Harvest House Publishers
“The police were restraining the tightly packed, screaming mass of people.” The opening line of The Last Judgment --Craig Parshall’s concluding book in his Chamber of Justice Series—is very revealing.
First, any author knows that you have to catch the reader with your opening line. Snoopy made sure we all knew this with his effort to win a contest of opening lines, always using “It was a dark and stormy night.” Parshall does catch our attention with this opener; he is a solid craftsman of suspense fiction. Any reader who likes to curl up with a thriller that is as current as the blogosphere will like this book.
The Last Judgment takes us straight into the Temple Mount controversy. This small piece of ground, which is the site of Solomon’s Temple, the supposed location of the Isaac near-sacrifice, and the current home of the Dome of the Rock, is the center point of Muslim and Jewish History. Ownership of that land is the primary point of contention in the Israeli-Palestinian efforts to reach a peaceful understanding.
The protagonist, attorney Will Chambers, reminds us of heroes from Robert Ludlum or John Grisham novels. A bit too amazing to be believed, but this doesn’t take away from the fun. He finds himself torn between the needs of his wife and son, and the greater claim in his life to see that justice is done. How many Christian workers are faced with that same dilemma in their daily walk? To add to the drama, however, it is clear that Will Chambers will be risking his life.
His greatest strength of character is also his greatest flaw: his unrelenting zeal. But in order to be that zealous, Will is single-minded and an adventure junkie. His wife appreciates these aspects of him, but also knows they can be his “mistress.”
As Parshall concludes his Chamber of Justice Series, he seems to be offering one possible scenario of how the Temple might come to be rebuilt. He doesn’t intend it to be prophetic, but just provide a fun romp that is theoretically possible. The real intent might be similar to the Left Behind Series - to help folks better understand prophesy.
Second, we can see in those opening words that the pace will be brisk. Some books that deal with issues of law, especially international law, can get slowed down by arcana. Parshall gives us enough background in the law to understand what we need to know, but never allows it to slow things down.
Finally, the opening line gives us insight into the only negative about Craig Parshall: his descriptive writing makes one think that he doesn’t work very hard at it. “...tightly packed, screaming mass...” is a perfect foreshadow of what is to come in the way of adjectives, adverbs, and scenic development. In the only other Parshall book I have had the pleasure to read, the same flaw distracted me from the story. – Randy Kirk, Christian Book Previews.com
As a happily married husband and proud father of a nine–year–old son, the last thing attorney Will Chambers wants on his hands is a religious apocalypse.
Will defends a Christian convert from Islam against charges of causing a religious riot. When the attorney next hears from his client, Gilead Amahn, the self–styled prophet is under arrest. The top of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount has been bombed into rubble, and Amahn is accused of having incited—by his fiery street preaching—a terrorist cult to do it.
Now the lawyer must uncover both the evidence and the key truth about his client’s “mission.” And further, Will must also make a final judgment about his role as a husband, a father...and a man.