I was introduced to Robert Ovies writing a few years ago with the release of his first novel, The Rising. His writing captivated me: he probed and explored something that was so far-fetched that you’d roll your eyes if I summarized it here, and yet…it was real. It was possible.

When I saw that he had a new novel out this spring, I leapt at the chance to read it. No shock: it was a different book, but had the same exploration of questions that form the core of our Christianity, the same seeking feeling.

cover Barely-a-Crime

Barely a Crime sucks you in with characters you start to love, right before you realize that OH MY WORD NO YOU DIDN’T. (Yes, in all caps: it’s that kind of book.) They’re people who are deep and wide, just as frustrating and unpredictable as real-life people.

As I was storming through the book, I spent half my time trying to figure things out, feeling like there was no chance I would, and the other half shaking my head as I put it down to make dinner, do laundry, work…you know, all the things that keep you from the pleasant task of reading. 🙂

I couldn’t help but ask myself: what kind of author THINKS of these things?

But, you know, I spent a great deal of my younger years imbibing Stephen King and the like. I shouldn’t be shocked. This isn’t horror…or, it’s not horror like that.

I interviewed Ovies after the release of his last novel, and he told me that he started it with a question. As I was reading Barely a Crime, I found myself trying to figure out what question he was exploring.

And I think I figured it out: what if … Oh wait, I don’t want to spoil it. Because…well. The question he tries to answer and explore is one that you wouldn’t believe if I told you.

You can read the first chapter here, and if you’re curious, there’s a great interview with Ovies here.

It’s a book worth reading and sharing, whether you’re on the beach or in your armchair (or standing by the kitchen sink just trying to get one…more…paragraph…in…).