Article first published as Book Review: ‘The Link That Could Not Be Broken’ by C.L. Shaffer on Blogcritics.
“The Link That Could Not Be Broken” by C.L. Shaffer is the fictional account of 31 year old Gavin Bahn’s spiritual journey. Following the sudden death of his father, a highly respected minister in Millerstown, Pennsylvania, Gavin questions his faith in God, buries himself in his practice as a small town counselor, and makes it clear to Elizabeth Kashner that their relationship is over. His faith has lost all meaning.
The story begins as Gavin admits to his longtime friend Dr. Faulkner Brickley, a professor of religion at the local college, he no longer believes in the existence of God. Later, on his walk home, Gavin is witness to an accident. A young boy on his bicycle is hit by a truck. Gavin rushes to the boy to help; the young lad whispers something to Gavin before he breathes his last breath. Gavin attends the boy’s funeral, discovers that his former friend, Elizabeth is the boy’s aunt, and realizes that he is still attracted to her.
In the complex plot that follows, Elizabeth feels compelled to participate in a short term mission trip to provide relief aid to the Chechnya people, victims of a terrorist group in the Russian Republic of Ingushetia. While there she is taken hostage. Gavin discovers that he possesses a unique supernatural gift and undertakes to use this gift to free Elizabeth from her captors. Gavin is suddenly faced with the fact that in the face of death, life is more real, more appreciable.
Unexpected plot twists, including an uncanny chain of events, fast moving action, deception, danger, bold escape attempts, and miraculous intervention, all provide the reader with page turning entertainment, suspense, and thought provoking questions for in depth contemplation. On occasion I felt the plot; scenes and characters were incongruent and lacked certain cohesiveness; however in the final chapter the loose ends were tied together.
C. L. Shaffer has written “The Link That Could Not Be Broken” with a twofold purpose: to remind those who feel disconnected, and are wavering in their faith, that God is still there. It is also written as a Christian apologetic action-drama to encourage readers to be open to exploring a meaningful dialog between those of the Christian faith, atheists, and those of other cultures, philosophies, and religions.