2 September 2018

Review: THE CELTIC STONE, Nick Hawkes

Synopsis (publisher)

Chris Norman’s dreams of being a commercial pilot are shattered when he crashes his light plane in central Australia and is badly wounded. His life hangs in the balance, a balance that is swayed by the intervention of an Aboriginal man. He leaves Chris with a mysterious and incongruous legacy, a Celtic cross made of stone.

Partly blinded and in deep grief at no longer being able to fly, Chris finds his way to the inhospitable islands off the West Coast of Scotland where he seeks to unravel the secrets of the Celtic stone.

A blind Hebridean woman, shunned by many in the local community, becomes his reluctant ally, along with a seven year old boy who is as wild as the storm tossed seas that surround the islands.

Chris must overcome his grief to find answers to his questions. But the threat of murder lingers ....

My Take

This is one of those books that I place on the margins of crime fiction: but there is murder, there is mystery and there is crime.

I bought the book recently at a book launch held at our local library by the author to celebrate his third book.

There's something a little old fashioned about the plot and style of this book - it reminds me of some of the books I read decades ago. Having said that though, I am not denigrating it. I really enjoyed the story. At the book launch Nick Hawkes said he favoured happy endings and this novel certainly works towards that. It is a stand-alone and its characters are engaging and, as the Caleb Prize might warn you, there is an underlying theme about the meaning of life.

The setting ranges from South Australia to the Scottish Hebrides and they are places which the author appears to know and love.

If you are looking for some very readable, feel-good, crime fiction then this might just hit the spot for you.

My rating: 4.3

About the author

Nick was a research scientist for twelve years before training as a pastor and leading a number of vibrant churches. He is currently Pastor of Rivergate Christian Community in South Australia.

Nick is a guest lecturer at two theological colleges, gives daily devotions on Christian radio and is a popular speaker both in Australia and abroad. He is an eloquent and passionate apologist for the Christian gospel

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