I was given an advance reading copy of Held Hostage by Ken Cooper and published by Chosen. This book is due for release in August 2009 and I would suggest this book be reading if you have a heart for prisoners or just to minister to the least of these like Christ told us to do and showed up from His life.
Held Hostage is about Ken Cooper’s double life, one of family man and the other a ‘gentleman bank robber’. It starts out with the robbery and backracks through getting married, having a child, robbing banks and up through his time spent in jail and prisons. He held a job as a publicity director for a Christian college all the while robbing banks, taking a hostage and then letting them go – unharmed.
There were moments in the book that had lots of shock value, Mr. Cooper does not gloss over prison life to spare the reader. I was appalled at the behavior described because surely while I am not as naiive to think that some of this stuff doesn’t go on but surely the gaurds would stop it. Not so. I cannot imagine men living like animals, and don’t forget their are plenty of women in prisons too who I am sure are not immune to this sort of behavior. After many years of his mother praying, he finally gives his life to God.
The changes that occur in him are testimonial to God’s great works. I am not saying that he is perfect, none of us are perfect, no not one but his life changes for the better and he is free even in prison. This book is one that will make Believer’s see Christ’s life changing power at work and will make a non-believer rethink what they thought they knew – or at least I pray it will. Truly this is a book that doesn’t come along often and should be a must read especially those who want to know how to help those in prisons – including the appalling parts, they too must be read so that the rest of Mr. Coopers transformation in Christ to be understood.