Expiration Date – Eric Wilson

Expiration Date Eric Wilson
Expiration Date by Eric Wilson
Also by this author: 1 Step Away, The Best of Evil, A Shred of Truth, Dark to Mortal Eyes
Series: Senses #2
Published by WaterBrook on May 17, 2005
Genres: Fiction, Christian, Suspense, Thriller
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Your Days Are Numbered…And Clay Ryker Knows It.
Clay Ryker is a man with a dark past and an uncertain future. A failure in both business and marriage, he has come home after a decade away, hoping for a fresh start in the small Pacific Northwest town where he grew up.
But Clay harbors a terrible secret, one that even those closest to him don’t know. When increasingly sinister notes appear in the folds of his morning paper, Clay realizes that the truth is not so secret after all. Then people around him start dying and, with a serial killer on the loose, he discovers a terrible gift: he can foresee the timing of a person’s death–his or her expiration date.
As his newfound ability proves both a blessing and a curse, Clay’s foreknowledge could cost more than he can bear to lose. Working with ex-cop and investigator Vince Turney, Clay has no choice but to face up to the truth of his past. Will he find the courage to overcome an unspeakable evil, one that he himself may have empowered?
From the Trade Paperback edition.

Are these the shadows of things that must be, or are they the shadows of things that might be? – Ebenezer Scrooge

After a mysterious encounter with an even more mysterious individual, Clay Ryker finds himself asking that very same question. After a decade away from his childhood home, he finds himself with a failed business, a destroyed marriage, and forced to move back with his parents who treat him like the kid he isn’t. The basketball star’s homecoming is less than stellar, and he soon takes up a job working on creating headstones.

But after his encounter, things get interesting. He discovers that he has the foreknowledge of the date that those around him will die. He knows their Expiration Date. But are these numbers as set in stone before they occur as much as they are when Clay is etching out the date for their tombstone, or can the future be changed?

Theological answers will not suffice and lives hang in the balance, propelling Clay to go after the serial killer who is making Clay’s foreknowledge come true. In the process, he teams up with ex-cop and Vince Turney – someone we first met in Dark to Mortal Eyes – and is forced to face his troubled past. Suspense and intrigue deepen as Clay discovers just how much his past sins have to do with their present problems. And the stakes are changed completely when he discovers that his ultimate enemy is not even of this world.

In Expiration Date, Eric Wilson has again crafted a wonderful novel that explores Earth’s tension between Heaven and Hell. Very few authors can pull off a tale of the supernatural without sacrificing sound doctrine for a good story, but Wilson pulls it off flawlessly, peeling back what we see as reality and opening our eyes to the realm of the supernatural. It’s a novel that will leave you thinking about its concepts and wanting more of the story, and thankfully, Wilson provides both.

While Expiration Date can be read by itself, you certainly don’t want to! After reading it, you’ll be compelled to pick up his other books and see just how well Wilson connects this novel and its characters in with his other works. Those that have previously read Dark to Mortal Eyes will gain even more insight into what exactly the mysterious package is, and those that have read Haunt of Jackals will be in for quite a major surprise.

Mini Q&A with Eric

Josh: How was writing the second novel to be published different than the first one?

Eric: We were living with friends, waiting for a house deal to go through, and so the writing space was limited and stressful. I spent many nights locked in the bathroom, sitting on the floor with my back against the tub, typing on my laptop so as not to bug my wife, kids, or our gracious hosts. I ended up writing Expiration Date in three months, while still working 30 hours a week at FedEx/Kinko’s. It was very different writing under contract, with deadlines, and reader expectations.

Josh: Clay discovers he can see the future, the exact timing of someone’s death. What was your purpose in writing and discussing such foreknowledge?

Eric: If you knew someone’s date of death, their Expiration Date, would you try to change it? Could you? Or is it already predetermined by God? I wanted to explore the idea of fate vs. free will, of Calvinism vs. Armenianism. We tend to put theological ideas into tidy boxes, but they often have elements of both sides. The twist in the story is that our free will can also upset Satan’s plans.

Josh: This book ties to another of your books in a major way. What was it like for you to discover that you could interconnect these two novels?

Eric: Expiration Date is the bridge between my Senses Series and my Jerusalem’s Undead Trilogy. It has some elements from the first series, some of the same characters, and then it adds a huge twist to that in Haunt of Jackals, book two of the trilogy. I knew, as I started the trilogy, that I wanted to weave in themes and characters from my earlier books–everything from Addison Ridge Vineyards, Sgt. Turney, Josee Walker, Rasputin, and WWII mysteries. As I started writing Haunt of Jackals, I flirted with different ways of connecting the series, but the key came when I realized that Kenny Preston, from Expiration Date, was thirteen years old, the same boy-to-man age for the Concealed Ones in my trilogy. From there, the rest was easy–and hugely fun!

 

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