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Reviewed by Joseph C. Posner for Readers' Favorite
‘But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.”’ That was the command given by Christ to his followers – a command that is stretched to its limits in Fled for Refuge by Kristina Hall. The backdrop to this story is an alternate reality in which the US government marshals the Church - and specific to the plot, First Baptist Church - with an iron fist. Any proclamation or teaching that does not align with the government mandate is investigated by agents and ultimately crushed. The people in the story include Craig – the under-pressure pastor, Tony – a committed believer, and Merri – Tony’s sister, who although not a member of First Street is inevitably caught up in the government’s clampdown. Betrayal, denial, and courage are all mired in a precipitous plot, but who will be left standing to follow the example of Peter and the apostles?
Fled for Refuge is fast-paced, nerve-wracking, and intense. Kristina Hall pulls no punches in her demonstration of a fictitious yet feasible reality. Testament to the relevance of her novel is the fact that, although the Church in the US may not yet be under the pressure that her novel displays, there are places in the world where the fiction is reality. The novel is dialogue-heavy, and perhaps would have benefited from a richer balance of descriptive writing to magnify the tension of the plot, but this does not take away from the profound evangelistic purpose, which is delivered with great skill.