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Not in the Heart Paperback – February 1, 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 162 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

What’s the difference between a man on death row and Truman Wiley? The death-row inmate knows when he’ll die, and Truman only knows that if he can’t change his ways soon, he’ll die, too. As the rest of his family copes with his son Aiden’s debilitating heart condition, Truman wastes his time gambling and mounting up debt. An interesting opportunity presents itself to him in the form of a convicted murderer. Terrelle Conley claims he is innocent and wants to do two things at the end of his life. He wants to tell his story and donate his heart to Aiden. Truman agrees to the task of telling Terrelle’s tale, reconnecting with his own family in the process. Best-selling inspirational author Fabry (Almost Heaven, 2010) sets up a genuinely gripping struggle as Truman comes closer to the truth and its consequences, and readers are forced to confront their own perceptions and expectations. This guaranteed page-turner will have readers questioning their views on the death penalty, organ donation, and the power of faith. --Carolyn Richard

From the Back Cover

“I’ve found the only thing I can control is how well I tell the story and follow the truth. . . . The truth will always lead you to a good place.”
Truman Wiley used to report news stories around the world, but now the troubling headlines are his own. He’s out of work and out of touch with his family, but nothing keeps him awake at night more than his son’s failing heart.

With hospital bills mounting faster than Truman can gamble his life savings, it seems there’s no way out . . . until his estranged wife throws him a lifeline—the chance to write the story of a death row inmate willing to donate his heart to Truman’s son.

As the execution clock ticks, Truman uncovers disturbing evidence that may point to a different killer. For his son to live, must an innocent man die? As Truman’s investigation escalates, he’s forced to face his failures and make a choice that will change his life, his family, and the destinies of two men forever. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.; Original edition (February 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1414348614
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414348612
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (162 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #822,013 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

What if this is as good as life gets? Are you okay with that?

This question has haunted me over the past few years. Several years ago we moved to the desert for health reasons. Looking for recovery in a dry and thirsty land. And I realized my soul was more thirsty than anything.

Every Waking Moment is my effort to take some of the pain and loss of life and sift it through the life of a young woman who's been marginalized in society, working among people who are marginalized (the elderly). This character, Treha, has an extraordinary gift that few observe because she's "different."

Like most of my tales, it's a love story, a mystery, part thriller--but mostly a character sketch of lonely people looking for hope. And it's my intent that you find hope and meaning for your own life through Treha's journey.


I was born in West Virginia in 1961. I read a lot, but not very fast, and wrote poems and songs, and transcribed Marx Brothers movies and memorized dialogue.

In 1984 I met Jerry Jenkins at Moody Bible Institute. He offered to help me learn to write and I took him up on the offer. In 1998, Jerry and Dr. Tim LaHaye hired me to help write the Left Behind: The Kids series. After that I worked on several other series for children and then published my first adult novel in 2008. It took more than six years to write Dogwood and find a publisher. It received a 2009 Christy Award.

My next novel, June Bug, drew its themes from the classic Victor Hugo tale, Les Miserables. Then, Almost Heaven released and also won a Christy Award, as well as the 2011 Christian Book Award for Fiction.

Not in the Heart is another riveting, suspenseful, and yet relational story. A mystery within a mystery within an addiction. I dedicate it to all who have someone in their life who is addicted. This story also received a Christy award.

Borders of the Heart is my nod toward some of the great western writers--Cormac McCarthy and Larry McMurtry. It's a love story, a painful story of loss, a mystery, and an edge-of-your-seat thriller. I hope you enjoy the ride through Tucson and the surrounding area as much as I did.

In the past year I've also had the opportunity to craft novels based on film screenplays. The motion picture The Song released in September 2014, with my novel developed from Richard L. Ramsey's screenplay following later that year. I recently completed work on the novelization of War Room, the latest film produced by the Kendrick brothers (Courageous, Fireproof). Both film and novel were released in August 2015.

I graduated from the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. I have been married to Andrea since 1982. We have nine children. In October of 2008 our family evacuated our house in Colorado, leaving behind all our belongings because of a toxic mold situation. Since then we have been living near Tucson, Arizona, working on recovering our health after the mold exposure.

Stop by my website at www.chrisfabry.com to learn more about my writing and radio endeavors, and be sure to sign up for my online newsletter, the FABRYGRAM. I can also be found on Facebook and Twitter, or you can email me at chris@chrisfabry.com.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A few weeks ago, I got an email from a friend in which she responded with her thoughts about a particular book. She described the book as "exhausting" to read. I thought that was a very good way to describe some books and also why I have a hard time reading them. What I have found in myself when I read is that it isn't wise to read books that overly romanticize life (because they feed discontentment in my heart), or that dwell deeply in the depravity of man (they overwhelm me). Sometimes books are simply too exhausting for me to read. This book fits that description well.

Fabry's book, June Bug, is one of my favorite books. I read the book that came after that book, but struggled with all of his depiction of angels. But, still, he is a very good writer. So, I wanted to try this book. This book is the story of Truman Wiley, a writer who has run away from his family--his wife, daughter, and son who is dying of a defective heart. A man is about to die on death row and wants Truman to write his story. The overarching plot is well developed and interesting.

But, this book delves into the addiction of gambling and its consequences on both addicts and the people who love them. The vivid description of how gambling enticed him if even a few bucks were in his pocket was both shocking and sad. After reading some of the description of how Truman felt as he gambled away what money he had--regardless of its consequences, I simply couldn't keep reading. It overwhelmed me with the depressing nature of the addiction.

If you enjoy drama movies and tear-jearkers, you will enjoy this book. It is well written and characters are vividly described. If, you feel overwhelmed by deeply sad movies, you may find that you have the same reaction to this book as I did.
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Format: Paperback
If you've read Chris' other books, I would say, "We're not in Dogwood any more!" This book will take readers on a more challenging journey, but with an equally great payoff at the end.

Truman Wiley is a man with a past marked by success. He gained notoriety as a noted investigative reporter who traveled the world. He had a beautiful wife and two kids who benefitted from his success. But in the course of his work, he saw and experienced things that no one should see and that he couldn't forget. As he looked for ways to dull theose memories and distract him from asking "why" he began to gamble. When his son is diagnosed with a congential and ultimately deadly heart condition the issues of "why" arrive on his own doorstep. And the addiction slowly took over everything else. When the book opens, he is separated from his wife and family and living off of the scraps of his failed career. And the last thing he wants to hear about is that God cares and has a plan. He thinks he's seen the plan and it is a bad one.

This novel is about how the chance for redemption is offered to this man and the path he takes to try and find it. It isn't easy, he isn't always likeable, and he fails and frustrates along the way. If you've ever lived with and loved a person who is dealing with addictions, you will recognize them in Truman. You will get inside his head and hear the excuses he makes and the fear and self doubt that got him there. And slowly, you will see him change.

If the only challenges that you want to encounter in a novel is whether or not it will rain on the courting couple during the picnic, this isn't for you. Truman frustrates. There are times when you'll want to shake him.
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Format: Paperback
I'll be the first to admit that this is not my normal kind of "must-read" book. I was traveling in Alabama and had stopped at Sam's for some gas and a quick restroom break. While I was there, I started browsing their book selection (c'mon, can you go into ANY store that has books and NOT browse them?) I have purchased a couple of books by Mr. Fabry for the church library, but I will admit I hadn't read any of them. Anyway, I see this book and it looked pretty interesting (and the price was right, $7.99). Later that evening after I got checked into my hotel room I pulled out the book and opened to the first page. 2 hours later, I was so engrossed in this book, I could tell that my bedtime wasn't going to be any time soon.

It's always interesting to me when I hear authors speak of their characters as if they were real people. If that was the case with Truman, I would have had to have punched him very early in this book. Truman is so self-absorbed with himself that I wanted to scream out loud at him every time he turned his back on his family. Mr. Fabry writes his characters so that you feel what they feel, you laugh when they laugh and cry when they cry.

This book is a wild roller coaster ride of emotions from meeting with Truman, to him finally showing up to the hospital to see his son, back to him relapsing into his old self again and finally to the ending. I won't give it away because I feel that you have to read this book, but I can tell you that the Gasp! that came out of my mouth at the end had to have at least awakened several guests in the hotel that night.

So should you read it? My answer is yes! This is a great book to be read by anybody, but specifically to us men as a reminder that it isn't all about us.
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