Title: A Life Intercepted by Charles Martin
Publisher: Center Street
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction
Length: 336 pages
Book Rating: A
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
Twelve years ago Matthew “the Rocket” Rising had it all. Married to his high school sweetheart and one of the winningest quarterbacks in the history of college football, he was the number one NFL draft pick. But on the night of the draft, he plummeted from the pinnacle of esteem. Falsely accused of a heinous crime with irrefutable evidence, it seemed in an instant all was lost–his reputation, his career, his freedom, and most devastatingly, the love of his life.
Having served his sentence and never played a down of professional football, Matthew leaves prison with one goal–to find his wife, Audrey, whom no one has seen since the trial. He returns to an unwelcoming reception from his Gardi, Georgia, hometown to learn that Audrey has taken shelter from the media with the nuns at a Catholic school. There she has discovered a young man with the talent to achieve the football career Matthew should have had. All he needs is the right coach. Although helping the boy means Matthew violates the conditions of his release and–if discovered–reincarceration for life, he’ll take the chance with hope of winning back Audrey’s love.
A Life Intercepted by Charles Martin is a heartbreakingly poignant and incredibly riveting story about unconditional love and forgiveness. This engrossing novel is thought-provoking and moving and it carries an emotional and compelling message about selfless love and the restorative power of forgiveness.
From the highest of highs to the lowest of lows, there are two constants in Matthew Rising’s life: his deep and abiding love for his wife Audrey and his love for the game of football. His father instilled a love and understanding of the game and Matthew set and broke numerous records on his meteoric rise as a quarterback through high school and college. With Audrey at his side, Matthew is poised to begin his career as a NFL quarterback when he is arrested and quickly convicted for a heinous crime. Gaining an early release for good behavior, Matthew returns to his small hometown that has turned its back on him where he hopes to find Audrey and win back her love.
Matthew is humbled by his success and he always gives credit to his fellow teammates for their victories. He is adored by everyone in his hometown and they are quick to pay homage to the small town boy who made it big. When everything falls down around him, it is shocking how few people believe in his innocence and how fast that love and adulation turns to disgust and hatred. Despite this lack of faith from his supporters, Matthew worked through his anger early in his incarceration and after he is released from prison, he is not interested in proving his innocence. Instead he is focused on repairing his relationship with Audrey and he is willing to make any sacrifice to achieve his goal.
The depth of Matthew’s character is demonstrated through not only his actions but his innermost thoughts as well. Thankfully, he is not portrayed as a perfect person without flaws. He still has lingering anger toward the person responsible for his downfall but he works hard to keep his negative emotions from taking over his life.
A Life Intercepted is written in first person through Matthew’s perspective so all of the characters are filtered through his point of view. It is easy to see why he fell in love with Audrey and the fact that she was always his biggest cheerleader underscores how devastating a blow it is when she loses faith in him. But this limited viewpoint makes it difficult to understand how or why Audrey could believe the worst of someone who was never anything but genuinely kind, loving and giving no matter what the circumstances.
A Life Intercepted is an absolutely spellbinding novel with an unusual but believable storyline. While it occasionally gets a little bogged down with the technical aspects of football, this information is essential to the overall plot. The characters are multi-faceted and fully developed with all too human flaws and weaknesses. The overall story is incredibly fascinating and it is extremely tempting to read ahead to find out how the story ends. But it is well worth the wait because Charles Martin brings A Life Intercepted to a very heartfelt and emotional conclusion.