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Every now and then you get to read a book before they make the movie. In such a book, the characters are vivid, with rounded personalities, and the plot carries you with it as it develops and progresses. David Kitz’s ‘The Soldier Who Killed a King’ is just such a book.

Soldier bookI have no idea whether there will be a movie, but the book is written in a way easily suited to the transition. This first person storytelling, by the centurion who initially saw Jesus during the commotion of His triumphal donkey-riding Palm Sunday entry into Jerusalem and was days later ordered to drive the spikes into Christ’s outstretched palms, effortlessly created in my mind’s eye, images of Marcus Longinus, his family and both friends and foes encountered in this particularly demanding week of his Roman military service in the Judean outpost of Jerusalem. Kitz’s vibrant words breathed life into fictional and non-fictional names in this re-telling of the Holy Week story.

‘The Soldier Who Killed a King’ fleshes out the factual description found in the four gospels with period accurate settings and contemporary language, complete with endnotes for historic and biblical references. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, and plan to do so again, one day at a time during Holy Week.

Don Hutchinson is the author of Under Siege: Religious Freedom and the Church in Canada at 150 (1867-2017). Don is a strategic thinker and planner who has been a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada since 1990. Not coincidentally, he is also a long time member and former board chair of Canada’s Christian Legal Fellowship.