Dark Liaison – Christian Suspense/Spiritual Fiction
A CHRISTIAN SUSPENSE NOVEL
I was sent the e-book version of this book by the author’s assistant, Dee who asked me to read it and provide a review. Although I didn’t think I had ever read a Christian Suspense Novel before, I agreed because I admire others who are open-minded and felt I could do the same by stepping away from the type of books I normally read. It is a very well-written and researched book, and whether or not you agree with the Christian aspect (which is only subtly referred to in the book) it is highly entertaining and well worth reading.
When I need a break from reading books on spirituality, self-improvement or true near-death experiences, I usually grab a biography, horror/mystery novel (Stephen King is one of my favourite authors – how spiritual are his books?) and occasionally a true crime/murder paperback that I borrow from my brother. I had never considered Christian Suspense as an alternative, and honestly never even knew there was a category for these types of books. Dark Liaison by D.I. Telbat certainly constituted a break from my normal reading habits, however I was not disappointed and will read the next novel in the series and let you know what I think about it as well.
Drama and Suspense Without Violence and Gore
I would compare Dark Liaison to a James Bond movie (have never read any of the Bond books so can’t compare to them) or a non-violent spy thriller. The author has written a book that includes suspense, numerous identity changes, semi-mild violence and enough tension to keep you reading to the end. The book is set in the United States, and several middle eastern countries. It has been well researched and the author is very familiar with the conflicts that occur daily in these places.
The plot concerns the leader, Corban Dowler of C.O.I.L., the Commission of International Laborers, which is a non-political, Christian organization dedicated to providing Christian supplies (bibles, pamphlets, hymnals, prayer leaflets, etc.) to people in countries who are persecuted because of their Christian beliefs. They also send volunteer missionaries to these countries, and attempt to rescue those who are imprisoned and in danger of death because of their beliefs. To kill another human is not in their mandate, so they use several ingenius methods of dealing with their foes that are non-lethal, such as fast acting nerve serums on darts, gum with similar paralyzing effects and cigarettes with chemicals in them. Their guns have only pellets with nerve gas in them that release their fumes on impact (similar to a paint-ball gun), causing their foe to become unconscious for twenty minutes or so. This allows them to be bound and gagged so they can carry out their orders, whatever they happen to be. A major drawback to their weapons of choice is that they need to get very close to their enemies in order for them to be effective, as they are not accurate from long range.
Bringing a Knife to a Gun Fight
As part of their Christian beliefs (although not all so-called Christians believe or practice this) to avoid killing another human at practically any cost, their weapons are all non-lethal. Their biggest challenge is that their enemies do not have the same beliefs, and are ready, willing and have the capability and the weapons to kill the C.O.I.L. members whenever the opportunity presents itself. In fact, these are the orders given to several of their enemies and many are paid handsomely if they achieve the desired result. When engaging your enemy with non-lethal weapons (here, chew this piece of gum while I watch you pass out!) and the enemy has guns with bullets, bombs and knives, you are at a distinct disadvantage. The C.O.I.L. teams rely upon careful planning and the element of surprise, however they don’t always come away unscathed. Not all enemies are inept marksmen so they do get shot every once in a while, and many of their missionaries are killed before they can be rescued.
In Dark Liaison there are several story lines, however the author takes the time to explain each in enough detail so that you can easily follow each of them. Although they are all related to the central plot, you will find yourself wanting to get back to one of the sub-plots so you not only get to the outcome, but you also find out how they tie in together. If you are a fan of suspense and thriller novels, you will certainly enjoy the twists and planning that has gone into writing this book. I am not going to explain the plot in detail, but it involves the rescue of a Christian lady from a middle eastern prison, an assassination attempt, the kidnapping of a family and lots of bad guys passing out from various forms of nerve gas or serums. And as promised, our heroes do not get away without their fair share of bullet wounds and other injuries.
Recommended For All Suspense Novel Readers
I would definitely recommend Dark Liaison to any fan of the spy/thriller/suspense genre. Whether you are Christian or not, this book has been very well written, researched and edited. The Christian aspect is certainly present but it is not overpowering and the book can be enjoyed as a suspense novel on it’s own merit. You may well guess that the good guys win out in the end, however I believe that is the case in all of the James Bond stories, so why should this be any different? I am certainly glad that i was approached to read this book, and I am looking forward to reading the next book in the C.O.I.L. series, Dark Hearted which is due out early in 2012.
Laughter and love,
Dark Liaison D.I. Telbat