The Rebel Christian is always on the lookout for good Christian fiction—I’ve said that in nearly every review I’ve posted, right? Sometimes it feels like Christian fiction can be a little dull so when I read the description for this book, a salvation story involving someone who’s on trial for murder, I was hooked. That doesn’t sound dull at all, does it??
Innocence Denied follows Derrick and Larissa on their journey together as Derrick does everything he can to keep Larissa out of jail and lead her to salvation. It sounds like quite a task, but Derrick makes it more than clear that he’s going to set Larissa on the path of righteousness even if it kills him—the best part of this story is that this dream of his might actually cost him his life.
This is obviously a work of Christian fiction so there are strong Christian themes throughout the novel such as faith, salvation, forgiveness, and more. But there are also concepts and themes that help enhance the story further; there’s a bit of action and suspense, considering Larissa’s circumstances, but there’s also the smallest hint of romance. Its obviously difficult to entangle the lives of two strangers so intimately without developing some sort of bond between them—whether romantic or not—but in this case the romance between Derrick and Larissa is minimal. I’m the type of reader who appreciates a well-developed love story in any genre, but I really love when it’s done right in Christian fiction. Innocence Denied didn’t exactly do it right but it wasn’t necessarily done wrong either. I would have liked to explore the bond between Derrick and Larissa a bit more, but I was fine with what was given, considering the focus of the story.
Aside from the storyline, the writing itself was very well done and flowed nicely. The opening to the story was probably my favorite part but the rest came together smoothly; I didn’t feel like I’d been thrust into the middle of a CSI investigation, but I also didn’t feel completely clueless as I read.
The most important thing I have to say about this book is that it stays true to its Christian roots and does not disappoint in its message or presentation. Any Christian reader will enjoy this novel and appreciate the journey taken by the protagonists. I think we can all recall someone in our life who is unsaved and probably needs someone like Derrick who is willing to go beyond the extra mile to introduce them to Christ. I felt encouraged by this book to reach out and do everything I can to be a light and a guidance to my unsaved friends and family. Even if all I can do is pray them into salvation, after seeing Derrick’s determination, I’m no longer satisfied with shrugging and walking away from so many people who truly need the love of Christ in their lives.
I would recommend this book to young adult and adult Christian readers. Fans of crime series and contemporary fiction will enjoy this but its most appreciated by Christian audiences seeking an intriguing story on salvation.
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*