‘Deception’ by Randy Alcorn is a fictional story set in Portland, Oregon. The main character Oliver Chandler or Ollie is a homicide detective. Ollie is a fan of fictional characters who use unconventional methods to uphold justice. He is an opinionated, self-righteous, justice seeker, who rubs fellow detectives, the press, and his superiors the wrong way. Ollie is a widower who feels the need to self medicate with alcohol. A lot of alcohol. He isn’t a Christian but he has some Christian friends who care a great deal for him. Throughout most of the story he verbally spars with his friends about becoming a Christian.
The story revolves around the solving of a homicide that he, his partner, and a journalist are assigned to solve and cover.
Randy does something in his books that I really appreciate. He shows flashes of the thoughts or conversations of those who have passed beyond this life. The conversations of those in Heaven looking down on what is happening on earth, and the thoughts and realizations of one who has found himself in hell. It gives Mr. Alcorn’s stories more depth than if he didn’t do it.
As I’ve said before, I do not like to have a lot of murders in a story as it seems to desensitize us over time to something God hates and forbids. Sadly there are a string of murders in ‘Deception’ but as it is written about the professional and private life of a homicide detective it is basically realistic in that regard.
I would recommend one read it not so much for the storyline which evolves around a series of homicides, but more for the arguments/apologetics given by the Christians who witness to Ollie and for the observations made in Heaven and Hell. I appreciate the firm stand Mr. Alcorn takes within the story on the need to become a Christian and how that is accomplished.