Blown Coverage: A Riley Covington Thriller
Jason Elam and Steve Yohn made a splash in the evangelical fiction world with their fast-paced thriller, MONDAY NIGHT JIHAD. Now, the pro NFL kicker and pastor turned full-time writer have composed a follow-up to their first endeavor, BLOWN COVERAGE, which will please their reading base and be sure to command even more attention from the Christian fiction market at large. They successfully capture and deepen each character's profile while delving more intently into the ever-tangled world of terrorism and religion.
With Riley Covington still reeling over the death of his best friend Sal (and the shock that Sal was a terrorist), Riley is just not ready to return to another football season. Too many memories, too many tough events, have him working hard to manage and make sense of the recent months. Unfortunately, even with security levels at their peak, Riley isn't safe and soon has to face the fact that he has now become the Cause's target.
Between trying to minister to Sal's wife Meg and their young daughter, work through his feelings toward fellow agent Khadi, and figure out how Whitney Walker, newcomer to the TV reporting team, fits into his life, the women in Riley's world keep him sharp. Though he doesn't have the time to ponder long on matters of the heart, these ladies are indeed distractions interspersed between the mega doses of football training action and the war on terrorism.
While Riley is attempting to re-enter the world of professional football, life throws him another challenge. His coaches draft a collegiate linebacker named Afshin Ziafat to join the team, which has him baffled and angered. How could they trust another Muslim after Sal's deception? Riley soon realizes that nothing outside of God's intervention is going to enable him to move on, forgive and start living again.
So when the next blow hits, Riley is stunned and paralyzed by his anger. His parents become the target of the terrorists in an explosion that kills his father. His grandfather meets with him, and they exchange some stern but necessary words before Riley plans his next move. All the while, sleeper terrorists are being awakened across the United States, blowing up public places and killing innocents. Each of these "awakened" agents is given specific targets and must kill or be killed.
As the tension escalates, Riley decides to plant false leading information to the press to lure terrorists away and almost gets killed in the process. Still, there's more excitement brewing in the States and throughout the world as both sides make aggressive attempts at dismantling their enemy. Before the final page, Riley does his country proud and finds some measure of peace given the losses he has sustained. Fans will eagerly await the next Riley Covington thriller, where they will journey alongside this hero's adventures both on and off the football field and behind the lines fighting terrorism.
Reviewed by Michele Howe on December 22, 2008