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The Next Target



Title:  The Next Target
Author:  Nikki Arana
Pages:  397
Year:  2012
Publisher:  David C. Cook
                Nikki Arana has created a fabulous contemporary story set in Los Angeles.  Though fictional, the story is so very timely and realistic as to seem based on personal knowledge.  Suspense, intrigue, and a little romance are found in this story of a Christian woman witnessing to Muslims about Jesus.
                Austia is a young, white female, living in a southern Los Angeles Muslim community.  She has dedicated her life to helping Muslim adapt and gain acceptance as they emigrate to the United States.  Her husband was killed two years before by radical Muslims as he had returned to his home country to evangelize Muslims.  She has decided to continue her husband’s ministry by opening a career counseling service for Muslims.  She also teaches English as a second language to Muslim women.  If a woman expresses interest in learning more about Jesus, Austia is willing to share His love and story with them.  This, however, is done under the utmost secrecy.  If the evangelizing is discovered, both the interested woman and Austia will be severely punished, including the very real possibility of death.  Islam is very strict on the relationships between men and women and between Allah and His Muslim followers.  One of Austia’s students faces the ultimate punishment, leaving Austia grief-stricken and fearful of being found out.  Who can she trust to further her ministry?  She gets involved in an urgent situation and turns to someone for help, but did she trust the right person?  Is Zaki really the kind of man she thinks he is or is he only showing her a part of himself?
                Zaki ben Hassan has been sent by the local Muslim leader of a radical cell to investigate Austia and her company.  He is hired by Austia to act as a translator for perspective job applicants.  Zaki suspects Austia is involved in more than evangelizing, but to what extent?  Zaki begins to care for Austia as more than his boss.  He must not give in to these feelings as he is on a deadly mission.  If he completes his mission successfully, can he have a future with Austia?  Until his mission is finished, he must keep Austia safe and that means keeping her away from him as well as his boss, the local cell leader, by making her afraid of both of them.  The cell leader, Hussein, is a cruel and evil man.  He will do anything to further his plans.  What does he plan for Americans?  Can Zaki stop him in time?
                This is an edge-of-your seat, riveting story you won’t want to pass up.  The compelling ministry Austia has undertaken that of showing the love of Jesus to Muslims shows her courage and willingness to be used by God and trust Him in all circumstances.  The subject matter of reaching out to Muslims in our current society could be a problem for some, but the author has done her research and presents a captivating read.
                My rating is 5 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457
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