If you could go anywhere in time and space, where would it be?
As soon as he and his partner, Dr. David Goodman, break through the time-space continuum, Dr. Tom Greenbaum knows where he wants to go. He travels into the past to prove that the Jesus, whom Tom's wife Megan had died for, was a fraud. David, a Christian, goes after him, but a death-loving ex-soldier hired by the company they work for follows fast behind to kill them both. Jesus complicates the matter by inviting Tom, whom he nicknames Didymus, to be his disciple. Now David is in a quandary. How can he prevent Tom from messing up history? What follows is Jeremy Robinson's rollicking adventure, The Didymus Contingency.
The story opens explosively and is laced with suspense and humor. Robinson convincingly portrays the friendship of Tom and David. He creates fresh descriptions of the disciples and Jesus by breaking the established traditional descriptions. Peter is not the "Big Fisherman," but tall, lean, and lanky. Jesus laughs a lot, enjoys a drink with his friends, and knows when to run. Judas is cowardly, Matthew big and jovial, John a dreamer.
Robinson writes quite well and is an up-and-coming author to watch. However, he misses a few things that a good editor would have picked up. He drops in a few anachronisms, such as a Roman soldier thinking that a "chain snapped like macaroni" (101) and women hugging male friends which would not have occurred in the culture. Also, though Tom and David are speaking in Aramaic in much of the book, Tom manages to say, "Why don't you just fix us with a little God zap?" (117) How do you say "God zap" in Aramaic? Occasionally Robinson slips into the present tense though the book is solidly written in the past.
Robinson offers a word of warning before the story opens that he plays loosely with biblical history, though he handles it with skill. He also warns of violence and cursing. The violence is integral to the story and I did not find it offensive. The cursing was tempered and rare, especially compared to much secular fiction, but some readers will want to consider this.
The story takes a spiritualistic twist toward the end that makes Caiaphas and some other characters sound like Tolkien's Gollum. Robinson could have prepared the reader for this better by hinting of the supernaturalistic tie more. The opening scene foreshadows it cleverly, but Robinson allows too much time before its next appearance.
Also, Robinson's stereotypes of blue collar workers grow old. His truckers are all fat, dressed in bib overalls and ready for a brawl. (My husband is a trucker who hasn't been in a fight since fifth grade and neither drinks nor wears bibs.) His ex-soldier wants to kill and his security guards are all gun-happy. The guards are secondary or minor characters, but the ex-soldier might have been more convincing if not so stereotyped. Blood lust rather than commitment to preserving history drives him on.
In spite of a few problems, Robinson's book is fun to read. He deals with some heavy questions about time and faith but maintains a light, skillful touch. Though a young man, Robinson has an impressive repertoire of writing in non-fiction and screenplays. He has two more novels in the works, and I expect we'll hear, read, and see a great deal more from him in the future. -- Debbie W. Wilson, Christian Book Previews.com
If you could go back in time...and witness any event...where would you go?
When Dr. Tom Greenbaum faces that question after successfully discovering the secret to time travel, he knows the time, place and event he will witness: the death and failed resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Dr. David Goodman, Tomís colleague and closest friend follows Tom into the past, attempting to avert a time-space catastrophe, but forces beyond their control toss them into a dangerous end game where they are tempted by evil characters, betrayed by friends, pursued by an assassin from the future and haunted by a demon that cannot be killed.