A boy with a gun waits for the man who killed his mother.
A troubled detective confronts her past in the aftermath of a brutal shooting.
After thirteen years in prison, a good cop walks free as deep in the forest, on the altar of an abandoned church, a body cools in pale linen…
This is a town on the brink.
This is Redemption Road.
I first came across John Hart in 2011, with The Last Child. It blew me away. I called it one of the best crime novels I had ever read. It still is, so I was excited to get Redemption Road (on Audible, so I listened to it rather than read it).
There are a number of strands to Redemption Road that Hart weaves deftly together. Detective Elizabeth Black is on suspension for the apparent use of excessive force in what appears to be the execution of two men who were torturing and raping an 18-year-old girl being held captive in a basement. Adrian Wall, an ex-cop and colleague of Elizabeth’s has just been released from prison after serving time for the ritualised murder of a woman.
Elizabeth doesn’t think Adrian did it. The victim’s young son, Gideon, does though, and he’s after revenge. Elizabeth has been a mother figure to Gideon, but she wants to clear Adrian’s name. Her suspension from the force isn’t helping though. And when more women are murdered in exactly the same way as the murder Adrian was convicted for, things start to get even more complicated.
Redemption Road is a powerful read, dealing with the darkest depths of the human psyche. Written by John Hart, it’s never going to be anything other than fantastically written. And was it as good as The Last Child? No, but then what is?
It was pretty darned good nevertheless.