Once again, despite having a pristine signed hardback in the bookcase, I didn’t actually read this. I listened to the audiobook, excellently narrated by Joseph Balderrama. It’s probably a good job, too, otherwise I would never have known how to pronounce Mulcahy’s name properly.
The book, titled The Searcher in the US, centres around Solomon Creed, an almost albino stranger who we first meet walking away from an un-survivable plane crash in the middle of the Arizona desert, close to the town of Redemption. Creed has no memory of anything that has happened prior to the moment we meet him, not who he is, nor how he has gotten there. But he does know one thing: he’s there to save James Coranado. But the town of Redemption have just buried Coranado.
I’m a big fan of crime fiction and thrillers, and this is the best thriller I have ‘read’ for a long time. Great characterisation, great setting, and a story with all the elements you want. In fact, there’re two stories in one here. With Coranado dead, Solomon Creed is trying to work out why he’s there, which isn’t being made easy when everyone from the local mayor to a Mexican drugs lord wants a piece of him. In addition, we get the story of Reverend Cassidy, the founder of Redemption, and author of a slim volume telling his story that Solomon finds in his jacket pocket. I’m not sure how much Balderrama’s narration has influenced my opinion on this, but the book feels that it has been written with a real American voice, and it is all the better for it.
If you’re a fan of Simon Toyne‘s Sanctus trilogy, there’s a hint of supernatural here that you won’t be disappointed with. We don’t know Creed’s past, but despite all of the other characters in the (audio) book being either American or Mexican, Balderrama gives Creed an English accent (in fact he sounds a lot like James McAvoy’s Professor X). Is the accent a clue, or just the narrator’s choice? Who knows. What I do know is that you won’t find out in this book. Nor the next. But I’m going to be reading all the sequels as they’re published until I do!
Solomon Creed is published in paperback today (2nd June 2016). I recommend that you buy it!