(Literary Essentials: Christian Fiction and Nonfiction)

In True Honor, the third installment in Dee Henderson’s Uncommon Heroes series, Darcy St. James is enjoying retirement after a danger-studded career as a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agent. Still energetic and idealistic at age thirty-five, she is renovating a large old house in North Dakota, near her sister’s home. However, Darcy’s country needs her one more time.

Her former partner Gabriel calls, requesting her to take on one last mission—meeting with Sergey, a retired Russian spy, to convey a message through unofficial channels. Reluctantly, she agrees to go back on duty for only as long as it takes to complete this task. Waiting at an upscale Florida resort for Sergey to appear, she falls into conversation with Sam Houston, a Navy SEAL who is attending his teammate Tom’s wedding. Darcy and Sam like each other immediately but seem unlikely to meet again.

Sergey hands Darcy the confidential message. Then suddenly he comes at her with a knife. Darcy, caught off guard, manages to block his arm and prevent him from hitting his mark, but she is still injured. A moment later, Sam sees Darcy floundering in the bloody water of the resort’s swimming pool. He dashes over to pull her out.

Darcy’s first impulse is to chase after Sergey and her second to get to a place of refuge. The first is impossible; Sergey has disappeared. As for the second, Sam insists on going with her. A hectic flight from one secret location to another follows. Gabriel orders her back to Washington, D.C.; two other agents have been taken out that night, and attempts had been made on others’ lives. Sam’s security clearance is as high as Darcy’s, so he goes back with her in the role of guard.

Neither Darcy nor Gabriel can make sense of Sergey’s action or the puzzling message he gave Darcy: “It was necessary.” The following Tuesday, the assaults on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon take place. Intelligence services learn that Luther Genault, a former Czech intelligence agent turned investor, had advance knowledge of the terrorists’ attacks and made stock deals profiting from them. He is now recruiting snipers to target European security...

(The entire section is 899 words.)


(Literary Essentials: Christian Fiction and Nonfiction)

Sources for Further Study

Duncan, Melanie C. Review of True Valor by Dee Henderson. Library Journal 127, no. 2 (February 1, 2002): 78. A review of the second book in the Uncommon Heroes series, which traces the romance that develops between a Navy lieutenant and an Air Force major as they perform exceptional tasks.

Henderson, Dee. True Devotion. Sisters, Oreg.: Multnomah, 2000. The first book in Henderson’s Uncommon Heroes series contains Sam’s teammate Joe “Bear” Baker’s story. Many glimpses of SEAL life and work and the motif of God as refuge.

Kiesling, Angie. “Love—and Then Some: With a Handful of Spin-off Genres, Inspirational Romance Just Got a Whole Lot Trickier to Shelve.” Publisher Weekly 250, no. 37 (September 15, 2003): S4-6. A general article on Christian romance that says Henderson “owns” the romance suspense genre.

Zaleski, Jeff. Review of True Honor. Publishers Weekly 249, no. 33 (August 19, 2002): 68. Praises the work as an exciting thriller.