On the heels of his award-winning first novel, AN OPENED GRAVE: Sherlock Holmes Investigates His Ultimate Case, readers are now lining up for the much anticipated release of L. Frank James’s second novel, MR. INSIDE (The Salt Works, October 2007). The book presents an opening scenario that challenges the reader to question the fairness and goodness of God. James uses the fictional vehicle to fearlessly bring us face-to-face with our feelings about personal tragedy of great magnitude.
MR. INSIDE is a fast-paced suspense documentary of how one man, through circumstances beyond his control, comes face-to-face with his interior enemy. In 1947, brothers Gustov and Andy Miller witness the traumatic event of their missionary/pastor parents’ being brutally slaughtered by a Kenyan witchdoctor. The young boys return to America, drift apart, and each enters adulthood carrying the memories and scars of that fateful event.
By the early 1970s, Dr. Gustov Miller has become not only an internationally renowned scholar with a keen sense for solving ancient mysteries but also the founder of his own company, Lost & Found International. He runs it with only two employees: his assistant Miss Beatrix Peeters, a lovely Christian woman, and James Morrison, his “Mr. Outside,” who finds himself in life-threatening situations while searching for lost or stolen artifacts, under the remote direction of Dr. Miller. The action-packed story line follows Gus and Jim as they are hounded by scoundrels, beaten, and thrown off a moving passenger train --- all while risking death in a race against time to solve the mystery of their lives.
Like the saga of Job, James’s stimulating narrative disarms his readers of all neat, convenient, Christian-cliché answers, securing instead their empathy with the characters’ anger and confusion regarding God and his sovereignty in the face of immense injustice. The story points to that bitter place in our hearts where we live in fear and anger, holding God responsible for life’s unjust events. The invisible hand of God is seen in riveting clarity as it affects the lives of the characters. MR. INSIDE is a page turner that entertains, engages, and impacts the reader in unexpected ways.
James’s first novel, AN OPENED GRAVE, received international endorsements and awards from both Christian and general media alike. The Midwest Book Review, ForeWord Magazine, ChristianBookPreviews.com, ChristianFiction.com, NovelJourney.com, and Amazon.com all featured rave reviews of the work. Major endorsements were issued by best-selling authors representing a wide spectrum of the Christian publishing industry, including John Eldredge and Hugh Ross. The Sherlock Holmes Society of London praised the author, stating, “Like G.K. Chesterton and C.S. Lewis, Frank James is a fine storyteller and a great Christian apologist. Unusually well done.” In late 2006, USA Book News awarded AN OPENED GRAVE first place among the Best Books of 2006 for religious fiction. During the 2007 International Christian Retailing Show, Christian Retailing Magazine featured James and his book in a full-length article about the rise of Christian fiction and small publishing houses.
Tragically, while MR. INSIDE was still in the process of being printed, L. Frank James died in an auto accident on September 2, 2007, on his way to church. In his place, his daughter Barbara James Lyon will be available to discuss her father’s book and his passion for Christianity and the creative arts.