MASTERPIECE By Charter Road
The author of Masterpiece has done an admirable job of blending Christian faith with not only a "who done it mystery," but also a romantic science fiction/fantasy theme. The story is set in the near future and takes us on a journey with a young married couple who while trying to find a suspected kidnapper, uncover intrigue and corruption that ultimately lead them to a revelation they never thought possible.
Rane, the Irish husband, is dealing with his loss of memory when the story begins. His wife Haley is an accomplished police detective, who at the young age of twenty-one already has a reputation of cracking cases that no one else can solve. When asked about her amazing ability she quickly admits she relies on God to give her the answers. Throughout the book whenever Haley needs help or direction she always asks God to guide and protect her and her husband. Rane on the other hand is unsure of his relationship with his newly found wife. When she tells him they were in the process of getting a divorce, he can only remember things one piece at a time including his relationship with God. We see a young man whose heart wants to believe, but his mind and memory loss keeps him stumbling.
Adding to the excitement of Masterpiece are the devices that Rane has created but has no memory of. His wife, however, uses his Nano bot, which can be a teleportation device, a particle accelerator and a gun, to name a few abilities, to save them from the nemeses of their investigation. Rane is at first unbelieving of the things the little robot can do and his wife Haley is careful not to overwhelm him with too much information. Throughout the story you can see Rane become more confident and assertive in dealing with the robot's abilities. As the pieces of his memory fill in and he starts to remember, he shrugs off his rough, street-wise persona and regains his faith in God, allowing him to be led by prayer as his wife does.
The author is adept at developing the love between the estranged couple as Rane's memory loss completely crushes Haley. It is only with her unwavering faith in God that she continues to ignore his callous remarks and slowly helps him to remember who he is and their love together. Her faith in God also remains strong as she negotiates each challenge that she comes to. It is interesting to see the growth of Rane with the gentle love that Haley has for him. As he progresses in his knowledge of worldly scientific things his wife patiently re-teaches him the faith that he lost and reminds him that he is a king because he is created in God's image. As Rane's memory emerges we see how he learns to use his faith to live a life of joy and forgiveness.
Masterpiece is a great book about faith and love. It is also a wonderful book for all readers including the adolescent reader who loves romance, science fiction/fantasy mysteries with a Christian influence. I especially appreciated the author's ability to weave Haley's faith into her everyday duties in police investigation as a normal routine; she always said a prayer but didn't make a big production of it. There were a few times when she forgot to ask for guidance, but when she remembers to ask, she always receives. The love Haley has for her husband is heartwarming. Even when she has a terrible revelation about him, she remains true to him. Her love, like her faith, also doesn't waiver in the face of adversity. The book is entertaining and a joy to read. I looked forward to finding out the resolution of their mystery and was absolutely shocked to learn the ending. It caught me completely off-guard! The book is truly a masterpiece for all to enjoy.