Friday, January 05, 2007
Phil Little's Hell in a Briefcase ~ Reviewed
Hell in a Briefcase
by Phil Little with Brad Whittington
B&H Publishing Group
Matt Cooper is a true international man of mystery. A private security executive, his adrenaline-junkie days consist of last-minute first-class overseas flights, Hollywood parties with a live-in actress girlfriend, and direct calls from top CIA brass. But the jet-set lifestyle hardly matters once Matt meets Mr. Roberts, an old broken-down millionaire, an uncommon Christian who coaxes Cooper into traveling with him to Israel. Through the strange man's incredible connections, Matt goes behind the curtain of Middle East terrorism, witnessing firsthand the untold ravages of holy war.
When I first received this book in the mail and read the title I thought, "What kind of story is this?" Honestly, the title didn't appeal to me, but the front cover was interesting and so was the description on the back. So I started to read. The first chapter had a lot of narration, which usually makes a book boring, but it seemed necessary to the setting and to get you into the mind frame of the story itself. It must've been effective because I found myself wanting to plow through this book from beginning to end. That's a good sign for me because #1, I normally don't read thrillers, and #2, I read SO many books that for it to grab me by the throat it has to be compelling. Hell in a Briefcase was compelling indeed.
With pulse-racing countdown to find the nukes before they detonated, continual intrigue, cliff-hanger plot points, a mysterious mole, and adventure up the wazoo, this story was worthwhile reading for me. What a great ride! One of the best points, IMHO, was the fact that I didn't figure out who the proverbial bad guy was until the end when the person was revealed. Talk about well-done red herrings. This is a perfect example of that technique.
I found the spiritual arc to be very effective and frankly, if there had been no arc, it would've taken away from the story, in my opinion. In this story not everyone "finds Jesus" because that isn't the real world, but the defenses people erected against Christians were very realistically portrayed. One particular person's influence was dramatic enough to capture the attention of the unsaved long enough to have them wonder if what she had was truly real. That's a great illustration of living out your faith, but the character did it in baby steps, like new Christians do. I can't wait for the next book in this series, because there are some very well-done loose ends that could lead into another book, yet I still feel satisfied at the end of this one.
writer/book reviewer www.michellesutton.net