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A Cross to Kill

(Shepherd Suspense #1)

by
4.42  ·  Rating details ·  62 ratings  ·  55 reviews
A gripping debut thriller pits a man of God against terrorists--and his own deadly past

John Cross is a small-town pastor, bent on leading his flock to follow God's calling. He's not the sort of man one would expect to have a checkered past.

But the truth is that the man behind the pulpit preaching to his sheep was once a wolf--an assassin for the CIA. When John decided to
...more
Paperback, 250 pages
Published October 15th 2019 by Kregel Publications
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Average rating 4.42  · 
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Jes Drew
It's always great to see the Christian market publishing more than just Amish, literary, and romance, so I was already on board for this little something different. That this book is about a preacher with a dark past as a CIA officer made me not want to ever get off the ship.

This story is almost non-stop action, but the characters shine in this. There's John Cross, our preacher who thinks he can redeem his own past, poor confused soul; Heather, the reporter who he rescued and is trying to track
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Peter  Younghusband
I saw this novel advertised in my Twitter feed and was drawn to the description. I joined the book tour to obtain a review copy but had issues with the website in downloading it, so bought my own copy. I am so glad I did. This novel lives up to its description and more!

I have read similar novels where the special ops operative is a Christian. However, this novel takes this to the next level. It is similar to another series I am reading, A Pastor Matt Hayden Mystery (K.P Gresham) where a police
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Ian
This story starts fast and doesn't really let up for the rest of it. John Cross is a 'retired' assassin who worked for the CIA and after giving his life to God determines to live the life of a small town pastor. However, his past won';t let go of him.

It's a good story especially as it's not the usual thing we get to read in Christian fiction. Here is a man, grappling with being obedient to God, to his new calling while all the habits and thoughts so ingrained in his heart and mind seek to keep
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Jasmine
Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
He's called back...for one more mission...

OK, so totally new author to me, I see that this is Andrew Huff's debut novel, but I've come to like some of the publisher's other books so I figured I'd give it a whirl. I've found Kregel's suspense/mystery books to be a bit edgier which can be a good thing. When I read the blurb for A Cross To Kill I was intrigued, I mean, a CIA assassin turned preacher?

So, this book is non-stop action from the prologue to the last page. If this were a movie I'd call
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Joan
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow. This novel is almost nonstop action. Heart pounding, nail biting action. You may think you've read an exciting auto chase scene but wait until you read this book. You may think you've read the most exciting hostage rescue ever. Guess again.

The character development is great. Imagine an assassin for the US government getting saved, leaving the agency and becoming a small town preacher. Imagine the turmoil in his soul, knowing God has forgiven him but never forgetting what he has done.
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Natalie Walters
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Buckle your seatbelt because the second you open this book you're in for a wild ride!

From the very first page, author Andrew Huff, takes readers a head-spinning adventure into the life of John Cross, former CIA assassin turned small-town pastor. With his past shadowing his every move and decision, John Cross is forced to confront the man he used to be and decide if someone really can change. It's a moral question that Mr. Huff handles well and with real authenticity. The pace does not quit on
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Meagan Myhren-bennett
A Cross to Kill
A Shepherd Suspense Novel #1
By Andrew Huff

John Cross has a secret past and he wants to keep it that way, but occasionally the CIA needs his help. But he is determined to not take a life if he can help it. His past as an assassin for the CIA is at odds with his current call - that of a small-town pastor.

When he is again called to rescue Christine Lewis, a news journalist captured by AIM (Alliance of Islamic Military) he has to act fast and keep his shots sure so as to not take a
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Mark
Nov 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book sounded really good, but no offense intended....the publisher isn't known for great suspense authors or books. Those come from Nelson, Zondervan, Revell, etc. But it sounded really good....so I requested it to review.



This has to be the best book Kregel ever published. Seriously. Talk about non stop action and an adrenaline rush from reading a book. It starts out with a televised execution being filmed live, and doesn't slow down until the last page, which is when I finally took a
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Lori
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'll be honest the cover and the title are what drew me in. This design is way cool. I don't think I've ever seen art quite like this.
To my idea, the cover gives you a hint as to what the story would be about. Minus the blurb of course.
I think James Bond has met his match through John Cross. Yes, I'm definitely sure.
Cross ( or the good Shepherd)s life never has a dull moment to be sure! Everytime he turned around he was in danger.
I guess I have to admit I am fascinated by what he does and at
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MaryAnn Bell
Nov 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
About the Book: A gripping debut thriller pits a man of God against terrorists--and his own deadly past

John Cross is a small-town pastor, bent on leading his flock to follow God's calling. He's not the sort of man one would expect to have a checkered past.

But the truth is that the man behind the pulpit preaching to his sheep was once a wolf--an assassin for the CIA. When John decided to follow Christ, he put that work behind him, determined to do penance for all the lives he took. He vowed never
...more
Deana Dick
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The book grabs your attention right away. . We have a front row seat to an execution of a news reporter that plays out on TV. Christine sits in a chair surrounded by people who want to send a message to the United Stated. I could feel the terror as she waited to die. At the minutes tick away , her heart starts to pump faster. Can she be saved in time?

John Cross is an experienced undercover agent for the U.S. He is no stranger to danger and he is determined to save Christine’s life. What happens
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Darlene L.
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Pastor John Cross only has one thing on his mind—feed his flock, but when his past catches up to him, he must once again take on his role as Shepherd. But can this CIA assassin-turned-preacher set aside his new-found faith not only to rescue an innocent woman but also stay alive? How do the assailants stay one step ahead of him?

Kidnapped by a terrorist in Jordan, reporter Christine Lewis was supposed to die. However, a man known as Shepherd came to her rescue. Now she wanted to tell his story,
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Amy Bradsher
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow! A Cross to Kill is a hard-hitting, roller-coaster ride of action from the first page to the last! I opened this book late one night intending to read a few chapters before going to bed – and found myself up waaayyyyy too late, turning the last page. There wasn’t a single spot that could be called a ‘stopping point’ anywhere in the story!

I love mystery books, and I love suspense stories. A Cross to Kill is a blend of both in the best kind of way; you don’t know exactly who or why the
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Lori
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'll be honest the cover and the title are what drew me in. This design is way cool. I don't think I've ever seen art quite like this.
To my idea, the cover gives you a hint as to what the story would be about if there weren't a blurb with it.
I think James Bond has met his match through John Cross. Yes, I'm definitely sure.
Cross ( or the good Shepherd)s life never has a dull moment to be sure! Everytime he turned around he was in danger.
I guess I have to admit I am fascinated by what he does
...more
Vera VB
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book starts in the middle of the action, a mission to liberate a woman journalist from a certain death. She is captured by a terror group in Jordan and is about to be executed, an execution that is streamed online.
She is rescued by the Sheperd, John Cross.
Cross used to work for the CIA, but is now a preacher. His conscience broke up on him, he couldn't kill anymore. He used to be very good at it, did a lot of missions where he had to kill to prevent worse.
The journalist, Christine Lewis
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Renee K.
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A Shepherd Suspense Series book 1 won’t disappoint you. The story is fast paced and sure to keep you up late into the night. The first page grabs your attention as a reporter Christina is looking at her executioner while facing her last few moments while it is being recorded on live TV. She quickly finds herself in the middle of a rescue.

John Cross is an interesting character that is quick witted and a sense of humor. A few things I found unrealistic like him being a preacher in the small town
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Becky
Oct 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
John Cross is a former CIA assassin who, after finding the Lord, realizes he can no longer kill. He becomes the pastor of a very small church, but his former bosses at the CIA keep pulling him into rescue ops. When a rescue goes awry and John realizes terrorists may still be after the reporter he rescued, he discovers a plot that goes deeper than he dreamed.

A Cross to Kill begins at rapid-fire pace, and that pace doesn't let up throughout the whole novel. There are, however, moments of normalcy
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Billy
Oct 25, 2019 rated it liked it
My expectations are always up in the air for new authors, so I had a fresh state of mind when I stared reading A Cross to Kill, and, unfortunately, I ended up having mixed feelings by the time I read the final page. It's not that it's written poorly (because it isn't) but I've read other thrillers with similar generic plots.

The protagonist, John Cross, is an interesting character with many flaws. While he attempts to live his life by the word of God, he's still haunted by his past sins. He has
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Ibjoy1953 Hannabass
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

As this book begin, Christine is in the hot seat, ready and waiting to be executed, but John comes to the rescue, a rescue that doesn't go as planned, but he is still determined to save her. And so the journey begins.

And Wow, what a debut novel for author Andrew Huff. I was on the edge of my seat after the first page, and stayed there until this book ended. Scene after scene there is so much going on here in this book. And the details are amazing. The characters were so
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Michelle
A Cross To Kill is a clean Christian suspense novel by author Andrew Huff.

Reporter Christine Lewis’ destiny was to perish at the hands of the terrorists. John Cross came to her rescue against all odds.

John Cross was a CIA agent but quit his combative job to become a non-combative preacher. After he rescued Christine Lewis he found he really cared for her, more so than any other rescue. Yet, he wanted to keep his identity secret.

Did this novel meet my expectations? Yes, I wasn’t sure if I would
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Becky Miller
Nov 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
What happens when a CIA assassin finds Jesus and decides that what he once thought was right and justifiable is suddenly just so very wrong; meet John Cross former CIA operative turned small country church pastor.

Readers struggling with their own demons of repentance, forgiveness, restitution, and reconciliation will likely relate to the uber skilled, but the quite humble, and very likable character of John Cross.

Andrew Huff’s development of several church member characters adds to the story’s
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Laura Langley
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Cross to Kill is the first novel I've read by Andrew Huff. If you're a fan of books like the Jason Bourne series or other action-packed books like them, you'll likely enjoy this series by Huff. It's action-packed, for sure, based on a the character, John Cross, codename Shepherd, who is a CIA operative turned pastor. The author drops you right into the action with an extraction operation.

While I thoroughly enjoyed A Cross to Kill, I sometimes found it almost unbelievable how Shepherd escapes a
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Leticia Glidewell
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is fast-paced and has a lot of action, I was hooked just after reading the first few lines, I couldn't put it down. It is very well-written, every fight scene and car chase written down to the smallest detail, it didn't skip a beat.

The main character, John Cross, is a man of integrity, honesty, and has the ability to snuff out his enemies, well, what do you expect from an ex CIA assassin? The main thing that I loved about him was his genuine walk with Christ. His belief and faith in
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ArynTheLibraryan
This book is hilarious! I couldn't put it down, and my family looked at me funny more than usual because I was laughing so often.

There's plenty of action too. In fact my favorite scene is a high speed car chase with plenty of detail. Of course, Pastor John is juggling that with a phone call from one of the older church ladies who needs to talk to him. It's the best scene in the book, which is saying something, because there are many really great scenes.

John is struggling to reconcile his CIA
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Floraljoy
If you like plenty of action scenes with guns blazing then this book is for you. It starts with a hostage rescue attempt and progresses directly to bad guys chasing good guys right till the very end. In fact there are 3 high speed car chases (plus a boat chase & a train top fight) all with fists and bullets flying and improbable stunts. It reminded me of a Jason Bourne movie that is rather ridiculous but enjoyable all the same! However overall there was too much fighting for my taste.

John is
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Veronica
Oct 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
This story took off like a shot and didn't let up! I loved all of the action and the fight scenes were incredible! I could see everything playing like a movie in my head. I liked both John and Christine as they're strong people, determined to stop the bad guys. It was fun to see how Christine handled herself in tough situations as she wasn't trained the way John was and didn't have his experience. I admired how John shared his faith with others and was committed to not killing again, even when ...more
Phillip Cole
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After a harrowing rescue, John Cross fully retires as a covert operative to live as a pastor, and to leave his old life in the past. However, an old assignment brings someone bent on revenge, and Cross is thrust back into the life he wants to leave.

Andrew Huff’s A Cross to Kill is a gripping story, and I had a hard time putting it down once I started. The action in the book is fast paced, but has sections that give you a break before it picks up again. I liked this style as it makes the plot
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Leah
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Christian fiction, well-written, can be one of my favorite genres. The problem for me is that some Christian fiction is very heavy on the preaching and less to do with the actual storyline.

I like a little romance, but I don't want a plot that's only about romance. I like suspense. But I like it done well, so that what's going to happen isn't totally predictable.

Maybe I'm just too picky. But occasionally I find a great Christian fiction book, one that fits my requirements and keeps me engaged
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Diane Higgins
Nov 05, 2019 rated it liked it
This book had non-stop action throughout the whole thing! I have to admit, it wasn't my typical style of book that I usually read. The action was good, and it kept my attention through most of the book. However, there was a little more description in the book than what I prefer. There were Christian elements throughout which I liked. It wasn't preachy or pushy. Therefore, I have mixed feelings about this book. However, for anyone who enjoys a clean, non-stop action read (which are kind of hard ...more
Melissa
Nov 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book starts with a bang and just when I thought it might get boring another bang happens.

This book started raising questions for me, like what would happen to John’s small church if the people that were after him got a hold of the church?

I loved the contrast of this war guy to the small town pastor, it really added an unexpected layer to the book.

I honestly wasn’t sure if I would like this book but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised and looked forward to coming back to this book.


A
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I spent 10 years in local church ministry before pursuing God's calling into creative storytelling and media production as the Product Director at Igniter Media, a church media company (ignitermedia.com). I am a two-time finalist in the American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Contest for unpublished authors (2014 & 2017) and also won the Best Screenplay award at the 2015 48 Hour Film ...more

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