No Turning Back
Livvy Fischer’s life has become derailed. Having sung for audiences since she was a child, the classically trained opera soprano is now terrified to sing publicly. Stuck in a dead-end job, she musters the courage to audition for Opera San Jose. Though she starts strong, the audition is a disaster. She decides to begin with a smaller goal—she’ll try singing at her church.
Partly due to a mix-up, partly to her crush on the young pastor leading the outreach, Livvy joins a worship team bound for the chapel at San Quentin. When a riot breaks out, she is separated from her pastor and the rest of her church group, sheltered by a Christian inmate. Though the plan is to keep hidden and ride out the storm, Livvy becomes the obsession of a serial killer.
Livvy must rely upon God, find her own courage, and trust a small cadre of protectors as she flees the hunter, escapes burning buildings, and hatches schemes to get herself and the others rescued. Yet, through all of the uncertainty and danger, the biggest surprise Livvy encounters is her feelings for her inmate rescuer.
A debut novel offers a prison thriller leavened with Christian philosophy…
Throughout the narrative, Vorreiter has the Christian characters, such as Lucas, drawing solace from the Word of God: “Lord, I know that you are in charge even though it doesn’t look like it. Please give me wisdom and courage. Shelter us, protect us.” Still the Christian philosophy doesn’t distract from the fast-paced plot. The author turns San Quentin into a character, graphically changing it into a foreboding setting for the civilians stranded there. She challenges the concept of who is a good guy and who a bad guy, as some of the prisoners aid the church group members caught inside. Vorreiter has created characters that readers should care about, regardless of their backgrounds. She transforms a prison into a place where Livvy, Tobin, Lucas, and others are born again, learning better ways to cope with their lives.
A propulsive action tale augmented with worthwhile character development.
INTENSE debut novel worthy of “MUST READ” status
The most intense novel I can remember reading, ever. I’m blown away. Modern war insurgency novels are not as penetratingly written as “No Turning Back.” Katie Vorreiter’s story should come with an American Heart Association warning: could be hazardous to your heart rate. Expect to feel the fear inside the prison as a riot erupts and a church’s prison ministry team finds itself caught up in the fray of convicts gone berserk. It is maddeningly fast-paced action very early in the novel and continues relentlessly through 95% of the pages. Page turning at the pace of running for your very life. This is a book to experience, not just read, yet in the end it gracefully slows and concludes its finale finesse leaving readers with a satisfactory conclusion, a Christian moral victory, and, yes even a bit of romantic bliss. In an every-man-for-himself situation, a few unlikely helpers surface as Good Samaritans in a war zone…
A story so intensely written, it was easy awarding 5 stars to Katie Vorreiter’s debut.
~Harold Wolf, Amazon Top 500 Reviewer
Have a book group or a friend who also enjoyed No Turning Back? If you want to dig into some of the themes, here are some questions for you. I’d love to hear your thoughts: if you’d like to share any with me, you can use the form on my “Contact” page.
- Because of the trauma she suffered, Livvy is not on the life path she had envisioned for herself. Have you ever experienced an unexpected change in circumstances that had you questioning your path? How did you deal with it?
- When trying to decide whether or not to go to San Quentin, Livvy isn’t sure whether it’s God’s will for her or not. Have you ever sought God’s will for a decision in your life? Do you feel he answered, and if so, how did you sense his answer? What are ways you think we hear from God?
The man in second row center stared at her. Fleecy hair swept back and angular jaw set, he was a clean-shaven version of Michelangelo’s God. And beneath craggy white brows, his dark eyes glinted at Livvy Fischer.
Livvy clenched her fists, digging the nails of her ring fingers into her palms. Of course he stared. Giordano Landucci, music director and principal conductor for Opera San Jose, generally stared at auditioning sopranos.
But, seated in the front left row of the auditorium, Livvy wasn’t singing.