Dead Heat

Published By: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Book Category: Fiction, Suspense

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Reviewed by Julie Failla Earhart

Maybe I heard wrong. Or maybe there’s been a huge error. All I know is that if I had bought Joel C. Rosenberg’s new political thriller, Dead Heat, I’d be one unhappy camper.

I first heard of Dead Heat when I was flipping the TV remote one night. I saw Glenn Beck holding a copy so I had to stop. I would have sworn the talk centered around a heated political election that was the premise of this work. It sounded interesting and I immediately check out Dead Heat at my library. Even the back-cover synopsis states about the book that “the battle to succeed (the president) is heating up into the most fiercely contested presidential election in American history.”

And that’s as far as the similarities go. The text enclosed between the covers of my copy of Dead Heat has nothing to do with a heated presidential election. My copy opens with President James MacPherson getting ready to deliver his out-going address to the Republican National Convention. Then four U.S. cities–Washington D.C., New York City, Los Angeles, and Seattle, are annihilated by nuclear bombs. Most of the U.S. government is dead, including President MacPherson–and what is left is in chaos. The rest of the story revolves around the re-formation of the government and trying to determine if China or North Korea should receive the retaliatory nukes.

Interspersed with End Times prophecies and the conversion of the non-believers to accept Jesus as their personal savior, the novel is written in a 24 (the television show) format that has little substance. Ninety percent of the characters listed on the character page are dead within the first twenty pages. The characters that do exist are superficial and lack depth. While the storytelling was good, the novel was just one series of events after another.

And there is one thing that really added to my irksome mood. Nowhere on the jacket, inside or out, does Rosenberg or the publisher, Tyndale House, state that this is a fifth book in a series. The only clue I had was that other novels are mentioned in the text. I won’t go back and read the previous four novels. But if Rosenberg ever writes the novel that was promised in the back-cover synopsis, I might consider reading it.

Armchair Interviews says: Heed this reviewer’s comments.

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