This review contains spoilers. For a review without spoilers, please see the No Spoiler Review Here.
"The Lament of Lucas Slade" is a wonderful book by RJ Garner about a law enforcement officer who gets caught in a situation similar to that of Darren Wilson who had to shoot Michael Brown in self-defense. It correctly portrays how an officer would and should respond when being attacked, accurately showed how the media handled such a situation, and correctly placed blame where blame was due. The officer in this case was Lucas Slade, who was attacked while investigating a robbery and pulling over two suspects. One is black and one is white. Both attack him, but the black attacker has a knife and gets shot in the process. Because of the controversy stirred and protests enacted (Which is hugely at the fault a certain News Anchor named Hannah Livingston, who fabricated blatant lies for ratings), Lucas is fired and police protection is pulled from his home. While Lucas is recovering from his wounds, a man breaks into his house, kills his dog, steals his TV, and rapes and murders his wife, Summer. He paints in Summer's blood on Lucas's wall a message making it undeniable that it was a hate crime geared towards Lucas for the altercation that had happened where the boy got shot. Lucas, with vengence on his mind, sets out to kill the four people he thinks are at fault for Summer's death. The story follows this, having him kill an innocent man who he falsely accuses in the process. Eventually, he kidnaps a pastor named Eli, who is crucial in leading him to repentance and faith and getting him to surrender to the police for his three murders, three assaults, two kidnappings, forgery, and burglary.
Overall, the story was very good. It got my attention and portrayed almost everything accurately (The most unrealistic part was honestly the lack of Profanity, which I am thankful for). It presents Christianity accurately. There are false converts (Lucas before Summer's Funeral), true converts (Summer), new believers (Lucas), and old believers (Eli). There are even those that we don't know enough about to say whether or not they are true (Bruce Clemons). It showed the full scale of Christian doctrine, with those who taught sound doctrine, those who taught false doctrine, and those who innocently taught things that weren't heresy, but weren't true either. It displays Lucas as a person who grew up in a cultural Christianity, hearing that living a good life would get you to Heaven. There is also an interesting scene where Lucas turns the TV to a certain channel (Likely TBN or Daystar or Something of the sorts) to see a "preacher" preaching the Prosperity Gospel and asking people to give to them (Which even Lucas, who was an atheist at that point, rolls his eyes at).
At the end, the Biblical Gospel is preached to Lucas and true conviction and contrition is shown a little later, where Lucas repents and puts his trust in Christ. Unlike the softness found in much of Christian Fiction, the conversion in this book neither is without repentance, nor does it solve Lucas's problems in his life. In fact, within the same day he is arrested and in the same year he is sentenced to Death Row for the murders of Bruce Clemons, Hannah Livingston, and Brad McCaffrey. Things don't start to get better for Slade in his life on Earth. No new car. No miraculous healing. No amnesty. The rest of his Earthly life is jail and death row. It completely rejects the prosperity cliche that has hit much of Christian fiction.
If I had to rate this book, it would be a 9.5/10. Very good book that I would recommend to any lover of Fiction or anyone who likes to read in general.
About the Author
Brandon C. Hines is a young writer from somewhere in northern Alabama who writes about Theology, Polemics, and Apologetics. His beliefs are best summarized by the 1689 London Baptist Confession.
You can search for various topics I have written about by going to Google and typing in a keyword, then typing site:Learningthepath.weebly.com after it.