Retribution. Book Review

retribRETRIBUTION by Mark Charan Newton
Pan Macmillan, h/b, 400pp, £18.99
Reviewed by Elloise Hopkins

With Leana, his fierce warrior companion still at his side, Drakenfield, Officer of the Sun Chamber, receives a summons for another case. With his own affairs neatly concluded following his last job, he sets off for Koton, trading civilised home comforts for a harsh landscape, where life is considerably tougher for the average citizen.

A bishop of Koton’s main temple has gone missing and Lucan is asked to investigate. It is a politically unstable time and life in the palace is tense. Despite Lucan’s badge of office, he will soon find that he and his investigation are not entirely welcome. It will take all the talking, buying and fighting he and Leana can muster to find out what has befallen the bishop and uncover the sinister reasons behind his disappearance.

Retribution is the second Lucan Drakenfield novel and follows the Sun Chamber officer as he investigates another heinous crime. As a protagonist he is enjoyable to read, with wit and a matter of fact approach that solidifies him as a character, and a blunt refusal to be hindered by his own weaknesses or those of others that is admirable.

Newton tells this story slowly, the way he reveals the true scope of the mystery and its full horrors akin to noir detective thrillers of old, bringing Lucan’s adventure to a powerful climax and then a touching end. An easy read, a little grittier than the first in the series, with a more expansive paying field and some great secondary characters who are just as interesting and well portrayed as those in the first novel.