Mike Lawson is incapable of writing a bad book. They’re all smooth, inventive, and original. His new stand-alone, Redemption, is no exception. In fact, it’s brilliant.

I must admit that I was at first disheartened by the opening chapters. I thought the story was going to be a familiar one, with a plot not unlike a specific bestseller of years past. But I had forgotten one critical element ~ TRUST MIKE LAWSON.

Redemption is a tough book to characterize if you don’t want to give too much away. Jamison Maddox destroyed his glittering, Wall Street life by being part of an insider trading case. A pariah is his former world, he accepts a job in a small Illinois town doing financial research for a family-run company that works for clients who want to know the skinny on individuals and businesses. It’s boring but easy. But why the company is so strict about security is odd.

This is Big Time Suspense overlaid with an unhealthy dread of noir. A femme fatale, deadly children, treacherous parents, a love-struck dupe… you know it isn’t going to end well – but how? Every time I thought I knew where the story was headed, I was wrong. Lawson masterfully lead me toward each misdirection – gleefully, I have to assume – setting me up for his next one. Not only is his smooth story-telling always a kick to read, he’s a genius at structuring his his books to keep you off-balance and guessing to the end. He’s outdone himself with Redemption.

I can honestly say that all of my other favorite authors – Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Carol O’Connell, Don Winslow, Dennis Lehane, James Ellroy, and Craig Johnson – have had books that, I thought, were duds. Not Mike Lawson. Not a clunker in the list.

This new book should win every award that exists, from the Edgar and Dagger to the Booker and Pulitzer – hell, an Oscar while we’re at it. Redemption is that good, that timely, and that brilliant.

His books are impossible to beat and over far, far too fast. That’s the only bad thing about Mike’s books ~ I have to wait a year for the next one.

Coming April 5, 2022.

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