A Life Intercepted
Charles Martin is the New York Times bestselling author of 10 novels, including UNWRITTEN, THUNDER AND RAIN and WHERE THE RIVER ENDS. His newest work of fiction, A LIFE INTERCEPTED, is characteristic of his previous efforts. As always, Martin brings his characters to life through exceptional vivid wordplay as he describes the surroundings, smells, sights and the rest of the sensory abilities by which men and women live and love.
In A LIFE INTERCEPTED, Martin tackles one of America’s all-time favorite sports and combines this national love with a story of unrequited love between a husband and his wife. The novel goes back and forth from current day to events that occurred some 13 years previously. From the main character’s voice, Martin tells Matthew “the Rocket” Rising’s story of love and success to hate and incarceration.
"Martin’s work reads quite genuinely. There is no hype or fanfare here --- just honest storytelling done in an outstanding manner."
With his high school sweetheart, Audrey, and rising in the ranks of football so quickly that he’s the #1 NFL draft pick, Matthew literally has it all. No doubt, he has won the heart of his girlfriend, as well as the nation of football fanatics as the winningest quarterback in the history of college football. Of course, his story wouldn’t be nearly so interesting if he hadn’t fallen from grace on the night of the draft by being accused of a sexual crime against two adolescent girls.
Claiming his innocence, Matthew never admits to this horrible act before, during or after his trial. The main obstacle is that the evidence appears irrefutable, and everyone who is close to him begins wondering if he truly is guilty. Only two men stay loyal to Matthew during his 12 years of incarceration. Not even Audrey supports him; immediately following the trial, she disappears.
Fending off a small town of haters who are still angry and bitter that their one-time football idol has let them down, Matthew is released from custody with a black ankle bracelet, free (but not really free) to pursue just one objective: to locate Audrey. His every move is tracked by the authorities once he settles back in at his hometown of Gardi, and thankfully his two male friends toss him a few lifelines to get started on the outside. With lots of spare time and little to occupy himself, Matthew ends up being paired with a high school senior to help coach during the eight weeks until the fall season begins. More unlikely, still, his estranged wife is the one who sets up this pairing and demands that he do it even at the risk of being sent back to prison for life.
Matthew does as Audrey asks, but not without a lot of risk to himself and his very precarious future. During the twice-a-day practices, he begins to unravel some of the mystery behind the crime and his setup…and eventually the pieces fall together. It’s now up to him to convince Audrey of his innocence before tackling the rest of the community.
Martin’s work reads quite genuinely. There is no hype or fanfare here --- just honest storytelling done in an outstanding manner. His fans will be oh-so-delighted with A LIFE INTERCEPTED. Even those who couldn’t care less about football will fall in love with the book because of its emotional intensity about the game of life and enduring love.
Reviewed by Michele Howe on September 5, 2014