Just as thrilling and suspenseful as any Hollywood blockbuster action film, Chris Fabry’s Not in the Heart gives readers a heart-pounding, nonstop mystery as Truman Wiley gets the writing assignment of a lifetime: the chance to write a book from the perspective of a man on death row who may or may not be innocent. That man also has volunteered to give his heart to Wiley’s dying son, and when evidence points toward the convicted felon’s innocence, Wiley must deal with the conflict of interest and make a difficult moral decision. Whose life will he save? That of his son? Or that of the new Christian and convicted murderer? For “there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friend” (John 15:12-13).
Wiley’s gambling additions, marriage problems, and self-loathing create an additional dynamic for Fabry’s tale. Carefully weaving pieces of the mystery together with Wiley’s death-defying run from loan sharks, Fabry keeps readers guessing until the last possible moment. His conclusion takes a poetic turn, but leaves readers to deal with the loss of the character whose point of view the majority of the story is told from — a huge loss after a huge attachment.
Readers can easily relate to Fabry’s characters, who deal with deep issues. Wiley’s journey to redemption takes the entire length of the book. His wife holds onto hope, refusing to divorce her husband. She gently pushes him toward Christ while fervently urging him to reexamine his life and make changes for the better, not to mention visit his son at the hospital every once in a while. Ultimately, Wiley’s own sacrifices lead him to the one sacrifice with everlasting significance: that of Jesus Christ. Wiley’s doubts opposition to Christianity are believable and relatable, as are his struggles with addiction.
Wiley’s troubled relationships with his wife, son, and daughter draw the reader in. These are real people with real problems, fallen from grace, but brought out of the darkness by God. Beyond the enthralling who-done-it mystery, which Wiley and his daughter work to solve, the Wiley family transfixes readers with their gripping stories matched with Fabry’s delightful and fascinating writing. Not in the Heart reaches into the depths of the human heart and comes out with a tense, thought-provoking and exciting read that successfully examines the human condition and provides hope and inspiration. – Harmony Wheeler, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Truman Wiley used to report news stories from around the world, but now the most troubling headlines are his own. He’s out of work, out of touch with his family, out of his home. But nothing dogs him more than his son’s failing heart.
With mounting hospital bills and Truman’s penchant for gambling his savings, the situation seems hopeless . . . until his estranged wife throws him a lifeline—the chance to write the story of a death row inmate, a man convicted of murder who wants to donate his heart to Truman’s son.
As the execution clock ticks down, Truman uncovers disturbing evidence that points to a different killer. For his son to live, must an innocent man die? Truman’s investigation draws him down a path that will change his life, his family, and the destinies of two men forever.