"Room 13 - Between Hell and Redemption" is a cracking thriller - dark and gritty - that I truly loved and just couldn't put down. Written by Richard Cruttwell, this is his first novel and has done a brilliant job at writing a story that has a well thought out plot whilst also exploring the weaknesses of the human condition and whether or not we are somehow shaped by our past experiences.
So what do we know about this intriguing Room 13? Stephen Caldwell hasn't been back to this room for 25 years. It was the very last night he and his wife Debbie spent together, a night that changed his life forever. We know Caldwell has been rotting in a Polish prison for 25 years for a murder he maintains he did not commit. Who was the mysterious blonde found murdered in his hotel bathroom and why would anyone want to frame him. On his release from prison Caldwell returns to this room and begins his quest as to who did this to him and why. Thus leading the reader into a dark and compelling journey into revenge and retribution.
As the story unwinds we learn about the events that lead to that fateful night and all the characters that played a part in Caldwell's life. I particularly found this interesting and enjoyed reading how each character became they way they did, allowing the reader to decide whether it was nature or nurture that created each of their individual personalities. Told in the first person this allows us to feel the main character's every feeling and emotion, allowing you to connect mentally with him as he tries to understand why he was framed and his determination to rebuild his life. Was it Hell or Redemption? - you'll have to read to find out!
This well written book has an intriguing start that soon has you hooked and is a one that you will not want to put down. Highly recommended, this is an excellent thriller that's easy to read and follow and truly keeps you entertained.
"Room 13" is without doubt a 5 star read although I am personally only awarding 4 stars due to the very overly descriptive sexual scenes that I found slightly unnecessary and a little uncomfortable to read.