The Final Hour
By Andrew Klavan
Thomas Nelson publishers
General Juvenile Fiction, Action & Adventure
“You’re not alone. You’re never alone.”
The Final Hour completes the four-pack of Charlie West’s adventures with the Homelanders. Charlie is a high school student, perfectly normal in studies, a black belt in karate, a young man of great faith, with loving parents and a sister. His biggest problem is that he woke up one day with no memory. Accused and convicted of murdering one of his closest friends over a girl, he’s been on the run ever since.
This last novel begins with Charlie imprisoned in a federal petitionary with hardened criminals and guards who are only a little lower on the social scale. Sent to his knees on occasion with flashes of memory detailing the last several months, Charlie realizes that he’s been on an undercover mission for the US government to infiltrate a terrorist group who call themselves the Homelanders. But like an Impossible Mission gone wholly wrong, he’s been disavowed and his one living contact to the truth, Detective Rose, has no way to convince his superiors to clear Charlie now that the terrorist cell has been broken up.
When Rose reveals to Charlie that the leader of the cell has not been caught and Charlie must remain in prison where his treatment is less than fine, Charlie connects with his former karate master and friend, Sensei Mike.
In a desperate plan to thwart the terrorists final act of mass murder, the detective, the karate master, and the imprisoned high school student work together to get past not just the remaining zealous Homelanders, but the US government officials who refuse to believe in the danger.
Fast-paced, thrilling, and fingernail-biting action kept me reading the story until the last page. Klavan manages to make me hang on Charlie’s every decision, to root for him, groan in pain and despair with him, and pray with him when nothing else can possibly make a difference. If Charlie makes it in the Air Force, I bet he’ll be cooler than Jack Ryan. Recommended for junior high and up readers.
A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher.