Saturday, November 30, 2013

Brother Half Angel by Martin Roth

Back Cover Blurb:
A military operation gone tragically wrong. An elite commando loses his forearm. The angel tattooed onto his arm is sliced in half. And the man acquires a new nickname.

Brother Half Angel is the leader of a secret new church military order, dedicated to helping Christians under attack around the world.

In this book, the first in the Brother Half Angel series, he is dispatched urgently to China, where an underground seminary is under siege from fanatical sword-wielding members of a local cult who still pay homage to the bloodthirsty extremists who tried to expel all foreigners from China in the nineteenth century.

But at the same time the seminary has its own internal divisions. The director, Uncle Ling, a hero of the underground Chinese church, holds secrets that he cannot reveal.

And now the tensions are threatening the marriage of idealistic young American missionary Daniel Westloke and his wife Jenny.

Relentless suspense is the hallmark of this gripping thriller.

But it is also a book that raises serious questions – how far can Christians go to defend themselves? When should they turn the other cheek? What happens when a Christian kills in self-defense? And should those who live by the sword really expect to die by the sword?

Read an Excerpt:

Fulang, China
“She turned the other cheek,” said Jenny to Daniel, back in their room after dinner. “And so they hit her there too. Her face was bleeding. Is this what you want?”

“She’s a tough lady. I’m sure she’ll be fine. She’s been through a lot worse, from what I understand.” 

“Danny, you’re not answering me. Is this what you want? Is this…?”

“Of course it’s not what I want?”

“But isn’t this what it means when you turn the other cheek? When you don’t fight back?”

“The fact is that she’s not badly hurt. I think if she had tried to fight back they would have hurt her quite badly. A skinny little Chinese lady against three thugs. It’s actually very fortunate she didn’t fight back…”

He was interrupted by a knock on their door. He opened it. “I’m meeting right now with Uncle Ling,” said Brother Yoon. “It’d be good if you came along.”

He looked at Jenny. “You’re welcome, of course, but it’ll all be in Chinese.”

“Go to your meeting,” she said to her husband. “I’ll stay here like a dutiful missionary wife doing my needlework.”

“Jen, please, don’t be like that. Come along. You know I’ll translate.”

She paused. “You go. Tell me all about it when you get back. I’ll study Chinese. Then next time maybe I’ll understand everything. Without needing you.” She smiled at him.

With some relief he blew her a kiss and followed Yoon along the corridor to Uncle Ling’s office. “I think the first thing we do is pray that Sister Lin is fine after a very nasty attack,” said Ling, after Daniel and Yoon had taken seats.

They bowed their heads and he said a long prayer. “I want to discuss what to do next,” said Yoon as soon as he had finished. “Even to the extent of calling the police. My wife has been attacked. It’s happened before during our ministry here in China, and she’s going to be okay. But we can’t continue like this here in Fulang. For some reason our seminary is under attack. People in town know what we’re doing and they don’t like it. They’re trying to close us down.”

“We are not involving the police,” said Ling. “You know that, and you know the reason. Brother Daniel called them and I have made it clear that I will send home anyone who calls them again.”

“It seems pretty clear that the attacks are going to continue,” said Daniel. “Those guys are relentless. We have to do something. It’s possible the police know already what’s really going on here. Or maybe they assume we are just an English school. Whatever. They don’t want to see people getting attacked. They’ll have to do something.”

Ling looked at Daniel for a long time with what almost seemed to be pity. Then he spoke. “You Americans are so weak.”

“It is not a question of strength or weakness. It’s a matter of common sense. I mean…”

“It is always the Americans who surrender first,” said Ling, scorn in his voice. “Because you are cowards. Yes, we are under attack. That is what it means to be a Christian. We welcome it. True Christians are always under attack. Spiritually and often physically as well. It proves we are doing God’s work. Do you know something? I heard that, in America, Christians thank God because they live in a free country. Where does the Bible tell you to do that? Here in China we give thanks that we are suffering persecution, because we know that through persecution we are receiving God’s grace and blessings.”

“We haven’t suffered the persecution of the Chinese church,” said Daniel. “But that doesn’t mean we aren’t tough. It doesn’t…”

“And you are so condescending to your third-world little brothers and sisters. We are the persecuted church, you keep telling us. While you are free. Let me tell you something. You in America are the persecuted church. Persecuted by materialism. And here in China, because we are always under attack, we have only God. No one else. Which makes us the most free church in the world. And you know something else? You come from America” - his anger seemed directed against Daniel, not against the Korean Brother Yoon - “and your church pays a lot of money to send you here. But do you think this is what we want?”

Daniel was startled at the question. That was exactly what he thought Uncle Ling had wanted. But he held his tongue.

“With the money your church pays to send you here and support you I could hire twenty Chinese to come here and teach. Do you think that we don’t have good, sound Christian teachers here in China? Do you think that only Americans know how to teach theology?”

“No, of course I don’t think that, but…”

“But you will become a multi-millionaire pastor at one of your American mega-churches, and you want it on your records that for a short while you suffered as a missionary in poor, backward China. That is the only reason you come here.”

“No, I don’t think that’s quite…”

Uncle Ling would not stop. “Are you ready to die?”

Daniel was somewhat startled by the question. “Come on, look, in all honesty, I can’t say that I’m ready to die. I mean, I have a wife…But, you know, my great grandmother died here in China. The Boxers killed her. And lots of my relatives have been missionaries, always knowing they could die in the field. I knew that too when I signed on. I don’t want to pretend that I’m actually ready to die, but when you become a missionary…”

“I think even Sister Lin will agree that today’s attack wasn’t especially serious. It was the work of punks. I have been attacked many times like that. And I never once called the police. I put my faith in God. You need to do the same. And if you are scared, then I suggest you pack your bags and go home as quickly as possible.”

It was clear that the meeting was over.

To buy Martin's book, go here:

About Martin:
Martin Roth is a veteran journalist and foreign correspondent whose reports from Asia have appeared in leading publications around the world, including the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun and The Guardian. He is the author of many books.

His Brother Half Angel international thrillers focus on the persecuted church. They feature Brother Half Angel, an abrasive former military man who heads a clandestine new military order that is dedicated to fighting for the rights of persecuted Christians around the world.

The five books in the series are "The Coptic Martyr of Cairo," "Brother Half Angel," "The Maria Kannon," "Military Orders" and "Festival in the Desert."

He is also the author of the Johnny Ravine private eye series, with "Prophets and Loss," "Hot Rock Dreaming" (Australian Christian Book of the Year finalist) and "Burning at the Boss," and the Feisty Ferreira series of financial thrillers - "Tokyo Bossa Nova" and "The Kalgoorlie Skimpy."

He lives in Australia with his Korean wife and three sons.

To Connect with Martin:
Website/blog -
Facebook -
Twitter -

Martin is giving away a copy of Brother Half Angel. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses.
To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You may enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post. (It's not too late to go back and leave a comment on yesterday's post)

Happy Reading!
Caroline Brown


cjajsmommy said...

Interesting excerpt. I'm not sure I want to read this book but perhaps I NEED to read this book. cjajsmommy [at] gmail [dot] com

Jackie McNutt said...

Martin, I am not familiar with your books but this story line is intriguing. Nice to learn of new authors. Thank You

Anonymous said...

I am drawn it....
Would love this book.
Have friends who visited China to be visual witness to the culture there...they could not speak publicly, but they could pray as a group publicly and the Christians there were uplifted!
mandn(at)wisper(dash)wireless(dot) com

Rick Estep said...

I'm not familiar with his books, but it sure looks interesting. Thanks for the review and for the giveaway.

librarybooks at religious dot com

Patricia Bradley said...

Enjoyed meeting Martin, and liked the excerpt. pat at ptbradley dot com

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