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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Book Review: Showdown

Dekker, Ted. Showdown. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2006. Jacketed Hardcover, 384 pages. $22.99.

Purchase: Thomas Nelson | CBD | Amazon

ISBNs: 1595540059 / 9781595540058

Subjects: Christian Fiction, Suspense/Mystery
Chapter Excerpt

Ted Dekker is known for novels that combine adrenaline-laced stories with unexpected plot twists, unforgettable characters, and incredible confrontations between good and evil. Ted lives in Austin with his wife LeeAnn and their four children.

The Gist

Marsuvees Black, a self-proclaimed preacher, strides into Paradise, a small town in Colorado, claiming that God sent him to bring “grace and hope.” Black looks more like a stereotypical gunslinger and behaves more like a magician. After calling a town meeting to proclaim his message, he pulls an apple out of the air. A moment later, he turns it into a snake. Then, while everyone watches, he makes a man’s wart disappear.

The people are instantly enamored by his charisma and enchanted by his miracles, but who is this guy? Is he really who he claims to be? The only one who seems to be asking the important questions is Johnny Drake, a boy who lives in Paradise. Everyone else has fallen to Black’s charms; his good looks especially make the women swoon.

But Johnny knows something is wrong. The first person to question Black is now dead, apparently from a heart attack. Johnny witnessed the man’s violent death and knows Black is responsible. That’s only for starters. Black admits that he introduced a gel-like substance into the town’s water system to make people more receptive to his message, and he is passing around a bottle of the stuff. The gel seems harmless, or is it? People begin seeing strange visions and acting out their most carnal and violent tendencies. Has Black brought grace and hope or led the town to the dark side?

Meanwhile, in a monastery in the nearby mountains, 37 children have been isolated from the evils of the world and taught God’s Word in a test project sponsored by Harvard University and directed by David Abraham. But even isolation from the world can’t protect them from the evil in their own hearts. When one student, Billy, ventures into the forbidden dungeons, he crosses the line into evil, putting the student body and the future of the school into peril. When the school leaders allow a public debate between good and evil, Billy wins the day. More students head for the dungeons, which are inhabited by mammoth, gel-secreting worms that slither along the walls. If these ingredients seem creepy, just wait. More

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