Being part of a Reader's Advisory group with my library means I have to find books to read in certain genres and discuss them with the group. This can mean that I'm forced to find a book I like in a genre I don't enjoy, and when I found out that I had to read a Christian fiction book at our last meeting, I was appalled.Not only am I a staunch agnostic, but I don't like anything overly sentimental or preachy. I thought all of Christian fiction had a boring storyline: someone has the perfect life, then something horrible happens, but they find God and then everything's okay again.I was completely wrong.This stereotype was discussed with the group when we presented our books, and we were pleased to find out that the genre is actually quite vast. Just as science fiction isn't all robots and aliens, Christian fiction isn't all sentimentality and blunt preachiness. With help from a friend and from a Christian fiction fan who knew my taste, I was able to find two books that I enjoyed, much to my surprise.The Christian fiction fan recommended Frank Peretti, who wrote Christian thrillers, a genre that I didn't know even existed. The name sounded like an oxymoron. Christian thriller? I'm a huge fan of Stephen King, so I had serious doubts about the impact that a Christian thriller would have on any horror fan. Still, I was willing to give it a try.I read Peretti's book The Oath, which begins with a woman running frantically out of a forest, brandishing a broken knife, covered in her husband's blood and muttering to herself. It's a surprising opening for a Christian novel, and the story keeps its pace throughout the entire book, with a few lapses. The woman is Evelyn Benson, and as she recovers in a hospital, her brother in law Steve arrives to come to her aid and find out who - or what - killed his brother Cliff.As he delves into the history of the Hyde River, he realizes that there's something sinister about the town, and that who or whatever killed his brother (and is killing other townspeople) is protected by a strange oath. The characters are believable, as Peretti is careful to give them depth when they are in danger of becoming two-dimensional or caricatures. What makes The Oath memorable is its metaphor for sin and how it can numb the sinner. While the overall message didn't resonate with me, the book was interesting and well told.