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The Witness    by Ken C. Cross order for
by Ken C. Cross
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*   Reviewed by Sally Selvadurai

The Witness is set in the not too distant future and is loosely based on the Book of Revelation. After the Iraq war, the CIA train a 'unification President' (Ben Abba Dawud) of the Republic of Iraq to broker peace in the whole of the Middle East. Over the next few years Ben Abba gains enormous power and we realize that he is a true megalomaniac, wanting to rule the entire world.

The only hold-out to this unification is the State of Texas, which seceded when Ben Abba decided that a single monetary unit would be used world-wide and a single religion, based on the Doctrine of Religious Tolerance. The only people who did not ratify this legislation were the members of the evangelical Christian denominations, and their devotees gradually made their way to Texas by an underground railroad.

Tim Johnson is a perfectly normal person, except for the extraordinary dreams that occur more and more frequently as he ages. Because of these dreams - and his interpretation of them - Tim's marriage breaks down as he begins a perilous journey, first learning everything he can about Christianity and the Book of Revelation, and then traveling to Jerusalem to preach at the newly rebuilt Jewish temple. What transpires is bizarre to say the least but the final outcome is all too predictable.

This is the author's first novel and unfortunately it shows - there is no character building, the dialogue lacks credibility, and the style is stilted, using short sentences, simple words and point-like structure. Also the whole book is choppy and at times poorly copy-edited.

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