"Deadlock is a novel about the impact of the Supreme Court today . . . and about imminent, real-life choices that will shape both its future and that of our nation.
She is a Supreme Court Justice.
She is an atheist.
And she is about to encounter the God of the truth and justice she has sworn to uphold.
For years, Millicent Hollander has been the consistent swing vote on abortion and other hot-button issues. Now she's poised to make history as the first female Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. But something is about to happen that no one has counted on, least of all Hollander: a near-death experience that will thrust her on a journey toward God.
Skeptically, fighting every inch of the way, Hollander finds herself dragged toward belief in something she has never believed in--while others in Washington are watching her every step. Too much is at stake to let a Christian occupy the country's highest judicial office. Even as Hollander grapples with the interplay between faith and the demands of her position, and as she finds answers through her growing friendship with Pastor Jack Holden, a hidden web of lies, manipulation, and underworld connections is being woven around her. It could control her. It could destroy her reputation. Unless God intervenes, it could take her out of the picture permanently."
In this legal thriller for the evangelical Christian market, former trial lawyer- turned-novelist Bell imagines what would happen if a prochoice, atheistic Supreme Court Justice suddenly became a born-again believer. A near brush with death and the sudden loss of her mother leaves 52-year-old liberal Justice Millicent "Millie" Hollander pondering eternity and considering faith. When she becomes chief justice, Millie discovers that the belief she has embraced excites a firestorm of confusion and anger from her former supporters. A case involving a separation of religion and state opens up a huge rift in the Court, and the media soon turns the whole affair into a three-ring circus. Alarmed about Millie's potentially conservative positions, the president and stereotypically hard-drinking, womanizing Sen. Sam Levering plot her impeachment and possibly her death. A weak subplot concerns a teen's abortion and subsequent lawsuit against the clinic where it was performed, which rather unconvincingly intersects with Millie's story toward the close of the novel. Portions of the plot aren't completely fresh Angela Elwell Hunt's recent The Justice ably tackled the same general topic for the same audience. But Bell's take on the idea of a Supreme Court justice making a religious about-face offers some unique spins, including a curveball plot development that will blindside most readers. Laudably, most characters are multidimensional, and even the senator's evil troubleshooter, Anne Deveraux, becomes worthy of pity. Evangelical prolife fiction aficionados should appreciate this addition to the CBA thriller genre.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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September 30, 2002
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