5 stars–A Unique Spin on Good vs. Evil and the Battle for the Soul
“The Chase” by Charles Besondy is a Christian psychological thriller about the “chase” that is happening every day for your soul between good and bad forces. This chase is a real spiritual event, but Besondy has written the event in a unique and authentic way.
The story begins with 34-year-old Sheryl confirming good news with her doctor. On the way home, Sheryl experiences a near-death situation that causes her to second-guess every decision that she’s ever made in her life, including whether she has made the right choice in her marriage with her husband, Clay.
Sheryl starts experiencing the emotional downward spiral that fear, anger, confusion, and a plethora of negative emotions can cause; she starts to wonder if her life is worth living anymore. Now rewind back to her childhood and the reader will learn her reasoning for these thoughts and feelings. Sheryl has carried around baggage and negativity for many years, but the one good thing that has helped counter the bad is her belief and trust in God.
Unfortunately, even the most God-fearing individuals will experience temptations and setbacks from Satan. In “The Chase,” Besondy takes acceptable artistic liberties to explain the spiritual phenomena of Satan preying on God’s chosen individuals and how Satan views the challenge of winning their soul away from his “competitor.”
Throughout Sheryl’s life, she has had encounters with “the man in grey” that almost led to her demise, but equally as many encounters with his “competitor” in the form of a type of bird. In the end, Sheryl learns who holds more power in her life and how to adjust to that realization.
Throughout the story, the reader is given opportunities to examine their own lives and determine if there are any times that the “man in grey” might have surprised them by secretly causing havoc and wrongfully blamed on someone/thing else.
Besondy’s approach to Satan’s involvement in our lives is eye-opening and enlightening to think of the spiritual battle that is faced every day between the “good” guy and the “bad” guy and how they are each fighting for our soul; one for self-pleasure and the other to keep us where we are meant to be.
The finale will cause shock and dread and entice the reader to continue straight away to Charles Besondy’s first book, “The Hidden Saboteur.”
Reviewed by Rachel Dehning for Reader Views (06/2021)
Entertaining, suspenseful and impactful story that will touch your life
Charles Besondy expands his Lighthouse series of Christian psycho-thrillers with the beautiful work, The Chase.
It is an extraordinarily well-written and entertaining story that also encourages self-examination by the reader while traveling alongside its characters. Charles cleverly adds a unique antagonist in an inventive way, adding suspense throughout.
There was more to life than meets the eye of The Chase’s characters, and Besondy inspires the reader to examine his or her life for growth and purpose introspectively.
I listened to the audio version, masterfully narrated by Whitney Dykhouse who skills voicing multiple characters and dramatization made the story exceedingly enjoyable for this reader.
If you’re looking for a marvelous story that will entertain you, motivate you, and stimulate your thoughts about life, I highly recommend The Chase and gladly award it five stars.
A riveting story
The Chase is the second novel by Besondy that I’ve read. Can’t wait for the next one.
The story follows the tumultuous life of Sheryl Landing, whom Besondy introduced in his first novel. In this book I felt daggers in my heart every time she reached a high point in her life only to be struck back by poor decisions or circumstances, which weren’t circumstances at all. There was a plan against her all the way.
Behind the plan to destroy her was a fascinating character Besondy calls The Figure in Gray. This gritty guy has physical characteristics but unearthly powers. Besondy doesn’t make it clear if the dude is a man or a dark angel. I like that he lets the reader decide.
I live in the Pacific Northwest and thoroughly enjoyed the vivid descriptions that Besondy paints for the reader.
I am not religious, yet I find Besondy’s brand of Christian fiction, to be eminently readable and enjoyable. The uplifting and transformative Christian message is there to ponder, but it’s never overbearing.
The Chase is a story that just works on so many levels.
The Snare is Charles Besondy’s best thriller yet! I have read all of his books which I find engaging, entertaining, thought-provoking and very well written.
The Snare is Book Three of The Lighthouse series—The Hidden Saboteur and The Chase. They all function well alone, though I recommend reading them in order. They all got my attention immediately. Also they are hard to put down.
The Snare has wonderful surprises. Clay and Sheryl’s story continues to unfold as they seek God for themselves and others, especially their son Charley.
Phobley, a well-developed, fascinating character, brings something unique to the plot.
Politics together with an unusually powerful party and ambitious candidate add a piquant dimension to the intrigue.
Unforeseen twists and turns kept me on the edge of my seat.
Besondy’s characters are very real. The author also knows how to elicit empathy from the reader. I got lost in the heart and mind struggles of Charley and even felt sorry for Sireen and the youngsters attracted to her “mermaid” chant. But the narrative goes deeper causing us to question ourselves and our world.
I highly recommend The Snare. A fun, thrilling read that leaves you wanting more and thinking seriously.
“The Snare” is the third book in The Lighthouse Series by Charles Besondy. I grabbed this book, never having read anything else by the author, mainly because part of it is set outside Roswell, New Mexico, which is where I live. I had not heard of the author or the series before that. Imagine how surprised I was to find that, even though I chose it for the wrong reasons, it kept me intrigued from beginning to end with the creative storyline and well-written, well-developed characters.
In this third installment of the series, Mr. Besondy continues to tell the reader the story of Charley Austin, who is now graduating from high school. Charley is confused as he tries to continue dealing with a tragedy from his past and a political movement in the present that threatens him and those around him. This story is a test of all of Charley’s beliefs in his life thus far. Add-in a great character, Phobley, whose main goal is to destroy this young man’s faith with a very evil and disturbing plan and you have a story that brings up many questions; the main ones being, is this Satan’s final plan for the world, and what will God’s response be?
This a very intriguing story and one that kept me riveted. Always a great surprise! The other thing I truly liked was that, although the third in a series, it was a book that could be read on its own and I as the reader was able to keep up and understand what was going on without having read the first two installments. To me, that is excellent writing, as there is just enough to make the reader understand without having rewritten the first two stories.
I recommend “The Snare” to one and all and will be going back now to read the first two stories as I am hooked. I think that any reader who gives it a try will be hooked as well. It’s an intriguing and captivating read that focuses on relevant issues in the world today.
Reviewed by Kathy Stickles for Reader Views (2/2)
The Hidden Saboteur
I loved Charles Besondy’s theme of the lighthouse in his novel, The Hidden Saboteur. Ultimately, his main character, Clay, and his secondary protagonist, Thomas, had to confront inner demons of unworthiness that threatened to shipwreck and sabotage their lives. It is amazing how devilish these hidden icebergs of the subconscious can be! The book was a reminder of how many of us carry these cancerous burdens laid on us at an early age. The novel was a fascinating read, and it held my attention from start to finish. Admittedly, I normally would not gravitate to a Christian novel for a suspense thriller, but this book made me long for more by this author! It flows very evenly and I found it difficult to put down. The Gospel of Christ is proclaimed in these pages, though in a way that is so loving and relational that this novel will no doubt make unbelievers thirsty for spiritual realities. The feel good ending left me with the conviction that there is hope for all us who struggle with believing that we have value and something to offer others.
What a ride! I was swept along by the story all the way to the emotional ending. I loved the characters and hated to say goodbye when I reached the last page. So much of this genre, Christian fiction, is written from the perspective of a female protagonist. It was refreshing for me to read a modern-day story about a man in a modern-day spiritual battle. I could certainly relate. Though two of the three main characters are men, I must say the author did a masterful job crafting the main female character, Sheryl. The interaction between Clay and Sheryl brought both an ache in my heart and a smile to my face. I enjoyed the unexpected twists and turns of the story as much as the wonderfully descriptive settings – Seattle, Dallas, and the fictitious town of Reef Bay. Above all, the story made me look hard at myself and consider where I’m letting the deceptive voice inside me limit who I was created to be. For that gift, I thank the author.
I am entirely new to this genre, but I soon got the idea.The challenges Clay faces are real and agonizing. But a ray of hope always runs through the story. The characters are multifaceted and interesting and you quickly want them to succeed. There so many hints of things working out that when the author changes the pace and throws a new problem at his characters, you feel as frustrated as they do! The descriptions of the locations and people are graphic and fun. I am from the NW so I know all these places. BUT the ending is absolutely wonderful. A roller coaster ride to happiness! The lady sitting next to me in the park was wondering why an old man was reading his Kindle and crying.
The Hidden Saboteur is a work of fiction in the Christian psychological thriller sub-genre and was penned by author Charles Besondy. In the first novel in the Clay Austin series, we meet our protagonist Clay when he is at the pinnacle of his career as a founding partner in a marketing agency. Despite his numerous successes and great prospects for the future, Clay is besieged by doubts, fears, and demonic nightmares that are determined to see him crumble. His loyal assistant Sheryl hears the voice of God, asking her to protect Clay and deliver him, and so begins an incredible journey to claim Clay’s soul: either for the light side of Heaven or the darkness of Hell itself. Author Charles Besondy has crafted a truly compelling read which takes the psychological side of matters of the soul very seriously. Although there is an outright and suitably epic battle between God and the Devil, the story is very much about one man and his internal struggles with darkness and light, which makes the thriller element of the plot all the more realistic and genuinely terrifying in places. One of the things which I particularly admired about the novel is the work that went into character development, not just of Clay but of those around him. I had a special fondness for Sheryl and her (at times) fruitless struggles to help Clay see everything that he’s got going for him. Overall, The Hidden Saboteur is a powerful book about battling against hidden iniquity and negativity and is a highly recommended read for Christian thriller fans everywhere.
This is wonderful story of struggle leading to redemption. The main character, Clay comes to know what he doesn’t know about himself. He is guided and wooed into a bigger story than he ever planned. This is a book that will keep you surprised until the end with all the different twists and turns and help you know a little more about your own story when you finish.