Fred is high on drugs and doesn’t want Howard Webber, the then Salvation Army captain, to come round to his flat because it is in chaos, rather like Fred himself. They meet, instead, in the cafe at a supermarket in a nearby town. But the road isn’t straight and we follow the twists and turns of Howard and Fred’s relationship – through missed promises, desperate heartache and self-destruction and final redemption.

This book is perhaps the most extraordinary one I’ve reviewed since writing for Christianity. It is a series of stories of evangelism on the hard side of life. It is painfully honest and lists as many failures as successes, as many deaths as new lives. Documenting Webber’s spiritual battles too, it is possibly the most moving set of accounts I’ve ever read, and the most hopeful. It is all too easy to see the role of being God’s ambassadors as reduced to preaching, or set among those who we love and are safe. But this book challenges us to be where Jesus would be, with the down-and-outs, with the hopeless and the broken. It looks the cost of such ministry square in the eye and carries on just the same. Please buy this book.

HIGH: Plainly told and moving stories.

LOW: Low production values of the book itself.