Sharon Long is here to review John Hart’s, newest literary thriller, Redemption Road. John is the only author to have won two consecutive Mystery Writers of America Edgar awards. Redemption Road was selected by Otto Pensler as one of his five mystery picks for May, 2016. This book released earlier this month by St. Martin’s Press.
It’s been a long five years since we’ve last had a book from John Hart, one of my favorite authors. The big question is: Was Redemption Road worth the wait?
First let’s take a look at the characters:
· Elizabeth, a detective, who may or may not be telling the truth after shooting two kidnappers 18 times.
· Gideon, a 14-year-old boy, who takes justice into his own hands after his mother’s murder 13 years ago.
· Adrian, an ex-cop, who has been released from prison after serving a 13-year sentence for a crime he might not have committed.
· Eli, an inmate whom Adrian still talks to in his head even though the man is dead.
Now, let’s talk about the plot:
Set in a small North Carolina town on the brink, the book begins a woman who’s being held captive in an empty grain silo. A man forces her to walk from the silo to his car. He drives her to the church, removes her clothes, wraps her in white linen, strangles her and leaves her body on the altar. In another part of town, Gideon waits until his father is asleep to remove the gun he has hidden. He’s scared but knows what he must do. Elizabeth is still frightened by the dark, dirty house and what happened there. She cannot close her eyes for fear it will all come back. Meanwhile Adrian is dreading leaving prison and his only friend, Eli. He is unsure if he will be welcome back in town and if so by whom.
Enthralled by this story from the very beginning, I just kept turning page, after page, after page, while the rest of the world faded away. Redemption Road has the southern charm I’ve come to expect from John Hart. There are mansions, religion, hints of racism, secrets, and betrayals all leading to an ending which I didn’t see coming.
If you are new to John Hart novels, Redemption Road is a great starting point, so run, don’t walk, to get this novel.
So, yes, Redemption Road was absolutely worth the five-year wait. But John, if you’re reading this, I don’t want wait another five years before we get the next one. OK?
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