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Dead Man’s Journey by Phillip Cook

Aaron decides to investigate when father goes missing during his daily run and is found, dead, twenty kilometres away from home—and missing a finger. The investigation leads him to suspect a link between his father’s death and the mysterious ‘vanishings’ of homeless men in Brisbane.

His investigation also leads him back to Mackenzie, his childhood best friend and the girl he left behind. He knows what Mackenzie believes about what happens when we die. She’s a Christian. He isn’t. But when Mackenzie vanishes, Aaron finds himself re-evaluating his beliefs about life and death, angels and demons—and God.

The story is a Christian thriller with a speculative/science fiction backdrop and a hint of romance. It is set in and around Brisbane, Australia, in the near future, has a well-constructed plot and a host of interesting characters (I particularly liked the group of homeless men for their humour). It’s an exciting story that kept me thinking ‘what’s going to happen next?’, and I wasn’t disappointed.

Dead Man’s Journey is Phillip Cook’s debut novel, and I will look forward to reading more of his work (and not just because I edited this. I really enjoyed it). Recommended for those who like Christian Speculative fiction by authors such as Frank Peretti, and for anyone who wants to support Australasian authors.

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