Skip to main content

Culture Books

Secret pasts and daring escapes


Secret pasts and daring escapes

Four novels from Christian publishers

The Gentleman Spy by Erica Vetsch: Upon the sudden deaths of his father and older brother, Marcus Haverly becomes the Duke of Haverly. He fears his new title will interfere with his secret occupation as a spy for the British Crown, so he proposes marriage to Lady Charlotte, hoping she’ll provide the cover he needs. However, Charlotte is not a typical shallow, shy debutante. She is well-read, outspoken, and determined to help London’s population of prostitutes, including her recently discovered half-sister. Charlotte, too, has private reasons for agreeing to the unexpected union, but neither she nor Marcus expects love to be part of the arrangement. This Regency period novel has it all: action, suspense, history, and the right amount of believable romance.

A Cross To Kill by Andrew Huff: Small-town pastor John Cross is hiding his past profession as a CIA assassin. The last thing he wants is for his congregation to know he’s a killer. But when he’s tapped to rescue Christine Lewis, a reporter kidnapped by terrorists, he’s drawn back into the action. And there’s plenty of action: car chases, knife fights, explosions, gun battles, even a fistfight atop a moving train. The silly banter of doting church ladies and the romantic chemistry between John and Christine help to soften the story. This solid debut novel presents a complex and likable man who knows he’s forgiven but still struggles to reckon with his life before meeting Christ.

Nine by Rachelle Dekker: Lucy has scant memories of her past but remembers enough to run from it. The teenager’s goal: to escape a mysterious enemy and reach Corpus Christi. Along the way she meets Zoe, a waitress with a past she’d like to forget. The two team up to survive a sinister government plot that aims to bury evidence of a mind-control project gone awry. The story explores human nature’s complexities—can we choose to be good rather than evil, and vice versa? This suspenseful page-turner has an interesting theme but includes intense scenes of torture and violence. Worse, it implies that love excuses a multitude of sins (even murder), not as the perfect love found in a righteous God, but the mercurial love found in flawed human beings. None of the characters seek God’s guidance or forgiveness.

The Escape by Lisa Harris: A plane transporting two prisoners from Washington to Colorado crashes in the remote Idaho wilderness, leaving the pilots and one prisoner dead. The two U.S. marshals on board begin the hunt for the remaining escaped convict. They grow more frustrated as the dangerous and cunning murderer manages to stay one step ahead of them. The longer the prisoner evades capture the better chance he will have to leave the country and disappear forever. Subtle faith elements emerge in the dialogue: “Sometimes the darkness seems so much stronger than the light.” “Maybe, but God is so much bigger than the darkness.” Harris delivers an intense cat-and-mouse chase that includes a mysterious backstory and many loose ends, leaving the door open for follow-up books.