When Eddie Caruthers comes to the aid of a friend being harassed on the street, his good deed backfires. Friends, family, and church all condemn his actions. Even worse, the man he confronted is bent on revenge, and innocent people become collateral damage in an undeclared war. With a shrinking list of allies and a growing roster of enemies, Eddie must outwit his foes and rescue the unexpected victims he finds during his quest for justice. Woven throughout the story is a thoughtful exploration of the morality of violence, the workings of temptation, and the sometimes surprising road to redemption.
You've probably done it: gone into a restaurant, had a server take your order, and then needed to get their attention before the food came. You looked around, unsure of what your server looked like. "Is that our waitress?" you asked your dinner companions. After I graduated college, I took some pretty menial jobs while looking for better work. One of those jobs was for a corporate food service. I delivered coffee and bagels and/or lunches to meeting rooms at a large office complex. And I often felt like part of the furniture; people would look through me, talk around me, and barely register my existence. It was much the same experience when I did janitorial work for a temp agency; I could pick up the wastepaper basket at someone's feet without meriting so much as a nod in my direction. For CEOs and secretaries alike, I was invisible. I hated the feeling of insignificance. In this scene, our main character is suddenly hoping for that invisibility when he unexpectedly runs into an old enemy. I had my early jobs in mind, art imitating life. It’s just a quick allusion to the phenomenon, but evocative for those who’ve been there.
I had worked late that night. It was almost 10:30, and I left my office in the Federal Reserve Building and walked toward the South Boston parking lot where my car waited. Taking the shortcut down the wooden walkway that led behind the old Channel nightclub, I stepped onto the parking lot and saw it was largely empty. My car was sixty or seventy yards away. Suddenly a conversion van pulled into the lot, rolled to a stop, and sat there idling in my direct line of travel. This being Southie, my internal alarms sounded. I knew of a vicious attack that had occurred a block from here just a week earlier; three guys with baseball bats brutalized a lone man waiting for the bus. I looked at the van. How many people were in it? What were they up to? What would I do if attacked? Disaster failed to materialize, and I reached my car with nothing worse than a wildly accelerated heartbeat. But the what-ifs convinced me to seek out self-defense training. As much as I enjoyed my karate lessons, they provoked nagging questions of their own. Sometimes all it takes to change your life is the right nagging questions..
Every genre has its norms and conventions, and Christian fiction is no exception. But if "fiction tells the truth,' as it is often said, then it shouldn't present us with exactly what we expect. Because real life rarely does that. So in Fighting Back I set out to break with convention. We meet a lady whose appearance is unusual for the "lady in peril" role. We also meet a protagonist with an atypical background. I hope that as the story progresses, all the deviations from genre norms will prove both entertaining and eye-opening..
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