Tale of the Penitent Thief

Christian - Historical Fiction
344 Pages
Reviewed on 07/04/2013
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Author Biography

A Christian foremost, a husband and father of five, Don Willis is a Marine Corps veteran with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and has spent a majority of his career working in Law Enforcement and Investigations. Don also has a tremendous amount of international experience on various assignments and has spent several years living in Japan, Russia and the UK.

It is through these unique experiences and his Christian faith that Don has gained a deeper insight into human nature. In his role he is often exposed to people who are going through the worst time of their lives. It has allowed him to have a deeper understanding of the thoughts and motivations that people experience when they make mistakes and genuinely want to make things right. Through these experiences Don has also learned to appreciate the value of finding ways to help our youth of today make better decisions to avoid problems in life. Because of this passion, he has also done a great deal of work volunteering with youth organizations throughout his entire life.

Today Don works and resides with his family in Bentonville, Arkansas.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Denise Stern for Readers' Favorite

se Stern for Readers'Favorite.

In this highly fictionalized account, Don Willis has created a thought-provoking and interesting story that takes place during biblical times, and involves the influence of one of the most celebrated figures in the history of mankind, Jesus Christ. In the story, two brothers, Dismas and Jotham, grow up in the town of Bethlehem, at a time when Roman rule often wreaked havoc on the Israeli people. When the story begins, Dismas is nearly 11 years old, and his little brother Jotham is almost five. The two brothers meet and become acquainted with a young couple, Joseph and his very pregnant wife, Mary. Through the intervening years, the two brothers are confronted with enormous and alarming decisions, including an incident where the two brothers must fight each other to the death. Eventually, because of his deeds, Dismas is sentenced to die by crucifixion by Pontius Pilate, along with his friend, Gestas. They are placed on either side of Jesus Christ on the Hill of Golgotha. It is there, while hanging beside Jesus, that Dismas acknowledges Jesus Christ as the Messiah, and asks for God's forgiveness. However, a surprising twist at the end propels the story full circle.

The plot, character development and dialogue are well thought out, offering a balanced blend for each reader. Not at all “preachy” in style, this Christian-based fictionalized story provides an in-depth glimpse into the struggle and choices of two brothers striving to survive in trying times. Well-developed and rendered, the book shows the author's innate talent for imagination and creativity.