Blurb: Jane Hewitt had been miraculously healed—cured of a terminal cancer that had been eating away at her body for months. After one meeting with an incredible young woman, Jane rose from her wheelchair and walked out, believing her lifetime of devoted faith had been rewarded.
The next day, Jane died in her husband’s arms, devastated that her God had deserted her. Her husband, Ian, blames her hastened death on the faith healer she visited. But that faith healer is a teenage girl called Megan, who has been in a coma for five years, and has no say over how her gift is used.
When Ian is arrested after being accused of breaking in to Megan’s house and trying to tamper with her life support, he turns to the only person he knows can help clear his name, and stop this family deceiving any other victims—Dr Alex Ripley, the so called Miracle Detective.
Fascinated by Megan’s case, and needing a distraction, Ripley finds herself on Holy Island, off the coast of North Wales, caught up in an investigation that will prove more sinister and dangerous than she could have imagined. Ian is not the first person to complain about Megan and her supporters, but he seems to be the only one still alive. For now.
Another great mystical mystery from M. Sean Coleman, the second in his Alex Ripley series. You don’t have to have read the first, as the main points are recapped dripfeed-style throughout the plot here, but in my opinion you would be missing out!
The ‘miracle debunking’ is yet again an excellent hook (faith healing this time, angels previously), providing a fresh take on a genre suffused with psychologists, MD’s, CSI’s and PI’s. I particularly like the way Coleman keeps a dual perspective running on this element of his plots, with Ripley unaware that even as she is working to debunk the mystical/religious aspects of the case, the reader is getting inside information to suggest that there may be more things in heaven and earth…!
There is some slight feeling of déjà vu in some places for readers who are fresh from Book 1, as some of the characters seem to follow similar tropes despite the different names and setting: friendly landlord, scowling young man and so forth. There is no repetition in the plot though and once the story gets fully underway the new characters take on a distinguishing life of their own.
There is plenty of action, investigation, and some unexpected twists here that kept me guessing until the reveal, and Ripley’s personal story expands as the fate of her MIA husband comes into question, leaving the reader on the edge of their seat at the final pages and eager for the next instalment.
Definitely a great series for mystery fans looking for something a little off the beaten track and into the mysterious woods!
He had been preparing for this moment for months, ever since the doctors had sat them down together and told them there was nothing more they could do. And now it was time. He wanted to curl into her. Go with her. Hold her close and give her every bit of life that still coursed through his own body. He had promised himself that he would be strong. He’d sworn to her he’d be fine. But, right now, he was neither.
A fierce, burning anger consumed him. Not because he was losing her. Nor because of cancer’s indiscriminate destruction. But because they had stripped her of the one thing she held so dear: her faith. She had believed she was healed, they both had. And those frauds had let her believe it.
As he gripped Jane’s hand, resting his head on her chest, listening to the faintest breath struggling in and out of her wracked body, he vowed he would make them pay for their deceit if it was the last thing he did.
– M. Sean Coleman, A Hollow Sky
A Hollow Sky is available on Amazon right now!
Don’t forget to check out my thoughts on Book 1 in the Alex Ripley series, The Cuckoo Wood, and visit the other stops on this blog tour for more great content and reviews!