“Right up there with the Shack, really made me think about my beliefs and values. Can't wait to read more by him.”see full review » see other reviews »
“Right up there with the Shack, really made me think about my beliefs and values. Can't wait to read more by him.”karen duross wrote this review Friday, May 31, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Could not put down..........”SYD wrote this review Monday, May 6, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Good book, but it could have ended several times”William R Flowers wrote this review Thursday, March 28, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Depressing, long, drawn out.”Barbara wrote this review Saturday, March 16, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This was such a great legal thriller - it's too bad that there was a lot of God reference in it. And not just the normal kind either. I don't mind a little spiritual guidance towards characters in the books I read, but this was out of control. It was so much that it's hard to get past it. If you don't mind that, then this is a great book to read! If you do mind, then skip it because there are so many other legal thrillers out there.”Raine wrote this review Thursday, October 4, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Good book...been awhile and can't remember too much other than it had a very original plot.”suzie irby wrote this review Tuesday, May 8, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“In Beyond Justice, Joshua Graham tells us the story of Sam Hudson's personal hell. The tale is eerily reminiscent of The Fugitive which is a favourite of mine - well the movie is anyway. (come on - young Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones? Who could resist?) Sam's tragedy is threefold when he arrives home to find his wife and daughter dead and his son beaten into a coma.
The detective who railroads Sam into prison is one Detective Anita Pearson - and did I ever hate her! Mr Graham knows how to develop his characters. It was the characters and their distinct personalities that pulled me past the Fugitive deja vu and into this story on its own merit. I enjoyed working against Detective Pearson and I felt the trials and triumphs of Sam as he struggled to reclaim his shattered life.
Beyond Justice is well developed, interesting and not at all preachy for Christian literature: easy to read and easy on the sensitivities. ”
“What I Loved:
The writing in this book is so vivid. Graham uses common language -that we all know and recognize- and twists it. For example: "Hell hath no fury... like a boy who has lost his Thomas Train toy." While not a particularly funny book, lines like these had me laughing one minute while the plot had me crying the next. The story is one that will hold a reader's attention the whole way through, being a story that has been told many times- a man wrongfully accused and convicted for a crime he didn't commit- but still reading in a fresh and new way.
Also, it must be said that the only thing that I like better than a spicy romance or snarky females is a well-written court scene.
What I Didn't Like:
Speaking of court scenes- while Graham says that the court hearing took a month, there are precious few scenes from that month. Obviously, one can't expect it to take up three-fourths of the book, but I would have liked a few more scenes. The ones that were there were excellent and it would have been nice to include a few more.
My Overall Rating
(5 of 5 Stars) An emotional crime story
It is super hard to write this review without giving away spoilers. Beyond Justice is a coming of age story about a man, Sam, who- after being convicted for killing his wife and daughter and spending over a year in a high-security prison- finds Jesus and devotes his life to Christ. After he is released, God tests his faith by bringing him face-to-face with the real killer and asking Sam to forgive the killer as Sam had been forgiven by Christ. Most of us are familiar with that Bible verse, but I wonder how many of us actually practice this forgiveness. It is a lot to ask of a person. And whether or not Sam is able to do this herculean task- well you will have to read the book to find out.
I will say this: Beyond Justice is, first and foremost a story about a crime being committed and the characters that the crime influences. Graham does a beautiful job of using Christian principles and teachings without making this book preachy in any way, making the book enjoyable for Believers and Atheists alike. Add in a firm grasp on the English language and an emotionally engaging story, and Beyond Justice proves to be a book that you will want to add to your library for sure.
This book was provided for me at no charge, nor was I given compensation
of any kind for this review. This review only reflects my personal opinion.
“Should really be 4.5/5 stars.....
Wow. Graham's debut novel is a strong first effort that has me looking forward to reading his follow-up novel in a couple months. Graham's short stories worked so well because they grab you right away and move at break-neck speeds through the story so that you're flipping to the next page to find out what happens next and his full length novel isn't much different. This is a strength of the book most of the time, though I will say that there were times were I think narrative could have slowed the pace and dove a little deeper into some of the more compelling or moving moments in the book. To give you an idea what I mean, the book is ~430 pages long or so and there are ~100 chapters or so, so the average chapter is between 3-5 pages long before you pick up the next thread in the story and move on. This kept me riveted and I blew through the book in a couple nights, but it did create some challenges in the story.
One of the challenges that the pace introduces is that the characters are not fleshed out very deeply, beyond just what the narrative of this story throws at them. You know next to nothing about Sam or Rachel (the two main characters) in this story beyond what you learned about their characters in the context of this story. Finally, and the last slightly negative thing I'll point out is that there were a few times when I thought things happened to easily (Brent's conversion) or implausibly (Sam visiting his son while still a prisoner) because the pace of the story didn't really allow for the events to be fleshed out in a way that made them more realistic. Bottom line, you fill in a lot of the gaps in the story yourself which isn't necessarily a bad thing, just different than I'm used to in a novel like this.
Those relatively minor issues aside however, and I want to be clear here, I *really* enjoyed the book and intend on reading through the rest of Graham's backlog as well as pre-ordering his upcoming novel. The story had plenty of twists, turns, action, mystery and a lot of heart in places as well. Also, as someone who tries to live the way Christ taught us we should live, I really appreciated his portrayal of what a "church" (body of believers) should look like in our culture. Not judgmental, preachy, or trying to convince someone to accept a set of facts or pray a collection of words that = get into heaven free card, but just loving those around them by being the hands and feet of Jesus to people who are in need it like Sam found himself in this story needing.
While Graham's a bit like Ted Dekker in some ways (gripping, intense thriller with lots of twists), he's definitely got his own style as well. Recommended to all fans of Koontz, Patterson, Dekker, Michael Connelly or any other thriller/mystery/action type author.”