Waterbrook, May 2008, $19.99
Fundamentalists run Appalachia with a strict interpretation of the Words. Reading is prohibited and anyone caught breaking this deadly sin is sent to hard labor at the factories or if blessed stoned to death. To those in charge, truth does not matter; confession whether by torture or drugs count. Few dare try to flee to "Outside", as being caught is worse than surviving.
Caitlyn has an unacceptable growth on her back that marks her. When she was six, Jordon her Papa had it secretly removed by an Outsider surgeon who happened to be working at the clinic; however, as that doctor warned Papa, it grew back. Now a young adult, Caitlyn is afraid as the Elders are coming for her and her beloved Papa because she is different and somehow they have found out about her. Papa orders Caitlyn to flee for the Outside; she weeps, but obeys knowing she will never see him in this life again. The Elders and others chase after the disfigured female; some want her dead while some see her as something else. With help from two traveling companions she met and an underground railroad, Caitlyn continues to elude her adversaries, but the enemies are growing in number and strength leaving her to wonder if Outside is safe.
The cast makes this a superb Christian suspense thriller as Caitlyn is a terrific lead player and the secondary and tertiary characters are fully drawn with many containing secret agendas. Fans will root for Caitlyn’s run to freedom to be successful as Sigmund Brouwer makes a strong case that extremism especially religious is dangerous and anti-Christian; there is plenty of room for all people inside God’s tent. Genre readers will place BROKEN ANGEL on their short list for best Christian suspense thriller of the year.