Book Review: Not In The Heart

2 Feb

Truman Wiley used to report news stories from around the world, but now the most troubling headlines are his own. He’s out of work, out of touch with his family, out of his home. But nothing dogs him more than his son’s failing heart.

With mounting hospital bills and Truman’s penchant for gambling his savings, the situation seems hopeless . . . until his estranged wife throws him a lifeline—the chance to write the story of a death row inmate, a man convicted of murder who wants to donate his heart to Truman’s son.

As the execution clock ticks down, Truman uncovers disturbing evidence that points to a different killer. For his son to live, must an innocent man die? Truman’s investigation draws him down a path that will change his life, his family, and the destinies of two men forever.




Chris Fabry is an award-winning author and radio personality who hosts the daily program Chris Fabry Live! on Moody Radio. He is also heard on Love Worth FindingBuilding Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, and other radio programs. A 1982 graduate of the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism at Marshall University and a native of West Virginia, Chris and his wife, Andrea, now live in Arizona and are the parents of nine children.

Chris’ novels, which include DogwoodJune BugAlmost Heaven, and Not in the Heart, have won two Christy Awards and an ECPA Christian Book Award, but it’s his lyrical prose and tales of redemption that keep readers returning for more.

He has also published more than 65 other books, including nonfiction and novels for children and young adults. He coauthored the Left Behind: The Kids series with Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye, as well as the Red Rock Mysteries and The Wormling series with Jerry B. Jenkins. RPM is his latest series for kids and explores the exciting world of NASCAR.


My Impressions:

I thought Chris Fabry’s book Almost Heaven was great and it is, but Not In The Heart is out of the park good!  Truman Wiley is a TV journalist that once had it all — the best family, the best career, the best life — but now he is dodging collection agents, repo men and some very dangerous mobsters.  All of this is due to his gambling addiction that has cost him nearly everything in his life including his son who lays dying in a hospital bed.  He is just one step away from complete despair when a lifeline of sorts is thrown to him — the story of the man condemned to die who wants to give his heart to Truman’s son.  One thing Truman does well is to dig out a story, to uncover the truth of a situation, so he grabs ahold and follows the trail even when it threatens to end the transplant his son desperately needs.

Fabry has written a character in Truman Wiley that is at once despicable and sympathetic.  He is charming and funny and pathetic.   There were times while reading this book that I wanted to hit Truman upside his head and other times I wanted to wrap my arms around him.  Even in his darkest moments, I liked Truman — a brilliant life that once shined now almost completely wrapped in darkness.  Never knowing someone as deep into his addiction as Truman, I could nevertheless identify with him.  I have often battled with doing right when I wanted to do wrong or doing wrong when I knew the right thing.  Thank God for the gift of the Holy Spirit that convicts and teaches us along the way.  But Truman did not have guidance, only an overwhelming urge to experience that next high, the urge to hit it big just one more time.

Mixed into Truman’s life is his wife and son who have found God, a daughter that wants to connect with him and the man condemned to death for a crime he says he didn’t commit.  Terrelle is in prison, but as Truman soon finds out he is freer than Truman could ever hope to be.  Also add a fascinating mystery and breath-holding suspense and you’ve got a novel that has it all.  Not In The Heart is definitely on my best of the best list for this year.

Highly Recommended.

(I received an ARC of Not In The Heart from Tyndale and B&B Media in return for an honest review.  The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

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