Review: The Innocent by Sean Black (5/5)

Thursday 17 April 2014

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 and his business partner, Ryan Lock, begin to uncover a sinister conspiracy of silence in a sleepy Minnesota college town.

It's not the crime that kills you - it's the cover-up. 

Every so often I finish a book and am left wishing that I was better with words, and better at writing how good a book is. Because a book like this deserves a review that does it justice, so I can only try!

I first discovered Sean Black about two years ago when I read the first book in this Ryan Lock series, Lockdown. I read that book in 24 hours and absolutely loved it. Sean writes the sorts of books that once you start them you cannot put them down. In fact Sean is the reason you are reading this review. About a year ago I got an email from Goodreads, 'Sean Black added you as a friend'. I thought 'Yeah, okay...' but it was indeed Sean thanking me for a review of his fantastic book, The Devil's Bounty. It was a great feeling that an author had read and enjoyed one of my reviews and it spurred me on to keep writing them and hopefully sharing them with authors, and so a few months down the line my blog was born.

Anyway back to this book and I read this book, The Innocent in just two sittings. The action just does not let up from the word go, all the cliches of a thriller book apply here: unputdownable, heart-stopping, edge of your seat. Especially towards the end of the book, I could not read quick enough trying to find out how the book was going to end. 

A few weeks ago I didn't even know this book existed! I read about it on Twitter and luckily enough Sean kindly sent me a copy. He did however tell me it was different from the other Lock books, I was a bit apprehensive but after just a few chapters I was hooked. The actual opening of the book, and probably the first 35% focuses on Malik. Malik receives a text alerting him to a problem at the college stadium where he is a coach. When he arrives at the college campus he discovers a young boy naked in the showers. A car parked outside takes off, however Malik managed to take a picture on his way in. When speaking with the campus police Malik is told a complete pack of lies regarding the naked boy, evidence from his phone is destroyed and he is offered bribes to keep quiet about what he saw. As the book progresses we see just how far these people will go to keep Malik quiet and I won't ruin it like some other reviewers by telling you what happens!

The writing in this book is just superb. All of Sean's books are highly readable but I just got lost in this book and couldn't read it quick enough. The story was absolutely gripping. From start to finish it really was just an action packed read. After about 50% or so Lock does make an appearance and then goes on to play a major role in the story. After now reading five books featuring Lock and Ty they are one of my favourite fictional duos. You wouldn't think this book was the work of a British writer writing a book set in America, the whole thing felt very authentic and the small Minnesotan town was definitely brought to life. I could go on and on about how fantastic Sean is and how amazing his books are but really the best thing I can say is buy these books, buy them, read them and love them. Sean Black was already one of my favourite authors but this book just places him even closer to the top of the list. I hope we see more from Lock and Ty in the future, even if it's in the form of another short? I just love reading about these two. 

Thanks to Sean Black for the review copy!

You can buy The Innocent from Amazon now! 

And find out more about Sean on his website

Also check out the blog in the coming days for an author feature on Sean and why I love his books on my 'Favourite Authors' page.

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