Monday, January 01, 2007


Time to focus on another work of Christian fiction in the January 2007 installment of the Fiction In Rather Short Takes blog tour. This month's focus is a suspense/thriller novel by Phil Little and Brad Whittington: HELL IN A BRIEFCASE:


Plot teaser:

Matt Cooper, the protagonist is a jet-setting private security executive. His adrenaline-junkie days consist of last-minute first-class overseas flights, Hollywood parties with his actress girlfriend, and direct calls from top CIA brass.A chance meeting with Mr. Roberts, “an old broken-down millionaire” and uncommon Christian, sends Cooper on a trip to Israel that will change his life. Matt goes behind the curtain of Middle East terrorism, witnessing firsthand the untold ravages of holy war. The deeper he goes, the closer he gets to a plot involving eleven stolen briefcase nukes and a plan infinitely more sinister than 9/11.

Now, I like thrillers. A lot. However, I have an aversion to novels with "Hollywood parties" and "jet-setters", so this is on the verge of not being my cup of camella sinesis. The nukes part is a strong plus. This just may be precisely what you want to slurp on fictionally, though--jet-setting and starlet-ing and all. So, if you like thrillers with nukes and dudes who gotta save the world AND their souls, check out HELL IN A BRIEFCASE.

Kevin Lucia of Bookshelf Reviews wrote:

Hell in A Briefcase, co-authored by Phil Little, an internationally recognized counter-terrorism expert, and Brad Whittington, author of the Fred, Texas series, is a complexly woven story told in the high-wire suspense fashion of The Bourne Identity series and any number of Tom Clancy novels. The pacing is frenetic, unrelenting, and the writing is brisk, terse, bringing the reader swiftly into the flow of the action. While reading, you get the innate sense of a clock ticking as time runs out, and the action scenes are written believably, which is often hard to do in novel. Hell in A Briefcase would make an excellent transition to the big screen.

Kevin's also got an interview with co-author
Brad Whittington
which you may want to check out.

A couple of reviews I've seen state that the novel's first part is slow, even tedious, and does require a bit of patience from the reader before the good stuff gets going. After reading the excerpt for the first chapter, I see what they mean. However, I'm sure plenty of readers would enjoy the history and situational information on the road to the actual high-conflict stuff. Different strokes.

Here's the start of the first chapter:

Marjeyoun, Lebanon.

Thursday, 21 November 2002. 01:30.

A full moon. A glow seemed to rise from the sand, allowing them to drive with their headlights off. The five Jeeps kept to 40 kph on the dark road that wound southward between hills and wadis. In the third Jeep, Major Skaff allowed himself the brief luxury of picking out Pegasus in the sharp winter sky before he compulsively scanned the rocky terrain for signs of Hezbollah fedayeen. He was leading this patrol to check out rumors of increased activity near Shaaba Farms, the disputed area where three Israeli soldiers had been kidnapped two years before.

The ridge road ran from the town of Marjeyoun down to Qlaia’a under the ominous gaze of Shqif Arnoun-the castle called “Beaufort” by the Crusaders-to the west. Christians and Muslims had fought for this ground for centuries, trading possession of the castle as their fortunes rose and fell. In the 1970’s the Palestinian Liberation Organization had used the strategic placement of the castle to shell civilian settlements in northern Israel.

That was when Skaff, then a young recruit of the Southern Lebanese Army, had been a driver in a similar convoy, shortly before the civil war broke out between Christians and Muslims in 1975. Traversing this very ridge on a mission, he had come under fire from the castle. His evasive driving had saved the convoy and drawn the attention of General Lahd.

Read the complete first chapter HERE.

may be purchased at

No comments: