By: Stephen Romano
Publisher: Gallery Books, A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Publication Date: September 2012
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Review Date: October 4, 2012
Resurrection Express is a masterpiece of a debut novel by Stephen Romano. This action-packed thriller is filled with adventure and page-turning anticipation from beginning to end.
The story opens with Romano’s main character, Elroy Coffin, biding his survival doing time in maximum-security in a Texas prison. His day of redemption comes sooner than anticipated when gorgeous and mysterious forty-something Jayne Jenison breaks him free from the confines of an otherwise life in prison. Once out, Elroy Coffin, learns early on his freedom comes with a hefty price tag.
The story ramps quickly once Coffin realizes that whoever this Jenison is, she has a lot of pull. Essentially, she has the power to wipe the slate of his criminal past clean only because it’s what she needs to accomplish her grand plan. She reunites Coffin with his father, Ringo Coffin and the gig is on. Like old times, father and son have a job to pull at the behest of Jenison. Elroy is a master hacker and there’s no system, lock, firewall or mother board he can’t manipulate and overpower. Ringo is a seasoned mobster and together again, they’re unstoppable. The motivation both Jenison and Coffin have is one target in common, David Hartman. Jenison wants Hartman out of the way for the total prize; Coffin wants Hartman dead to avenge his wife’s death.
When the job Coffin is hired to do is at critical mass, all hell breaks loose and to say things go terribly wrong is an understatement. In seconds, reality comes crashing in through Coffin’s ceiling along with the realization that Jenison isn’t quite the alliance Elroy wanted to believe she was. All bets are off for Coffin from that point forward. Romano effortlessly builds Coffin’s character to such invincibility it makes a cat’s nine lives pale in comparison.
Romano relentlessly careens through pages of action, conspiracy, anticipation and outright shock and awe. As I read this work I felt like I was on a thrilling roller coaster ride of adventure that had endless peaks that cascaded quickly down endless corridors only to jerk and bank me through the exciting turns of every page. Romano developed a precise and sophisticated plot of the imminent end of the world as we know it through high stake games and computer warfare. He is extremely confident with his computer jargon and accomplished in establishing the anticipation of the imminent end for the reader. It was only as I approached the light at the end of the tunnel did I realize the story was nearly over. As I read the final page, I couldn’t wait to get back in line quickly in anticipation of Romano’s next blockbuster. Fantastic read and I look forward to reading his next book.
Quill Says: Resurrection Express is the real deal. There’s no lag time or predictability. It leaves you wanting more from the very first word to the very last.