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Marked for Mercy

[Marked for Mercy] Marked for Mercy
by Alton Gansky
Published by ChariotVictor Publishing, 1998
Amazon.com: paperback, large print hardcover
Amazon.ca: paperback, large print hardcover
Amazon.co.uk: paperback, large print hardcover
Recommended by: Greg Slade

I have to give Gansky credit for taking on a very controversial subject without resorting to "straw men." Dr. Gates McClure has a practice in a small town in the mountains of California. Suddenly, her life is turned upside down when she encounters Dr. Norman Meade, who had been a friend of hers at medical school, and is now the infamous "Dr. Death", a crusader for the "right to die" movement, and a practitioner of doctor-assisted suicide. Meade is in town because he has just assisted the suicide of a client, and decides to look up his old friend before leaving. The next morning, Meade is accused of murder, and McClure is drawn against her will into the swirl of bitter confrontation, and even violence, which surrounds Meade's cause.

It would be tempting to portray Meade as a heartless, soulless, evil man, with no redeeming virtues. It would also be tempting to portray the pro-life activists who oppose him as noble, virtuous heroes standing up for what is right, no matter the cost. Instead, Gansky introduces layer upon layer of complexity to his tale. McClure, despite her opposition to Meade's beliefs, nevertheless feels compelled to come to his aid, and the consequences quickly impact her business and her personal life.

This book is published by a Christian publisher, but unlike many Christian novels, this one does not feature a conversion scene. Instead, the focus is on how McClure, as a Christian, deals with the sudden and overwhelming impact of the events which have overtaken her. I can only applaud this. It is high time for Christian authors and publishers to recognise that the vast majority of their readers are going to be Christians, and thus put more emphasis on nurturing and edifying those who already believe, than on attempting to evangelise those who don't. A book doesn't have to be evangelistic to be Christian. (July, 2004)

Gansky took part in an online interview on the CHRISTIAN-FANDOM mailing list in June, 2000.

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