Review of Redemption Road by John Hart

Goodreads/Amazon/Author Website
Release date: May 3, 2016

Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books

Genre: Mystery/Thriller 

Goodreads blurb:


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 went into this book knowing very little about the premise or about the author, but I’ve heard great things about John Hart’s books. He’s been called a master storyteller and a gifted writer. After reading Redemption Road I can see why.

The story is told using multiple narratives including Elizabeth, a cop who is brittle, fragile and clinging to the edge of hope. Adrian is recently released from prison and just trying to heal old open wounds while battling current demons. Gideon is a young man who is desperate, broken and wounded. Channing is an eighteen year old girl who has lived through nightmares and isn’t quite sure how to make it through to the light of day. I always find it morbidly fascinating to get a glimpse inside the mind of a homicidal manic and Hart doesn’t disappoint.

All of these characters are so flawed and damaged and this is revealed fantastically by Hart. He creates characters that simply come alive in an honest manner that is heartbreakingly real. The town they live in is full of secrets, pain and betrayal. 

Hart also touches on a current tense and hot topic;  how race plays a factor in police investigations and procedures. It brought a sense of current events to the book as it also briefly discussed how the media’s involvement can ramp up the tension.

I really enjoyed the twists in this novel as they were believable but still surprising. There were just enough shocking moments to keep the reader engaged, but not so many that it seemed unlikely or contrived. 

Overall rating: 4.5/5

6 thoughts on “Review of Redemption Road by John Hart

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