From the first paragraphs of Death Watch, Jack Cavanaugh and Jerry Kuiper hike the suspense. A man traveling aboard a jet receives an e-mail. Then an incoming call on a phone that makes only outgoing calls verifies the e-mail: he will die in forty-eight hours.
When television reporter, Sydney St. James, is late for a meeting due to an accident on the highway, her supervisor gives the coveted interview with the governor to her rival. Adding insult to injury, she assigns Sydney to cover what seems a routine car accident.
However, the accident is anything but routine. Sydney finds a death watch notice on the seat and discovers that this may be one of the most important stories of the century. Thousands, perhaps millions, of people around the world receive notices that they will die in 48 hours. When visiting superstar European anchor, Hunz Vonner, takes an interest in the story, her supervisor relegates Sydney to being his assistant in trying to track the terrorist group responsible. Then people close to Sydney start receiving the notice, and the death watches become much more than just a story.
Jack Cavanaugh is a prolific writer who has earned a coveted Christy award. His partner, Jerry Kuiper, founded Save a Friend ministries and is a talk show host. Characterization and plot are excellent. The idea generating the story is powerful. However, the authors include a God-ordained suicide in the story. They do not have the character risk his life to save others. It is strictly a suicide ordered by God. Yet they set up the story in such a way that other events could have triggered the desired outcome. In a society with a high suicide rate, even among Christians, having a character commit suicide at God's orders does not seem responsible.
Tension is intense. Unfortunately the climax does not sustain the tension. One can hardly blame the other reporters for their response to Hunz Vonner's "death watch." The story's predominant message challenges readers to share the gospel with lost acquaintances which is noble, but such a complete indictment of Christian compassion for the lost is depressing.
Death Watch grips readers by the throat and won't let them put it down. It also promotes thought: not only will you want to discover the culprit, but you’ll want to evaluate your own sense of responsibility to the lost. -- Debbie W. Wilson, Christian Book Previews.com
YOU HAVE BEEN SELECTED FOR DEATH STOP PRECISELY FORTY-EIGHT HOURS FROM THE TIME OF THIS TRANSMISSION YOU WILL DIE STOP THIS IS AN OFFICIAL DEATH WATCH NOTICE STOP
Rookie news reporter Sydney St. James found the first Death Watch notice in a vehicle at the scene of a fatal accident. That was just hours ago. Now other notices are turning up worldwide—and Sydney finds herself paired with renowned international newscaster Hunz Vonner in a desperate attempt to unmask the terrorists.
The wording of the notices is always the same—as are the results. There is no pattern to the victims’ deaths. Every attempt to save the recipients fails. Government agencies and news organizations are stumped.
Then it gets personal. People close to Sydney begin receiving Death Watch notices. The clock is ticking . . . and suddenly, Sydney finds herself in possession of an astonishing secret. It could break the power of Death Watch, save the lives of those she loves . . . and ruin her forever.