Hell In A Briefcase Fiction Review : 2011/06/25
Hell In A Briefcase: A Matt Cooper Novel
by Phil Little with Brad Whittington
Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2006, 410 pp., tradepaper
More reviews for
Phil Little with Brad Whittington
- None found -
I was supposed to review Hell In A Briefcase
when it came out in 2006. Apparently two attempts to send me a copy failed, perhaps due to terrorists tampering with my mail. In any case, my friend Brad Whittington sent me a copy recently, so half a decade later, I finally got to read it.
Matt Cooper is an unusual protagonist for a Christian novel. He lives with his actress girlfriend Stevie and doesn't have many qualms about killing. Then again, he's not a Christian yet. His high-end security firm has international aspirations, but when a client takes him to the Middle East, he's thrust into the middle of a national crisis. Terrorists have acquired briefcase-sized nuclear weapons from the old Soviet arsenal and if they're not stopped, millions of Americans will die. Even if they are stopped, will Matt's teen daughter Nikki drift farther from him, or can they rebuild their relationship? Although the idea of a protagonist struggling with a domestic relationship at the same time as he's trying to defuse a world crisis is not new, it still adds to the interest level. Stevie goes through a faith awakening that affects them all, and had the novel sold better, a sequel was assured and Matt would have become a solid follower of Christ, I'm quite sure. However, since no sequel is in the works five years later, Matt's faith future is up to our imaginations.
The action kept my attention, but I couldn't shake the feeling that having two authors affected the story. Phil Little is the counter-terrorism expert with the book idea, and Brad Whittington is the award-winning author (Welcome To Fred
) who brings the story to life. It just didn't seem quite as smooth as the Fred novels, but Hell In A Briefcase
is a very different genre, so that may have been part of it. Ultimately I enjoyed the story and can recommend it to friends who enjoy action novels. It's too bad we will get only one Matt Cooper novel, as the concept of a security firm owner protagonist with a complex domestic life provides numerous possible story lines.
Read my interview
with Brad Whittington.