Friday, 2 May 2014

The Innocent by Sean Black

The blurb:

The brand new novel from Sean Black.
When college basketball coach Malik Shaw goes missing after a family tragedy, it looks like just another retired athlete gone off the rails. But Malik's childhood friend, private security specialist Ty Johnson, quickly begins to suspect that there is more to it.
Chasing the truth, Ty, along with his business partner, Ryan Lock, begin to uncover a sinister conspiracy of silence in a sleepy Minnesota college town.

My review:

I get very excited when I see a new Sean Black publication as all his books to date have been fast paced, action packed, and addictive! The Ryan Lock series compare, for me, to the Alex Cross books written by James Patterson. Characters who are interesting and you feel you get to know, plots that twist and turn, and keep you reading well into the early hours. I had no idea there was a new book due out, so when I saw it I knew I had to get my hands on it. A massive thanks to Netgalley and All Night Reads who kindly provided me with a review copy.

The Innocent kicks off with us following Malik Shaw. Malik is the local basketball coach who goes missing after witnessing something he shouldn't have. Malik is a childhood friend of Ty who he calls on for help. The Innocent feels slightly different as Ryan Lock plays a smaller, more supporting role, and doesn't appear until well into the book. This time we see much more of Ty, who in previous books plays his sidekick, being the more prominent investigator.

The first few chapters all centre around Malik, what he witnesses, and the repercussions in the local community and college as well as within his family. His character is cleverly written and I had a real sense of him being a good guy who is very much a family man and someone who cares about the well being of others. This felt important as when the story develops we start to see that a cover up with a small town community is taking place. It helped me develop an empathy for Malik and had me racing through the book to ensure that justice prevails.

I loved seeing Ty ride in to try and help. A bit like feeling the knight in shining armour is on his way to save the day. After reading other books in the Ryan Lock series there is a sense of relief when they get on the case, as you know they are true good days who won't rest until the truth is outed. I also loved seeing the warmth of friendship between Ty and Malik.

The subject matter, who includes child abuse is a sensitive one, but it wasn't exploited in any way. I felt it was handled sensitively with enough detail to assist in telling the story, but not used in a sensationalist manner.

The book is brought together well to include all the key characters without becoming confused about who's who, and what their involvement is. I really did dislike the 'baddies' and wanted them taken down and poor Malik, who goes through so much tragedy to be recognised as the good guy.

The last few chapters almost take your great away with the intensity of what takes place. I just couldn't read them quickly enough but at the same time didn't want it to finish. It definitely packs a blockbuster punch and when reading could easily imagine the book being made into a successful film for the big screen.

Roll on the next instalment......

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