A Black Cat Book Review
Deadline by Randy Alcorn
Three guys, friends since they were kids. Doc, Finney, and Jake. Went to college together, joined the army together, served in Viet Nam, came home, got married, had children. Now almost 50, two are still married, one is divorced, all are successful in their work. One Sunday afternoon, watching football as usual, at half time they all get in the car to go pick up pizza. There is an accident. Two die one survives.
A couple of weeks after the accident, Jake, the lone survivor, gets a note in the mail, a yellow piece of paper that simply says, “It wasn’t an accident”. So begins Jake’s search for what really happened that Sunday afternoon and why. His search puts his life in jeopardy and he does not know who to trust. But that is not the only story being told here.
Finney is a Christian, Doc is an atheist, and Jake believes there is a God but he is not sure that it matters. The rest of Alcorn’s book is a telling of what happens to Finney in Heaven, Doc in Hell, and Jake on earth.
The story of the “not an accident” is interesting and brings some thought-provoking questions forward. I liked that part of the book. The second part of the story about the men and their spiritual journeys I have mixed feelings about.
We follow Finney around Heaven and hear some conversations between Finney and his guardian angel and with people who died before he did, one of those being a daughter. I did not find the images of Heaven very compelling. It was a bit too ethereal for me and I did not like this part. Then we find Doc in Hell. I loved this part. Pages 338-345 are a must read. It is the best description of Hell I have ever read. Jake’s journey is also followed and is sometimes difficult but in the end rewarding.
Deadline was first published in 1994 and was the first in a series. Though I did not like every page of this book I will read the ones that followed…in hopes of more gems like the Hell in Deadline. Made the book a winner in my eyes. Well done, Mr. Alcorn.