As for the new one, it comes out on May 3 - just slightly over a month away (in case you don't have access to a calendar). And due to some good fortune (and a fair amount of begging), I was able to get my hands on an ARC. In this case, John, who actually responds to his followers on Facebook, made it happen. I "asked" him if he could get me an ARC, and it was in my hands a week later. Of course I gave him that "I have a million people reading my blog every day" line. I think he fell for it! Regardless, I finished it today and couldn't wait to start my review. I think it's important in this case to have a blurb. Voila:
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. But for how long?
And deep in the forest, on the altar of an abandoned church, the unthinkable has just happened…
This is a town on the brink. This is a road with no mercy.
I now have a very difficult task. I have to figure out how to include everything I want to tell you in a single post. Frankly, I don't think I can do it. So I won't. I'm going to break this sucker up into 2 posts. Because, really, how long can I ramble on before you tune me out (don't answer that!)? Let's get started.
First of all, I was struck by how many central characters there are. Even though Liz is the main protagonist, John has a number of others who speak in the 1st person. Here they are:
1. Liz - police officer for 13 years, under investigation for murder
2. Charlie Beckett - Liz's partner for 4 years and still showing his support for her.
3. Adrian Wall - police officer who just finished a 13-year prison sentence for murder
4. Channing Shore - 18-year old girl who survived a harrowing experience
5. Gideon Strange - 14-year old boy who seeks revenge against the killer of his mother
6. The Serial Killer (who shall be nameless)
On top of that, there are a bunch of significant supporting players:
1. Liz's father - a well-respected reverend in town
2. The prison warden who is (a lot) more than he appears to be
3. Faircloth Jones, an 89-year old superstar attorney who went into seclusion when he couldn't successfully defend Adrian Wall 13 years earlier.
4. The warden's 4 prison guards/henchmen
5. Channing's father, a very wealthy townsman who is trying to protect his daughter in his own way.
6. James Randolph, police officer who has a connection with Liz
In part 2 of this post, I will give you a bunch of my observations about the writing and my emotional connections to the characters. I will also tell you now that I was completely taken by surprise - TWICE - by what happens toward the end. Didn't I just say the same thing about Coben's Fool Me Once? All of these authors seem to be going out of their way to trick me!
See you again in a couple of days.