The Blurb On The Back:
A plane crashes in the Arizona desert.
When Solomon Creed emerges from the wreckage he remembers just one thing: that he must save a man in danger.
A death that can’t be explained.
In the nearby town of Redemption, Holly Cornado buries her young husband. A terrible accident, or something more sinister?
Only one man can expose the truth.
When Solomon finds Holly, his search becomes a quest for the truth – and a race to expose a terrifying secret, hidden for generations, that could silence a town forever.
The Review (Cut For Spoilers):
When a plane crashes in the Arizona desert outside the old mining town of Redemption, the emergency responders are amazed to discover a man walking away from the wreckage without a mark on him. The man is practically an albino with his pale skin and white hair and all he can remember is that he’s there to save a man called James Coronado and all he knows is that he wasn’t on the plane that’s just crashed, although he can’t say how he came to be at the scene.
The name Solomon Creed is sewed into a label in the tailored suit jacket that he’s wearing but while he’ll answer to it, it means nothing to him, even though he’s clearly educated and knows a lot about law enforcement, history and science. He doesn’t think he’s been to Redemption before but doesn’t know why he’s carrying a copy of a book by Redemption’s founder and first mayor, Jack ‘King’ Cassidy or where he got the cross that hangs around his neck – a cross that’s a replica of the one that stands above the alter in Redemption’s church.
But Solomon is too late to save James Coronado, a young man recently elected to a key role in the town but who died in a car wreck and was buried the morning of the plane crash. Keen for answers, Solomon seeks out James’s widow, Holly, in the hope that she can help but there’s more going on in Redemption than either of them know and there are people in the town who will do anything – and kill anyone – to keep their secrets …
Simon Toyne’s supernatural thriller (the first in a series) is a pacey, action-packed affair that makes great use of multiple viewpoints to slowly unpick the secrets in Redemption while establishing a central mystery around Solomon that promises much for later books such that while there are a couple of hokey and predictable scenes, I found it an entertaining read and finished it wanting to know what happens next.
Solomon Creed is a well-constructed character with shades of Jason Bourne and Jack Reacher but with a potentially supernatural twist that I won’t spoil. I liked his determination, his ability to think his way through problems but also his recognition of his own proclivity to violence and how that frightens him. Toyne also succeeds in weaving in what Creed does and does not know about his background, making certain revelations that left me wanting to read the next book so that I could find out the resolution to some of the hooks that he sets up here.
Toyne also does a good job of splitting between points of view, notably between the grief-stricken Holly, Redemption’s police chief Morgan (who is hiding some dark secrets) and Mulcahy (a man who’s involved with a Mexican drug cartel and is rapidly finding himself out of his depth) while adding background through having excerpts from Jack Cassidy’s memoir, which helps to flesh out the town itself. I particularly enjoyed the scenes where Creed interacts with the other viewpoint characters as it helps to bring out aspects of each of their characters while also keeping the plot moving and setting up mysteries and red herrings, which kept me on my toes and held my interest.
There are a couple of hokey scenes in the book, which I won’t spoil although one involving Holly did have me rolling my eyes a bit as it was a bit too heavy-handed in its desire to manipulate the reader’s emotions. There were also a couple of scenes where I was expecting the twist that eventually came (although in the interests of fairness, there were equally scenes where I did not expect what was coming so it all balanced out).
It’s a fast-paced read and Toyne’s plotting is confident and engaging and as a result I will definitely be checking out the sequel to see what happens to Creed next.