By Samantha Charles
Publisher: Samantha Charles
Published: Dec. 23, 2013
Lindy Carver Harrington loses her unborn child during a violent altercation with her husband. On the same day, her closest friend Sara careens off a mountainside to her death. Lindy is devastated. Imprisoned by grief, and paralyzed by fear, she is easy prey to her husband’s abuse. She is unable to summon the strength to fight back, until now…
A brutal confrontation forces Lindy to choose to either end her husband’s life, or save
On a perilous journey into the final days of her friend’s life, Lindy’s quest for truth will expose shocking secrets that will shake a small southern town to its roots. Confronting the demons of her past, she strips away layers of lies buried beneath the magnificent mountains she calls home. When the past and present collide, the truth may set Lindy free, if she can only live long enough to take her last shot at redemption.
Redemption starts out as a gentle book about coming home and coming to terms with a life that turned out differently from the hopes and expectations of youth. Leaving an abusive marital relationship, the loss of an unborn child and still grieving the loss of a lifelong friend, Lindy Harrington returns to Parson’s Gap, where she grew up to find herself again. But she found much more than she bargained for.
While Redemption might start slowly and gently, it quickly takes off in speed and action, rapidly developing in mystery and suspense. It seems unlikely that it takes a full year to discover that Sara’s accidental death is not an accident after all, but calculated and premeditated.
The main characters are well-developed and likeable and I even found myself missing Sara right along with the main characters! I did have some difficulty in coming to terms with the character of Reverend Carver and his followers though. I thought his parishioners should have been able to see the disparity between the finances coming into the church and the monies being spent by the church for the renovations/expansions. Also the open disdain for Lindy expressed by members of the church seemed wrong to me.
I really liked that the friendships that Lindy had cultivated with others in the community in her youth had remained strong. I also appreciated the twists the author threw into some of the relationships in the story were great and really added some interesting dimensions to the plot. There were a lot of surprises throughout Redemption that made this novel unpredictable and added to the mystery, making the book that much more entertaining to read.
There was some swearing in this novel, and some romantic attraction too. But none of the romance was graphic.
I particularly liked Lindy’s character. She is a strong female character. She is a little bit too fast to react without thinking things through first sometimes though, which can get her into trouble. I loved the scenes where she was interacting with Luke and Atticus. Lindy came to Parson’s Gap emotionally broken, with a wall built around her heart to protect it from being hurt. I don’t think even she realized that she had built that wall.
This was an amazing novel for a first work. Samantha Charles will be an author to watch in the coming years. I highly recommend Redemption to all readers of suspense and mystery. I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars. I look forward to her next project!
Thank you to the publisher, Black Rose Writing, who provided a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion was not required. All thoughts are my own.
Samantha Charles is a southern writer. She grew up in the Appalachian region of the Southeast in small towns that are somewhat isolated from modern-day society by geography, and choice. She remains passionate about the magnificence, as well as the malevolence, of the southern culture.
She now resides in the Midwest, with her husband and three children. She attended Baker University in Kansas where she earned her Master of Arts degree. When she isn’t busy creating new worlds, she teaches English as a professor at a local college.
She is currently creating a series of short stories about Parson’s Gap; a coal mining town inspired by the people and places she grew to love as a child. She is also hard at work on Salvation, the sequel to Redemption.
Redemption is her first novel.
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