Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Church Builder by A.L. Shields

Book Description:  From A. L. Shields---pseudonym for New York Times best-selling author Stephen L. Carter---comes a thrilling new series about a secret war between the forces of faith and those who would destroy it. In the first volume, small-town lawyer Bethany Barclay, struggling to piece together the final months of her best friend's life, becomes the pawn of both sides. One group focused on destroying all religion. One group struggling to preserve the church. One woman searching for the truth. The evidence is against her. The FBI is right behind her. A malevolent killer has her in his sights. And as Bethany digs deeper into a complex web of lies surrounding her ties to the murder of her client's son, she remains unaware of the real battle in front of her.She thinks her friend Annabelle was killed because of what she learned about a rumored first-century Christian artifact. What Bethany doesn't know is that Annabelle died in the crossfire between two shadowy organizations that have been doing battle for centuries. The Wilderness, wealthy and vast, is dedicated to the destruction of all religious faith. The Garden, a group of seven members led by a man they call the Builder, carries on a grim, secret struggle to protect the church. Only a few in the Garden realize that there's more at stake than the artifact the Wilderness is seeking. But as Bethany discovers that she's a tiny part of a larger war, can she trust the Builder to save her? Or will he sacrifice her for the sake of the cause? 

My Thoughts:  I wasn't sure about this book when I first saw it, simply because of the cover picture.  The title The Church Builder  sounded like a carpenter kind.of read and the "whole" snake on a pole reminded me of Moses in the wilderness when he lifted up the snake so the people could be healed…how did all of this make a suspense read??
Well, again, this is where one shouldn't judge a book by it's cover or title.  As I began reading this suspense thriller "it" all began to make sense.  
The church builder seems so be highly thought of con man.  You know, the kind of person that manipulates people to follow him because he wants their money or he wants power (sometimes both).
I found it interesting that when I looked up the name Bethany that Bethany has the definition of:  "People with this name have a deep inner desire for a stable, loving family or community, and a need to work with others and to be appreciated."  And so, Bethany, our heroine/main character, is SO much like this definition.  
Bethany is also wise.  Framed for a murder she didn't commit and with limited time to find the source of evil Bethany is on the front lines of an all out war!
My!Oh!My!  This book was fantabulous!  Such a mixture of suspense and common sense!  Oy!
This is a wonderful hardback book.  With Christmas just a round the corner this will make a fantastic gift for that suspense lover on your list!

*This book was provided for review by BookSneeze/Zondervan*

  • Series: The Church Builder Series
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (October 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310332117
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310332114

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