In DARK LIAISON, A Christian Suspense Novel, Book One in the COIL Series by D.I. Telbat, we jump into an intense scene where things are not as they seem for Memphis as he is unknowingly tested. And then we meet protagonist Corban Dowler.
It is an age of prophetic strife when spiritual darkness collides with servants of the Cross. Christians worldwide are persecuted on a heightened level, and while no safety seems to exist, one man steps forward to lend a hand to the defenseless laborers.
Corban Dowler is an old-school spy. Six years ago, he accepted Christ’s gift of salvation and then resigned from the morally compromising C.I.A. As Corban desires to fulfill God’s Great Commission, he builds an organization called the Commission of International Laborers, (COIL), where he devotes his skills and resources to assist persecuted or kidnapped Christian servants in the most dangerous environments worldwide.
There are times in this age when Corban Dowler must hastily extract missionary families and Christian workers from danger zones before death steals them from their righteous work. For these operations, Corban has developed commando-style teams using non-lethal weapons to extract the threatened or persecuted servants of the Lord.
These covert multiethnic teams are ex-military or ex-CIA, and all believers in Christ.
Satan is every bit the adversary as he operates through his demonic workers of iniquity. They are set on claiming the lives of the righteous that stand for Truth. While COIL is working tirelessly to rescue Christians in need, Satan’s followers are placing roadblocks, destroying, and kidnapping believers in Christ to thwart the efforts of COIL. The operatives find themselves prey to the very wickedness that they are committed to fighting, and a battle between good and evil emerges.
With a new cover by Streetlight Graphics, Dark Liaison is an 83,000-word Christian action-suspense novel of espionage and spiritual warfare. This Book One in the COIL Series contrasts the lives of satanic antagonists bent on hatred with the COIL laborers who protect the Christian men and women servants standing for righteousness. And we learn that…there is no redemption without sacrifice.
DARK EDGE: Prequel to the COIL Series whetted my appetite for this series and now Dark Liaison has more than satiated this appetite! As with any satisfying meal that is also delicious and tasty, you want more of this meal. So with the C.O.I.L series. I want more and am so glad that there are 4 more books to continue to more than satisfy me!
This is one action packed, engaging series that keeps you on the edge of your seat, and one you cannot put down. Telbat definitely has the imagination and writing expertise to transport the reader to a world of rogue, covert, special ops involving spiritual warfare, demon possession, physical imprisonment and torture of the persecuted Christian church and individual Christians.
In this novel, and I presume continued in the following novels in the series, we are introduced to the demonic forces and entity known as Abaddon who is motivated through hate to destroy C.O.I.L, especially Corbin Dowler, so that he can continue to persecute the Christian church and Christians, and promote his rule and oppression and control of the human race. As in all demonic possessions/oppression, these entities promise their human subjects the things that they desire and more, but, in reality, they are lies with the end result of spiritual entrapment and bondage. I find it very interesting that those who do not have a relationship with Christ do not seem to question why it is that Christians and the Christian church are the only faith/denomination being persecuted? No other is targeted. I know why, but it astounds me that those not of the faith do not question why this is or the motives of the persecutors or investigate what is it about Christianity and the Bible that motivates governments, and individuals to persecute to the extent of imprisonment, torture and brutal death of Christians and their Church? Maybe it comes down to satan’s most cunning trick in deceiving the population that he does not exist and feeds their selfish desires on many levels, encouraging them to live any lie or behavior that will keep them from knowing God without them knowing that this is what is happening. Living in spiritual blindness. I also feel that our fallen/sinful nature motivates us to seek what we want, let alone admit that God exists and we have a need for him and submit to His Lordship.
Against this backdrop does Telbat excel in this storytelling. His passion for the persecuted Christians and the church is very evident, very encouraging and very inspiring and forms a solid foundation for the plot and worldbuilding of the C.O.I.L infrastructure, how they operate, their covert practices, technology and non-lethal weapons.
It would not surprise me that Telbat has either based Corban Dowler on himself or that he would like to be Dowler doing ever so well in being used by God to rescue persecuted Christians and thwart the evil schemes of satan and his demonic and human minions. Telbat has developed well the character of Corban Dowler and it is this plus his personality and committed relationship with God that makes him very endearing to readers. He is quite the leader. Telbat has depicted with two keys qualities that I see are essential in being a leader, being a people person and showing you care for your team and their needs while still having their respect and loyalty.
This factor is another strength of this novel and forms part of the cohesiveness of the C.O.I.L team, however, the main cohesive factor being their relationship with God and being in His will as being part of the C.O.I.L organization knowing full well that they could be persecuted and tortured to death as a result of their faith. This truly shows them living out the Bible as it says we need to and that persecution is to be expected if we love Jesus and take a stand for Him. This team support each other, pray for each other, keep the lines of communication open and deal biblically when conflict occurs. I can see cynical readers scoffing at this team being so perfect despite conflict between members but all I see is that Telbat has shown how this is possible where you have a team, or group of people, who have a relationship with Him and acting specifically in His given purpose, acting and behaving how the Word instructs us to.
I found the reality of being persecuted because of my faith in Christ confronting as it sparked in me the question, “Am I prepared to be persecuted they way Christians are in these situations and countries that hate Christianity and the God of the Bible?” The more I think about how to prepare myself for this on any level, to any degree, I am always brought back to the fact that the only way to prepare myself is to pray more, read the Word more and live it in my life, especially being conversant and active in spiritual warfare practices. From this angle, I applaud Telbat for creating this series on this reality as it acts as a sobering force to not only bring to the reader’s attention the extent of this reality but to help prepare them for this if it ever happens to them, which the Bible states it will, especially in the Latter Days before Christ returns.
I state in the “Why Christian Fiction?” page of this blog that, at the end of the novel, I expect that,
-it has entertained me immensely,
-it has encouraged my walk with God,
-it has not deviated from known biblical doctrine, and it will not, I believe, lead a non- believer astray or promote false doctrine,
-it honours God,
-it does not encourage worship of the created (eg angels) instead of the Creator (God).
Well, I can definitely say that this novel achieves the above criteria and this impresses me greatly and it seems from this being the second novel I have read of Telbat’s that I presume this continues in all his novels. It also continues in the redemptive fiction criteria that I outlined in my review of Dark Edge. I can really see how novels of this construction from what Telbat has included, and the two main elements listed from my POV, could very easily water the seeds of faith in a reader who is searching for God or who God needs to challenge in their faith and relationship with Him.
I look forward to the rest of the C.O.I.L series and other novels of Telbat. I could even go as far as say that his novels need to be essential reading for every Christian as they contain realities that are vital for the Christian’s relationship with God in dealing with the spiritual warfare elements of persecution and in praying for the persecuted church.
Peter Younghusband has been an avid reader from as early as he can remember. Since becoming a Christian in his early 20s, his passion for reading led to specifically Christian fiction and this has developed into reviewing them on his blog. He loves reading new author’s novels or authors who have not had many reviews or exposure and giving them much needed encouragement where appropriate.