I read this shortly after it came out in the mid 1980s. I only wish that France updated it. France's book, and another book by the exact same title, written by James D.G. Dunn, were responses to a British documentary that aired on the BBC a year before these books appeared. It was called Jesus: The Evidence. There was such an unfair treatment of the historical evidence, that two NT scholars, France and Dunn, independently set about to correct the record and lay out the evidence more fairly. France's book is the more conservative of the two.
Given that these books are a reaction to a specific documentary, it is in some ways dated. However, the evidence itself it not dated, but timeless. I think he could have made a somewhat stronger case, but he did a fine job. It's 1) a good first treatment for a Christian who wants more direct information about the historical evidence regarding the trustworthiness of the gospels or 2) another resource for someone reading similar type books, because he makes points that others don't and they make points he doesn't, so to get a more complete picture of the evidence, you'll want to include France's book.
I've read about a dozen books of this type. Still, F. F. Bruce's "The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable" never ceases to amaze me in how soberly, accurately, and yet briefly he treats the topic. Dunn's is recommended too, but not if you're very conservative, you'll get unnerved. Paul Barnett also has a great book this topic "Is the NT Reliable?" Leslie Mitton's out-of-print book "Jesus, the Facts Behind the Faith," is less conservative, but still makes a good case for the reliability of the main elements of the Gospels. Josh McDowell's books tend to gloss over difficult points which these other books face more squarely, and he uses the argument from authority too much (i.e., "this expert says . . ."). But I give him much credit for amassing a lot of information. Lee Stobel writes in a popular journalistic style that would appeal to a wide audience, but like McDowell, he's prone to painting a rosier picture than is necessary or completely accurate, and he uses the argument from authority, too.
Among all these books, France's fares quite well, and I recommend it despite the fact that it's 20+ years old. I think, based on 1 Peter 3:15 "Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you" all Christians should read a handful of this type book so that they can set the record straight as we interact with those who know nothing of the Bible or the historical basis for it. I'd suggest France's book be part of that handful.
(On the Old Testament side, Kenneth Kitchen's "On the Reliability of the OT" is incredible, but long, and Walter Kaiser's "The Old Testament Documents: Are the Reliable and Relevant?" is more digestible in length, but not as substantial or detailed as Kitchen's. Read both!)