly allergic to cats just like I'm allergic to the inside of the death chamber.
Someone spoke over the intercom near her and the sound took me back to those first days when I wasn't as scared of hospitals. Back then I could watch a movie or a TV show with a medical setting. Now I can't even watch the TV promos. My chest gets tight and the smell of alcohol and Betadine and the shape of needles invades, mingling with the cries of a young child in pain and another memory of a man on a gurney.
We discovered Aiden's heart malady by accident. Ellen was into natural food, natural medicine, whole-grain seaweed sandwiches and eggs that came from free-range chickens who had bedtime stories read to them each night before they settled into their nests. Natural childbirth with a midwife. All that stuff. She was convinced antibiotics were the forbidden fruit, so she didn't run to the HMO every time our kids were sick. But something told her to take Abby in for some chest congestion she couldn't get rid of. Aiden was with her, and on a lark the doctor placed the stethoscope on his chest.
Ellen cried when she tried to explain the look on the woman's face. They'd missed it when he was born.
That sent us on a crash course of congenital heart defects and a series of surgeries and treatments that would change our lives.
Ellen hates hospitals as much as I do, but you do what you must for your kids.
"Terrelle has the same blood type," Ellen said. "He's about the same size as Aiden, maybe a little smaller, which is good."
"Ellen, you know this is not going to happen, right? there are so many hoops and holes. They don't let doctors execute people."
"There are guidelines, but they don't have a problem harvesting organs from an already-deceased donor."
"Anybody who's pro-life will howl. I thought you were pro-life."
"I am, but this is something Terrelle wants."
"Doesn't matter. They harvest organs from prisoners in China, but we're not in China." Though you wouldn't know it by shopping at Walmart.
"I know all that. But I also know my son is going to die. And Terrelle and his wife want something good to come out of their tragedy. They asked if you would write his story. I got to thinking that maybe ..."
She broke a little and hearing her cry felt like some lonely prayer drifting away and hitting the empty shores of heaven. Not that I believe there is one, but you know, metaphorically speaking.
"You were thinking what?" I said.
"Maybe all of this is not really for Aiden. Maybe all we've been through in the last eighteen years is for somebody else. If they deny Terrelle's request and Aiden doesn't make it, maybe writing this story will make a difference for someone down the road."
Her altruism was more than I could handle. "Look, I don't care about all the people with sick kids. I don't care about prisoners who want to make up for their crimes. I don't care about protesters or the politicians who've found a wedge issue. I just want my son to live. Is that asking too much?"
The emotion surprised me and I noticed the family in white had changed direction but now quickly herded their children away from me.
It was Ellen's turn to sound collected. "Do you have time to work on something like that in the next thirty days? It would at least pay a few bills."
"If they're trying to get a stay of execution, they need to go straight to the press. Forget a book deal, forget a magazine exposé—it's already too late. Get somebody at one of the local stations to pick it up and run with it—"
"Tru, they don't want a stay. He wants to give his heart to Aiden. And somebody has to get the story down before it's over. No matter how it goes, this will make a great story."
I was already mulling titles in my head. A Heart from Death Row. Change of Heart. Pitter-Pat. Life in Vein. Aorta Made a Better Choice.
She continued, "they know your history. What you've seen. How you're against the death penalty and why. For all your faults, tru, you're the best reporter I've ever known. You get to the heart of the story like nobody else. I think you should consider it."
The Heart of the Story. Another good title. I could tell she was buttering me up. I love being buttered up by lovely women. But I hate the complications of life with beautiful women.
"I don't write evangelical tracts."
"Why are you so stubborn?" She whisper-screamed at me. Her voice had an echo like she had moved into the bathroom or stairwell.
"Why do you have to look at this as some kind of spiritual conspiracy against you instead of a gift? this is being handed to you on a platter. Don't push it away. I don't care if you agree with them about God. You didn't agree with every sports figure or politician."
"The only way I know how to do this job is to ferret out the truth and tell it. Flat out. The way I see it. And if you're expecting me to throw in the third verse of a hymn every other chapter and quote the Gospel of Terrelle, I can't do that. Call somebody from the Christian right."
"Tru, it's because of who you are and how you tell the story that they want you. Just talk with her. Let her explain. If you don't like the situation, they'll go somewhere else. But they have to act quickly."
The sun was coming down behind me and the wind picked up off the water. I could smell the first hint of an impending storm. Or maybe I forgot my deodorant.
"I'll think about it."
I hadn't been gone that long, but as I walked up the stairs, I heard a vehicle pulling away from the house. The taillights had disappeared into the distance by the time I made it to my front door.
Murrow was still in the window, looking down on me with that superior look. Humans are such a waste of oxygen, she seemed to say. Maybe she was right. Maybe we are a waste of oxygen and the best thing would be for us to be wiped from the planet. But something inside said that wasn't true. Something inside pushed me to keep moving, like an ant dragging a piece of grass along the sidewalk until a strong wind blows it away. The ant picks up another and starts over. I get exhausted just watching them.
On the front door was a legal document stating that whereby and forthwith said mortgage company had begun said process with an intent to foreclose and otherwise vacate said occupant's tail onto the street to wit and wheretofore so help them God, amen. I had received several such letters in the mail, filing them carefully, hoping the rising tide of foreclosures would save my little cottage until I got a new job.
I ripped the notice down and used it to wipe the sand from my feet. And then a thought struck. A horrible, no-good, bad thought. the newspaper. They published my name with each intent to foreclose. that meant others would know where I was. Others, as in people I owed. Bad people.
Another car passed, slowly. Tinted windows. A low rumble of expensive metal and fuel.
I hurried to the back of the little house and pulled out every suitcase I could find and stowed everything of value. Books. Pictures of me with newsmakers. Cloudy memories of trips abroad, war zones, interviews with generals and dignitaries who went on to fame or perished in motorcades that didn't make it through IEDs.
It was hard not to sit and absorb the memories, but the passing car gave urgency. I jammed every journal and notebook in with the pictures, then put one suitcase with clothes in the trunk of my car and took the rest on my shoulder down the sandy path to the Grahams' house. Sweet people. He retired from the Air Force and they moved for the sun and salty air. Both should have died long ago from arthritis and other maladies, but they were out walking the beach every day like two faithful dogs, paw in paw.
Jack and Millie were on the front porch, and I asked if I could borrow some space in their garage for a suitcase or two. "I need to take a trip. Someone new will be living in my house."
"No, someone from the Bank of America wants it."
Millie struggled to get out of her rocker and stood by a white column near the front door. "If you need help, Truman, we'd be glad to."
Jack nodded and the gesture almost brought tears to my eyes. "How much are you short?" he said.
"Just a spot in the garage is all I need."
"What about your cat?" Millie said.
"Murrow's going with me."
"If we can do anything at all ...," Jack's voice trailed. "I appreciate it. I appreciate both of you. Thanks for your kindness."
"We pray for Aiden every day," Millie said.
The garage was spotless. Everything hanging up or neatly placed on shelves. I should have joined the Air Force. In the back I found an empty space near some gardening tools. I shook Jack's hand gently and gave Millie a hug. I only turned and looked at them once as I walked back to the house. They stood like sentinels, the fading light of the sun casting a golden glow around them and their house.
Excerpted from NOT IN THE HEART by CHRIS FABRY Copyright © 2012 by Chris Fabry. Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Don't give up! Honestly, i wanted to stop reading after the first couple of chapters. I didn't like Truman (except that he loved cats!) and I really didn't think I would enjoy the story. Thankfully, I kept reading. Truman is a self-absorbed writer, who gambles, drinks, and seems to care little for his family. Even though his son is dying, Truman still doesn't really want to be involved with his family. However, a book deal brings him home and forces him to face his own life and family. The twist at the end really caught me by surprise. I encouragge everyone to give this book a chance to impact your life.
This is the best book I have ever read. You are a wonderful writer. I loved the ending. Thanks for the great read. J... :-@
I didn't understand the title until the end, when I let out an audible, "Oh!.......Awww!" He is an incredible wordsmith--I was constantly reading aloud to my husband because there was just so much I had to share with someone. I HIGHLY recommend this one!!!
Truman Wiley. Once a famous and celebrated newsman, he has separated from his wife, is estranged from his two children (one of whom is awaiting a heart transplant), and has a dangerous gambling problem. Oh yeah, and he loves cats. He is approached to write the story of a death row inmate who wants to donate his heart post execution to Truman's son. As he delves deeper into the story, the information he discovers just may reveal a different killer - but if it does, what will happen his son? I LOVED this book. I loved the mystery, the heartache, the moral dilemma....all well written and touching - I can't say enough good things about this book. You must get it and see for yourself!
Every so often, a book comes along that grabs you and won't let go. Not in the Heart is one such book. I read it quickly, and when I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about it. From the beginning, I assumed Terrelle (the death row inmate) was innocent, and as Truman came closer to the truth, I felt like I was searching for clues right along with him. And once I reached the epilogue, I read the sad-but-satisfying conclusion with tears running down my cheeks.Truman Wiley is not your classic protagonist. An unemployed gambling addict who abandoned his family, he is certainly no hero¿and he does things throughout the book that made me want to shake some sense into him. However, I found myself pulling for him, not in a "boy, he sure needs Jesus to fix his life" way but in an "I care about him so much that I wish he could see how much God loves him and get his life back together" way.As I read the book, I thought a lot about Truman. We all know someone like him¿someone whose addictions and fears control his or her life; someone we would desperately love to see trust in Christ. While no one close to me is a Truman, I do have friends and family members who have spent hours on their knees praying for their own Trumans. Reading this book reminded me again of the importance of prayer¿praying for the Trumans who seem unreachable ... because no one is unreachable to God!Rarely have I been so emotionally invested in a book that it brings me to tears. Not in the Heart is a fantastic book that I highly recommend with 5 out of 5 stars!Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review from The B&B Media Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
As a journalist Truman Wiley traveled the world reporting on the latest headline, while his home life was falling apart. He was rarely there for his wife and children. Now he is unemployed and is sinking fast in gambling debts, but nothing worries him more than his eighteen year old son Aiden's failing heart. Truman is given the opportunity to write the story of Terrelle Conley a death row inmate who is due to be executed in thirty days who wants to donate his heart to Aiden. As Truman investigates Terrelle's story he uncovers something that may prove that Terrelle is actually an innocent man. What will Truman do with this information? Will he let an innocent man be put to death to save his son? This story really has a lot going on. It is mostly told thru the eyes of Truman, and while I disliked Truman from the beginning, I really wanted to know how things would work out for his family, especially Aiden. Because the author paints Truman as a dark character it allowed me to see how addictions can take a toll not only on family but on the addicted person as well.I really felt like it was the fear of thinking that people would see him as a failure that made him fail the ones who needed him most. This book wasn't an easy read by any means. It dealt with many heavy issues, but the ending made the read worth it.A complimentary copy of this book was provided by B&B Media in exchange for an honest review.
I thought Chris Fabry¿s book Almost Heaven was great and it is, but Not In The Heart is out of the park good! Truman Wiley is a TV journalist that once had it all ¿ the best family, the best career, the best life ¿ but now he is dodging collection agents, repo men and some very dangerous mobsters. All of this is due to his gambling addiction that has cost him nearly everything in his life including his son who lays dying in a hospital bed. He is just one step away from complete despair when a lifeline of sorts is thrown to him ¿ the story of the man condemned to die who wants to give his heart to Truman¿s son. One thing Truman does well is to dig out a story, to uncover the truth of a situation, so he grabs ahold and follows the trail even when it threatens to end the transplant his son desperately needs.Fabry has written a character in Truman Wiley that is at once despicable and sympathetic. He is charming and funny and pathetic. There were times while reading this book that I wanted to hit Truman upside his head and other times I wanted to wrap my arms around him. Even in his darkest moments, I liked Truman ¿ a brilliant life that once shined now almost completely wrapped in darkness. Never knowing someone as deep into his addiction as Truman, I could nevertheless identify with him. I have often battled with doing right when I wanted to do wrong or doing wrong when I knew the right thing. Thank God for the gift of the Holy Spirit that convicts and teaches us along the way. But Truman did not have guidance, only an overwhelming urge to experience that next high, the urge to hit it big just one more time.Mixed into Truman¿s life is his wife and son who have found God, a daughter that wants to connect with him and the man condemned to death for a crime he says he didn¿t commit. Terrelle is in prison, but as Truman soon finds out he is freer than Truman could ever hope to be. Also add a fascinating mystery and breath-holding suspense and you¿ve got a novel that has it all. Not In The Heart is definitely on my best of the best list for this year.Highly Recommended.(I received an ARC of Not In The Heart from Tyndale and B&B Media in return for an honest review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.)
A condemned man.A dying son.An imperfect father.How far will one man go to save the life of his son?Time is running out.In my experience of reading lots of books, I have found that very few fiction writers are able to write in such a way as to make their characters jump off the page and into your mind and heart. And very few are able to paint a picture with their words that shows the true condition of the human heart and the gamut of emotion that is often found there and tell a story that leaves you breathless in the end.Chris Fabry has accomplished that in his story of Truman Wiley in Not In The Heart.Truman absolutely had me puzzled until the very last page. In the first few pages of the book, I didn't like him very much. A little further along into the story, I felt sorry for him. Then I was really on his side pulling for him. Then I didn't like him again. Then I loved him. At times I didn't know what in the world to think about this man and his extreme selfishness but heart wrenching love for his family.If that sounds confusing, well it is. Truman will have you wondering about him until the last page of his story and when you get to the end of Not In The Heart you will realize that we are all just like Truman at different points in our own lives. Chris Fabry has offered up something really special in this story. I encourage you to consider it for your next book club (questions for a reading group are included in the back of the book). But don't count on just one night to discuss this story! You'll need more than one.Audra Jennings of the B&B Media Group sent me a copy of this book for the purpose of review.
What would you do to save the life of your child? For most of us parents, the answer is an easy one. There isn't anything we wouldn't do. However for a man like Truman Wiley that answer has been a struggle. A difficult internal struggle at that. Being married to Ellen and having two children, Aiden and Abigail, he has spent his whole life trying to measure up to what he believes they expect and want from a husband and father. When he comes up short, he turns to his only addiction, gambling. Whether it's online or visiting a local casino or horsetrack, Truman finds that when he wins, he feels like he's on top of the world, able to meet the obligations to his family he feels they are owed, but when he loses as is often the case, he turns and runs. Runs away from the very thing he swore to protect and love, his family. This is where we find Truman as Not In The Heart begins by Chris Fabry.Truman Wiley was once at the top of his game in journalism, over turning rocks to bring to light the slime of the world's worst whether they were in politics or in the lime light. He felt it was his true talent to not be afraid of the truth and be willing to report it, no matter how often his life was threatened. Until no one wanted to work or hire Truman any longer. Then he found that gambling provided the control he needed to maintain in his life. His personal life was a wreck.His only son Aiden since he was young was diagnosed with a heart defect that would place their family under enormous financial and physical pressure. Not knowing from one day to the next if this was in fact their last time with Aiden, they lived on the edge. Ellen maintained the burden of caring for the children and family while Truman tried to find a way to make ends meet. When he failed, he ran. Ran away from the family that needed a husband and father more than a paycheck, but he couldn't see past that. He felt like a failure and until he could rise above once again, he would stay away. Better to do that than show himself to be a failure to those whose opinions mattered the most.When Truman learns that there might be a way to save Aiden through an heart transplant of a man waiting on death row, he is curious how he could possibly help. When Ellen explains the wife, Helen Wright has one request that he write her husband's story of transformation from murder to reformed man since finding God in his life and is willing to pay him to do it, Truman takes the bait. What he learns in working through the evidence on the case, is that an innocent man may in fact be put to death. How can he is good conscience report the truth if it means his son may die if he doesn't get this heart transplant?I received Not In The Heart by Chris Fabry compliments of B & B Media Group for my honest review and found it difficult not to relate to the characters Chris brings to life within the pages of his novel. From the internal struggle happening within Truman, it's easy to see how a man can judge his worth by what he brings to the table and how often he finds it's easier to give up rather than push forward when the challenge becomes to hard. Truman is forced to come to terms with all his past mistakes and it's hard to watch how often he will turn away from his family to work towards the goal of saving his son, but in the process is missing opportunity to connect with him while he wants to spend time with his dad.I have known my own Truman in my personal life, with addictions to jobs. I can see how easy it would be to justify working long hours and missing personal time with your family for the reward of a paycheck because you think it justifies the time being away. It has taken me years to see that in life, there is a cost to everything, and not everything is worth the cost it takes on your personal life and family, we just need to see it. For this reason, this book will speak to hearts everywhere and shine the light of truth inside us all and for that, I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars. C
Not In The Heart by Chris Fabry is an amazing story that is both fast-paced and deeply touching. It¿s a compelling story of a man wishing he could somehow make amends for all the damage he has done to his family, but he can¿t seem to bring himself to change.Truman Wiley was a well-known reporter who traveled the world capturing all kinds of news stories. The problem is that he did most of that while his kids were growing up without him and his wife was home alone raising the children while he was traipsing all over the world chasing stories. Now his children are young adults and he can¿t go back and change the kind of father he was. His marriage may be beyond repair. He has a gambling addiction that he still hasn¿t conquered. But, worst of all, is that his son is dying and he can¿t bring himself to be there for him. He has the opportunity to go back home and write a story of a convicted killer who is set to be executed and has offered to give Tru¿s son his heart in order to save his life. Will coming home to write this story give him the chance to pull his family back together? What happens if he discovers evidence while working on the story that could clear the man who is supposed to die and give his heart to Tru¿s son?I very highly recommend this book! As always, Chris Fabry¿s writing is simply outstanding. The story will hook you from the very first page and keeps you glued to the pages until the very end. It¿s a family drama, but also so much more. There¿s a lot of mystery and suspense along with some great plot twists. The characters are so realistic and they had me on an emotional roller coaster. Through much of this book I wanted to hate Truman, but I just couldn¿t help but like him. I loved his humor, and I wanted so badly for him to change. I have been a huge fan of Chris Fabry¿s writing for quite a while. Dogwood remains one of my all time favorites. I also loved June Bug and Almost Heaven. I am always extremely excited whenever he comes out with a new book because I know it¿s going to be an exceptional read.
Truman Wiley always ran away at the first sign of trouble. It is why he was estranged from his family, riddled with debt and in trouble with loan sharks. He was a man who spent his life wrapped up in his job, so when he lost his job due to the economy he was completely lost and hopeless. Add to that the compulsive gambling and the huge debt he owed to a man of questionable character and you have a man who is willing to do anything.Truman¿s son needs a heart transplant soon or he will die. Terrelle Conley is on death row for a murder he says he didn¿t commit, but he is willing to donate his heart to Truman¿s son because he feels it¿s the only thing he can do to bring good out of a bad situation. In return, Truman must write Terrelle¿s story and uncovers disturbing evidence that may lead to the real killer. Should an innocent man be allowed to die so that his son can live? Should Truman tell the truth and let his son die?Choices¿small ones, big ones, life-changing ones¿we make them every day. But what happens when your choice involves an ethical dilemma? What if it also involves someone you care about? What if you have failed at everything and finally have an opportunity to set things right? What if doing the wrong thing gives you a second chance to do the right thing?These questions and more will surface as you read Chris Fabry¿s book ¿Not In The Heart.¿ It is difficult to read Fabry¿s book without facing your own beliefs. It¿s easy to be frustrated with Truman. He¿s an addict who can¿t control his addiction. He gambles away his life savings and continually puts his addiction ahead of his family¿s needs even in the midst of pending tragedy. We are forced to look into our own heart, face our mistakes and weaknesses and see our own need for redemption. Can Truman find his? Will he make the right choice? Is there a right decision in the midst of this jumbled up life he¿s created for himself and his family? Does God really have a way out?From the first chapter to the last, you will be engaged with this story. This hard-to-put-down book will leave you guessing until the very end. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from The B&B Media Group, Inc., as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission¿s 16 CFR, Part 255: ¿Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.¿
What a story!!!!!!!!!!. Chris Fabry weaves another unforgetable storyline that leaves you wishing the story would not end. His writing and characters are so believable you find yourself sucked into the plot along with his characters and trying to figure out how this will end. And, what an ending it was. As a mother, this story will tug at your heart in many, many waysTruman Wiley struggles with a gambling addiction, doesn't have a job or home, has lost touch with his family and has a son dying and in need of a new heart. Enter a chance, as a news reporter, to write the story of a condemmed man who is willing to donate his heart to Truman's son in exchange for his side of the story and the murder conviction. Truman is reluctant at first to attempt such a feat, then lots of money is added to try a convince him to tackle the story. With mounting hospital bills and creditors after Truman, he accepts the deal and heads to the casino and loses it all. Now how will he explain to his wife, daughter and son(who he is afraid to see) how this will ever materialize. Truman does start digging 24 days before the execution and finds evidence that points to a different killer. Can he uncover the real murderer before the execution date?.That is enough of a teaser to the storyline. This story has it all. One minute I disliked Truman, then felt sorry for him, felt sorry for his family and what he had put them through, then he showed me bits of hope that he could change. Throughout the book he wants nothing to do with God and slowly he starts changing and then I was rooting for him. He really can change and show his family he wasn't such a jerk and then the unexpected happens. The ending was a "priceless gift".We all have Truman Wiley's either in our lives or will have in our lives in the future. My "Truman" was a mother then a son addicted to alcohol and the horrid consequences that addiction entails. But, God never let go of my son and he is walking with the Lord today.Thanks to B & B Media Group for this ARC copy to review. I was not required to write a positive review.
Truman Wiley is not the most likeable character. He¿s been an absentee father while he has pursued his journalistic pursuits around the world. He¿s addicted to gambling and is not above stealing money from family members to pursue this passion. People to whom he owes big gambling debts are violently pursuing their money. His son, Aiden, is extremely sick, his only hope being a heart transplant, and Tru can hardly force himself to visit Aiden in the hospital. Truman looks with skepticism and sometimes, mockery, on anyone who expresses his belief in God or prayer. Yes, Truman has a lot of dysfunction in his life, but the positive part of this novel surrounds Truman¿s desire to ¿fix it.¿Truman¿s estranged wife, Ellen, has stood by her children while her husband traveled for his job and gambled away his money. When Aiden has his latest near death episode, Ellen swallows her pride to contact Truman. A friend from her church, Oleta, has a husband on death row and a deal is in the works for Terrelle to donate his heart to Aiden after Terrelle¿s execution. Terrelle, a former drunk, who has found religion in prison, sees this as a way to do some good in this world. Truman is to write a book about Terrill from the accused¿s point of view. This, in a sense, was the price to pay for the heart that could save Aiden¿s life.When his daughter, Abigail, asks to help with the writing of Terrelle¿s story, thankfully, the reader begins to see a breakthrough in Truman¿s own heart. As we follow the journey of this family, we experience the pain addictions of any kind can bring and the searching for forgiveness and acceptance. But this book is not only a book about relationships with family and with God, it is also a novel of suspense and mystery, and moral decisions. I had to keep reading to find out if there was any hope at all for Terrelle, for Aiden, or for Truman. At first, I thought Truman was so despicable, I didn¿t think I wanted to hear his story. That¿s often the way with addicts. We don¿t care how they got there, just that they are there and what they are doing is hurting themselves and others. We¿d rather close our eyes to it because it wears us out. Truman was a much greater man in my eyes by the end of the story. My thanks to Tyndale Publishing for providing this book for my review. The opinions are my own and were not influenced by Tyndale.
My first Chris Fabry book. Enjoyed the development of the story and the characters. Found them believable, for the most part. Was glad for the involvement of the Christian faith in the growth of Truman's awareness of life issues. Surprised by the ending, but it made total sense!
This was a really good book. Not the type of book where you can guess the ending after the first chapter.
Medical drama, mystery, suspense, faith struggles, and family problems all woven together into an amazing story about real love for fellow man and redemption for the least. The story deals with so many of the issues that families all around us face. Have you ever lost a good job and struggled to get another one? Have you or someone close to you desperately needed a heart transplant? Have you struggled with faith and wondered if there really is a God? If you don’t believe in God, where do you turn when so many of the realities of life and the consequences of bad choices come crashing down on you? Chris Fabry tells a compelling story that deals with these issues and several others. I found it difficult to put the book down when there were other things I needed to do. He just kept drawing me into the story. I empathized with the main character who had lost his job because I have been there, but I was not as empathetic with most of the other details of his life which were the result of some poor choices on his part. Much of the story is from the first person perspective of this character, so he does his fair share of berating himself for some of his choices. I recommend the book to anyone who has had to deal with serious issues in your life. I think the book will strengthen your faith or possibly help you turn to faith.
Great story with a touching ending. I found it suspenseful and I loved how God's forgiveness, mercy, and love were portrayed. Excellent read.
Starts kind of slow but as you go along the story reels you in. At tale of redemtion in many ways. I admit it,I cried lol. Teaches you to never lose hope no matter the situation.
This is one of the best books I've read in a long time. It had mystery, suspense and heart. It's difficult to root for the hero in the story because he's anything but. However, his growth is realistic and relatable. The ending is unexpected and yet not at the same time. My opinion is that it ended the way it should have. Good book.
I have read several of Chris Fabry's books, and even had the great fortune to play one of his characters on stage a couple of years ago. Like Jackson Grimm before him, protagonist Truman Wiley is a reporter - more successful, and more deeply flawed. His latest assignment is to write the story of a man on death row, a man whose life has become intertwined with Wiley's estranged family. The story starts a bit slow ... only a bit. Then things build, tensions rise, and Wiley faces the most personal sides of life, death, family, faith, and good and evil. Chris Fabry's trademark humor also finds its way into the conversations, but it never overwhelms the story. All in all, Not in The Heart is a very satisfying read.
Thisnis a page turner. Great read.
This book had me reading way past my bedtime several nights. I would highly recommend.