reviewed by Cara DiCostanzo
Last Redemption is the eighth in the Rick Cahill series and the first one I have read. The novel begins with Rick waking up to all the physical problems that he has earned with his life of violence and his football career.
The neurologist believes he has Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, which is a progressive brain condition that’s thought to be caused by repeated blows to the head and repeated episodes of concussion. Rick suffers from terrible headaches and memory loss. He often forgets what he is doing and who is around him. He has not told his pregnant fiancé or his partner, Moira MacFarlane.
When he receives a call from Moira with whom he works with fairly often and calls his best friend, he finds out her son, Luke, is missing. Luke was recently served with a restraining order from his girlfriend, Gabby Gates. Moira is worried Luke has done something that might get him into trouble and wants Rick to find him. When Rick trails Luke and finds out he’s visiting an apartment in the same complex as Gabby, his ex-girlfriend who has the restraining order on him, he knows Luke is in trouble. But who is he going to see? Rick then follows him to his office at ConnectTech. When he finds out the next morning that Luke’s boss has been murdered, Rick has to decide whether he will tell law enforcement or keep his word to Moira and continue searching for Luke. By the time he decides, Luke has vanished.
There are many threads going through this storyline. Rick’s illness and his decision to keep it from everyone, the disappearance of Luke MacFarlane, and the relationship between Moira and Rick, which was surprisingly hostile given that they are best friends. As I have not read the first seven books, I can only assume their friendship is rough because of the circumstances of Moira’s son. What started as an investigation into Luke jumps into something entirely different involving corporate espionage, secret cancer projects, competing firms, and murder. With Rick’s time losses and the fact that he keeps getting more head injuries makes the stakes much higher and more dangerous.
This is an amazing, action packed, suspenseful thriller. I love Rick Cahill’s vibe as just a “regular guy.” There are some scenes which are gory but other than that it is clean. The writing is solid and the pacing of the plot and character development are both really well done, so the story moves fluidly while keeping you turning the pages following a case that keeps surprising you.