Friday, December 12, 2008

Book Review: The Unseen

T.L. Hines' latest, The Unseen begins with the main character sneaking into an office complex and spying on a woman, hidden by the drop ceiling. He's an infiltrator, or an urban explorer, going behind the "Authorized Personnel Only" signs, exploring steam tunnels and abandoned buildings, and in his case, living in them. He's a loner in the extreme, but nevertheless quickly finds himself caught up with a group of "Creepers" who infiltrate homes and video tape the lives of their oblivious victims. Soon government agents and a Russian Mafioso show up and the the crossing and double-crossing begins.

Hines writes an engaging story along the lines of Dean Koontz, which is a good compliment in my book. The characters are realistic and sympathetic, which is saying a lot given the unseemliness and deviancy of the main character. The plot hustles at a good speed and the prose is light and readable. A few elements could have been developed sooner in the narrative, which accounted for a few uneven moments in the middle of the second act, but there is a good pay-off in the end.

What is most striking is the utter lack of overt Christian witness or spirituality from this title published by Thomas Nelson. There is an underlying spirituality, an understated acknowledgment of sin and the need for redemption, but the title could easily have been published by any house...again, sort of like most Dean Koontz novels (who is a devout Catholic, by the way).

On the whole it is a fine suspense thriller and good read. I look forward to reading some more of the author.

2 comments :

  1. TL Hines said...

    Hi, Christopher - Thanks for reading and reviewing the book. As you can imagine, there's a lot of debate in the Christian publishing industry over what, specifically makes a book "Christian." All the answers (including mine) are pretty subjective, but I think the debate is healthy--and I think there's room on the shelves for all different viewpoints.

  2. Christopher D. Hall said...

    TL--thanks for commenting! And I agree wholeheartedly. But even a few years ago, almost every novel published by a Christian publisher was overtly Christian, and I am amazed and encouraged that things have changed so much.