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The Voice

by Bill Myers
Series: Charlie Madison Books #1
294 pages, Suspense
Reviewed by Kristi

Fast-paced read with an interesting premise.

Plot

Charlie Madison leads a quiet life, mourning the brutal deaths of his wife and daughter, until his niece unexpectedly turn up in his music store, pursued by strange men and saying that her parents have been kidnapped.

Jazmin's parents had been working, together with another scientist, on a program to extract the voice of God from the white noise of the universe. But this raises questions that shake the world's religions and attracts the attention of both Islamic terrorists and the Israeli Mossad. Beyond that, if the voice that spoke the world into being could be harnessed, what else might its power be turned to? Some look to use it as the basis for a new weapon of mass destruction.

Charlie and Jazmin are in a race to find her parents and save the program before it's too late, but what can a burned out Special Forces operative and a deaf girl do?

Morality

The characters behave in a morally consistent manner, with right and wrong clearly shown.

Spiritual Content

Charlie faces an interesting struggle about just how far God's forgiveness will reach, and one of the terrorists has an ongoing internal monologue about whether what he is doing is actually right and according to the will of Allah. We see two contrasting Mossad agents, one who believes in God and one who does not, and how it affects their behavior.

A few excerpts from the Koran are used to explain opposing views about the concept of jihad.

Violence

There are several scenes of violence involving guns and hand-to-hand combat. Some of it is a little graphic.

Drug and Alcohol Content

None.

Sexual Content

One character was raped by her father, a minister, as part of her backstory. The terrorists talk of possibly raping a little girl in order to get information. Jazmin enjoys flirting an awful lot for a Christian kid who's all of thirteen years old.

Crude or Profane Language or Content

"cr*p", "scr**ed". Charlie takes Jazmin to task for her language at one point, but she mocks him for it; when she's not around, one of the adults uses the same word.

Conclusion

I very much liked the premise of this book, but was less impressed by the author's delivery. I didn't find myself connecting to the characters very much. Certainly not enough for me to purchase a sequel featuring them when I came across it in the bookstore. I didn't find Myer's use of language, however mild, to be a necessary inclusion. Some of the violence and sexual content, while causing me to wince, I will concede as necessary to the story.

I read through the book in just two days, so Myers does keep things moving, but as far as writing goes it's far from the top tier of Christian thrillers that I have read. Still, I'll admit to tearing up a little when the voice was finally played back and they hear God speak. All in all, an entertaining tale.

Fun Score: 4
Values Score: 3.5
Written for Age: adult

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