Thursday 1 May 2014

Book ~ "The Innocent" (2014) Sean Black

From Goodreads ~ 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.

Malik is a former NBA player who is now a coach at a university in Minnesota.  He gets a text to head to the university gym late one night and sees a car speeding away and finds a naked boy in the shower.  As a father of two, this bothers Malik and he follows up about it with the university chancellor and local police.  It's "dealt with" but Malik isn't satisfied.  Despite the bribe offer of a better job at the university, Malik refused to back down which ends tragically for him and his family.

Ty is a bodyguard for wealthy people. He and Malik were high school friends.  They grew up in a rough neighbourhood where drive-by shootings were the norm ... Ty wouldn't have hesitated to take a bullet for his friend.  When Malik reaches out to Ty for help, Ty and his partner, Ryan, head to Minnesota find out what's going on.

This is the first book I've read by this author and I enjoyed it.  The story was interesting.  I liked the writing style and thought it flowed well.  Some of the chapters are short and snappy, which I like.  It's written in third person perspective with the focus on wherever the action is.  Despite there being primarily male lead characters, I didn't find it a masculine-focused read.  The ending started coming together after the first half of the book and I was satisfied with the "whodunnit" and why.  As a head's up, there is some swearing and violence.

I liked the characters.  Malik had come across something that was morally wrong and despite being pressured to let it go, he put his and his family's safety on the line when he kept pushing.  His anguish came through once the consequences were realized.  Ty is the kind of friend that everyone should have ... he'll drop whatever he is doing to be there for you  Ryan too was a good friend and stepped up to help when Ty asked him, no questions asked, even though he didn't know Malik.  Ty and Ryan both used their professional experience and knowledge in various situations but I didn't find it over the top.  The characters we were supposed to dislike were easy to hate.

Though this is the fifth in the Ryan Lock series, it works as a stand alone ... I didn't realize it was part of a series until I was almost finished it.  I hadn't read the previous ones (though they are now on my to-be-read list), I never felt confused as to what was going on since there was enough information provided.  I look forward to reading future books by this author.

1 comment:

Masshole Mommy said...

I bet my husband would like this book.