Published by Thomas Dunne Books on May 3rd 2016
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There are good books and there are great books…and then there are books that knock your socks off. Redemption Road is one of those books. I love everything about this book. First off, this book is beautifully written. I also love how all of the subplots and main plot pints were woven into each other like a tapestry that if you keep reading you see how all the threads fit perfectly together.
After 13 torture filled years in prison, Adrian Wall has been released wearing an ill fitting suit and 5o dollars in his pocket. He has been in prison serving time for a crime he claims to have not committed. Gideon is scarred inside and out, free but not free.
Gideon Strange is a poor neglected boy with an alcoholic father. His Mother, Julia, was the woman Adrian was convicted of Murdering. He was to seek revenge for the death of his Mother. The only constant in his life is Elizabeth Black, a police officer with a tender heart for young people.
Elizabeth Black is a female police officer who has a tenuous relationship with her father. She has always believed in Adrian Wall’s innocence. She met him as a teen and has felt a kinship with him every since. She has always looked out for Gideon Strange. She is a strong flawed woman with a tender heart for young people who have been wronged because she can identify with them.
Beckett, a police officer and Elizabeth’s partner, would do anything for his wife. He looks out for Elizabeth and tries to help her but the past has a way of creeping up and tapping one on the shoulder.
The story opens as Adrian is released for prison as Elizabeth is being investigated for shooting 2 rapists. Channing, an 18 year old girl of privilege has been kidnapped and raped by two men. Elizabeth entered the home alone where she was being kept. Only the two women made it out alive. What really happened in that house in the dark. Why are Channing and Elizabeth not cooperating fully with the investigators.
Then there is a matter of another dead woman being found dead on the alter of an old church where Elizabeth’s father used to preach. Coincidence that this happened right after Adrian was released from prison.
There are so many terribly flawed damaged people in this book. I liked how his characters were multi-dimensional. His characters can be both strong and weak, soft and hard, good and bad, right and then just so wrong. They make mistakes, they use poor judgement, they do wrong things but for the right reasons. There are some really evil characters in this book but then there are some good ones as well (Crybaby Jones). I liked how his main characters were incredibly human (Elizabeth, Bennett, Adrian). Many of his characters are looking for redemption, revenge, or just to get on with their lives. I forced myself to read this slow as I tend to devour books that I love to fast. Then I get mad when they are over. I read this slow and savored every word. There were no slow parts to this book, no parts I wanted to skim through, there was nothing that deterred from the story line.
I will admit, I thought I figured out what was going on. I was WRONG! I love books that make me think and feel. This book did both. This was my first book by John Hart but it definitely will not be my last. I see myself binge reading the rest of his novels.