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by Don Goldman
Durban House, February 2003
264 pages
ISBN: 1930754329

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Andrew Law always (well, almost always) tried to live right. As a Justice on the Supreme Court of Texas he tried to not only follow the law, but also to follow his conscience. His flaws certainly seem forgivable - they are primarily a susceptibility to beautiful women, and an ardent love for his wife. If you believed in Heaven, you would certainly expect Andrew Law to be a candidate; and he is - a candidate.

The theology of this Heaven is a mixture of elements from different religions. People are divided into four classes. Those who were angels on earth are put into Class One, and will stay in Heaven forever. The majority of people are in Class Two; they were pretty good and after five days of pondering their sins they will be reincarnated to try to live better lives next time. The people in Class Three are redeemable - just barely. Theyve hurt others, been manipulative and self-centered in their lives and could not learn enough in five days to be worthy of return to Earth; their training will take a long time. Class Four is for the incorrigible. They will not return to Earth.

Heaven has a problem. The learning curve for humans can work more than one way. People in Class Two should learn to go forth and sin no more. Instead, a few seem to learn how to cover up their crimes so that they cannot be discovered; not in life and not in death. There is a danger that instead of finding redemption they will become masters at manipulating the system, even the system of judgment after death.

Andrew Law was murdered, and the judges in After Life Life cannot identify the murderer. Andrew Law was almost good enough in life to get into Class One on his own merits. The judges suggest to him that, if he could find the killer, it would sway the decision to promote him into Class One. He has five days and access to most of the people who were alive when he was alive.

Reviewed by Jill Long, September 2003

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