John Hart REDEMPTION ROAD Audio Reviewed

John Hart
May 3rd 2016
MacMillan Audio Book

Elizabeth has doubted the outcome of a fellow officer’s trial for years. She’s in shock, numb and suspended under inquiry herself. However, dismissing the growing probability of her own fall, she puts all of her connections and credibility on the line searching for the deranged killer of young women she’s convinced is still out there. Dogged by her self-doubt and growing disillusionment, Elizabeth finds that she doesn’t know who can she can really trust anymore and whether there is any coming back from the dark place she inhabits. This detective’s actions and inquiries are being watched carefully by predators as well as by the vulnerable, as she closes in on the horrible truth.
Redemption Road is my first book by John Hart. It is brilliant to know that there are four other books out there waiting for me. If my synopsis seems vague, it is to spare you from spoilers as I would prefer you find out about all of the convoluted turns for yourself. There’s a boy with a gun and a good reason. A young woman holding a secret. A terrifying killer. Lies. Does that help? No? Apologies…sort of.

John Hart’s dialogue, internal and interpersonal, rings true. I found myself carried by the duets, ensembles, and monologues into a twisted, complex place where strange and disturbing stories meet. This book has everything I like in a thriller as the pacing is good and the prose fluid; the plot is complex but feels effortless. I trust that I am like many lovers of mystery and thriller in that I pride myself on figuring things out, not missing that detail that implicates, breaks open the story. The foundations were laid, the scope widened then started to contract but, as opposed to having clarity, I found myself entertaining a collection of theories, none of which I was comfortable with or certain of. I was seriously disturbed as events unfolded and yet I couldn’t really set this book down in my rush to reach the end game. I hoped that there would be some of that redemption mentioned though I also rooted for a convoluted, questionable “justice” which is not the same thing at all. In short, I found Redemption Road enthralling, entertaining and dreadful- I recommend it.

I typically read books for myself, imagining the places, the sounds of voices and, as such, had some trepidation about trying this as an audio book. However, I found myself riveted by this reading. I mostly listened to it in my car and, on several occasions, sat in it listening well after I reached my destination and had parked. I was grateful that at a few points I was traveling fast on the interstate, as I was anxious and horrified. Yes…that was awesome. The audio book is presented in a 15 hour, 12 CD set and compellingly read by Scott Shepard (Bridge of Spies; Side Effects). The set also includes a bonus feature with commentary from John Hart which his fans will enjoy.
-Drea Carroll