My Favorite Suspense Book of All Time

October 10, 2012 | By | Add a Comment


We’ve all got one. A favorite book.


I was eleven years old when The Power showed up at our house, probably late 1956. My father was personnel manager (read: HR) at a big book bindery in Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts. So we got all kinds of promotional books in the mail.


I remember two things particularly about The Power. The beginning and the end.


The Beginning: Bill Tanner is on a committee investigating the possibility that a superman exists. Someone a notch up on the evolutionary scale for man. The superman, whoever he is, reveals himself when a piece of paper starts spinning out of control on a table top.


The Middle: People start dying. The superman is killing off those who threaten to discover who he is. He has the ability, evidently through the sheer power of his will, to force a heart attack on his victims as long as they are in close enough physical proximity to him. Tanner and his girlfriend labor mightily trying to find the elusive Adam Hart, hoping they can stop him.


The End: I wouldn’t give the ending away for anything, at least not in a public blog post. I’ll just say that the conclusion of this novel has the most remarkable twist of anything I’ve ever read. And oddly enough, it was this twist that set me to thinking about God until I became a Christian in 1965.


The Power is not a Christian novel. Far from it! It’s all about evolution and the progress of the human kind. However, that unbelievable twist that Robinson inserted in the last two paragraphs teach pretty clearly that though man may get smarter, gain super abilities, it only serves to enable greater evil. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?  (Jeremiah 17:9)


What a book.


You can read a lengthy except here on the McMillan site. It will take you all the way to the spinning paper.


Disclaimer: I do not believe in evolution. I believe that the world as we know it was created directly by God is six literal days. Incidentally, that makes scientific sense, too.


The Power Copyright © 1956 by Frank M. Robinson. Renewed © 1984 by Frank M. Robinson. Revised version copyright © 1999 Frank M. Robinson.






Category: Books, Suspense

About the Author ()

Suspense fiction writer. I have a wife whom I love, and five children ranging from college to middle age. I love each one. I've worked a day job as a senior software developer since 1999. Previous to that I spent nearly thirty years as a foreign missionary in Vietnam and China. Yes, I speak Chinese as a second language :-)

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