By John Hart
BAD THINKS HAPPEN to good people, especially in a John Hart novel, really bad things. “Redemption Road” is the latest offering by this North Carolina writer who has won a wide audience and two Edgar Awards for Best Novel. In “Redemption Road” Hart has created a super suspenseful mystery/thriller with a cast of vile villains and pure victims. This could very well be his best work yet.
From the first few pages to the very end Hart keeps readers guessing and dares one to put down this book without knowing what will happen next. The suspense is so intense and the characters so interesting the story is boldly gripping. A troubled detective, a newly released prisoner, a strict preacher, a gutsy young girl, a child set on vengeance and a great supporting cast make this a novel about people with agendas that promise conflict.
In addition to the intriguing story there is the masterful writing which assures this to be a best seller for many months. Hart’s prose is worthy of classic status, and his wide vocabulary is a major contribution to the power of this mystery. The style is, however, so very clear. One sentence can explain so much such as, “He would say she’d broken trust, and that everything flowed from that single poor decision, the basement, the dead brothers, her career.”
Set in North Carolina the places are vague, yet readers will identify with the feel of the settings. An abandoned church, a murky swamp, a foreboding prison and abandoned farm are all the places we know well in passing. They are also places of unbelievable horrors when John Hart employs them to enhance his story. He has a knack for making the reader feel the need to move on to another location as soon as possible.
By the title one would assume there is a religious influence in the novel. Indeed there is, an approach with deep psychological insights. The meaning of redemption depends on the one using the term. For some it is a positive outcome arising from peace made with the almighty. For others it means punishment as a way of atoning for sins. The secrets and betrayals of this story require an outcome deeply entwined with faith. Travel this road with John Hart and you will find your faith in powerful fiction renewed.
Emerald Isle Books