A plane crashes in an Arizona desert and a man emerges unscathed. A label in his suit identifies him as Solomon Creed, and he has no memory of who he is and how he got there. All he knows is that he has the uncanny ability to know how to disarm and disable an attacker and a persistent feeling that he is meant to save a man who he learns has died the day before.
Simon Toyne piles up the questions throughout The Searcher, effortlessly weaving in drug cartels, corrupt policemen, a grieving widow, and a thread of the supernatural underpinning it all. It’s an intense page turner, and as Toyne draws us ever deeper into the various mysteries within the town of Redemption, Arizona, you can’t help but wonder how exactly the author would pull it all together in the end.
Toyne’s style reminds me very much of Stephen King, with just a touch of Indiana Jones. Toyne is a fantastic world builder — you can just about imagine Redemption as a desolate landscape where dark secrets can abound and multiply over centuries. Like King, Toyne mixes up the mystical and the mundane, and while at times, I wished he’d just go full out into supernatural territory (so many intriguing hints!), I also felt that this disquiet was precisely what the author intended.
Despite the supernatural underpinnings, Toyne manages to keep most of the story grounded in reality. Drug wars form a major plot thread, not quite connected to the mystery of Solomon’s identity but impacting on his quest anyway. And while there are enough car chases and action packed scenes to keep us riveted between commercial breaks (The Searcher has been optioned for TV), it’s the relationships among the characters that ultimately stand out. Toyne doesn’t shy away from the disturbing lengths to which people go for their families. A moving conversation between a son and his father’s killer is surprisingly chilling, and an adversarial conversation between a kingpin and his son is unexpectedly poignant.
The solution to the mystery isn’t quite what I expected, but it fit in well with themes raised throughout the book. The Searcher is the first in the Solomon Creed series, and I can’t wait to find out how the rest of Creed’s story unfolds.
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Thank you to Harper Collins Canada for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Want to read what other bloggers thought of the book? Check out the rest of the blog tour below:
- Mon Oct 19 – Jenn @ Lost in a Great Book http://lostinagreatbook.com/
- Tues Oct 20 – Christine @ Padfoot’s Library http://padfootslibrary.blogspot.ca/
- Wed Oct 21 – Jaclyn @ Literary Treats literarytreats.wordpress.com
- Thurs Oct 22 – Andrea @ Cozy Up With a Good Readandreasgoodreads.blogspot.com
- Fri Oct 23 – Michele @ Just a Lil’ Lost http://www.justalillost.com/