Christian suspense novel.

Christian suspense novel?

I never really knew what that was. Of course I had an idea what it should be.

Just by the name of the genre I thought I knew what I was in store for  me when reading Liz Mitchell’s Like The Ocean Moves.

I thought wrong.

Let me tell you going in what I thought Like The Ocean Moves was NOT going to be.

I didn’t think it would be nerve-racking. I didn’t think it would be well written. Nor did I think it would be gripping.

It was NOT supposed to be suspenseful. It was NOT supposed to be thrilling. It was NOT supposed to be exciting.

That’s what I thought. And once again writer Liz Mitchell proved me wrong. Very wrong.

Like The Ocean Moves is a book that hits hard. A right hook to the Solar Plexus that knocks the wind out of you. Leaves you gasping for air once you find yourself trapped in the story with characters you can’t help feel for. Relate to. Envision yourself as. She creates people. The people that we want to be. The people we should be. The people we fear we may become. The people we loathe. And the people we love. Real people.

In other words she creates the world as it is. She holds up a mirror and you can either look away or stare into the reflection and question who is looking back at you.

But that is what good storytelling does. It creates questions; sometimes more questions than answers. Sometimes those questions are the ones we always wanted to ask; sometimes they are the questions we were afraid to think about. And we may not find the answers we want but we may find the answers we need.

Mitchell writes with a conviction of both a devoted Christian and a dedicated artist, she has created a story that is powerful both in plot and in passion. Like a seasoned tightrope walker she carefully moves along the line between the worlds of the celestial and terrestrial. Leaving herself open perched up high, in the spotlight carefully taking each step with measured poise.

She writes with a style that is both personal and prescient at times. Her subject matter is upsetting. As it should be! Because it’s a subject matter that needs to be addressed. Has to be addressed!

But can a book be both upsetting and uplifting? Unsettling and inspiring? Angering and enlightening?

The good ones can. The good ones take us to places we don’t want to go. Places we don’t want to know exist. Places we’d rather not think about let alone visit. Places we need to see. And Mitchell takes us to those places. Because that is the destination of providence, the last stop of humanity.

Mitchell becomes a tour guide of the human condition, in both the psychological plane and spiritual domain where she takes you on a trip where both faith and fate intersect at that place called life, the crossroads where one way leads to the temporal world and one towards a heavenly realm. One direction towards destiny and one towards divinity, one path well worn for most, the other unexplored for many. But both within our reach.

Like The Ocean Moves is a story that moves between redemption and retribution with a stopover in repentance. It’s a story that moves from the darkest of the dark to the brightest light and away from the banality of gray indifference.

Mitchell creates a place where both the pious and pitiful live side by side; the devout and devious are shoulder to shoulder, a place where the good, the bad and the unimaginable all collide and explode into a firestorm of emotions. Emotions that are all too real.

She deftly moves us between the soulless desolation that is prevalent in this world to the miraculous salvation of the next, never letting us forget that faith, true faith, is something that is both inexplicable and unexplainable but always unwavering.

She shows that decadence is offset by decency, desperation negated by deliverance, that in the end it’s the warm glow of salvation that guides us through the blackness of doubt.

She writes about virtue lost and innocence regained. She writes from a place that lies between the mind and the heart – the soul.

Does Liz Mitchell have a voice? Yes. One that is both a whisper that can be heard in the deafening silence of apathy and one that is a shout that can be heard over the din of moral destitution. Her voice resonates, her faith is resilient, her message is rewarding. And her words become a beacon, a light that will lead you through the bleakest of nights towards the dawning of a new day. She illuminates the path towards a better place. It’s up to us to get there.

Dan Madigan

August 2016

Madigan is a screenwriter, author, documentarian, and director of live television. He worked for Vince McMahon and the WWE writing and directing their live shows RAW and SMACKDOWN. Madigan also wrote WWE Films first “See No Evil” which launched that series franchise. He wrote the international best seller ‘MONDO LUCHA A GO-GO” for Simon& Schuster Publishers, the ultimate tome on professional masked Mexican wrestling. Madigan then wrote the documentary “VIVA LUCHA LIBRE” based upon his book. From there he stared in the PBS special “TALES OF MASKED MEN”. As a road manager he toured the world with such acts as BLOOD, SWEAT & TEARS and Chuck Negron from THREE DOG NIGHT. He lives in California with his wife Karen and son Kane and two cats.

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