The Boy Who Saw by Simon Toyne

The Boy Who Saw by Simon Toyne
Publisher: Harper Collins Publisher
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Solomon Creed, the enigmatic hero introduced in The Searcher, must stop a killer tied to a conspiracy stretching back over generations to the dying days of World War II.

Solomon Creed has no recollection of who he is, or where he comes from. The only solid clue to his identity is a label stitched in his jacket that reads: “This suit was made to treasure for Mr. Solomon Creed.”

The jacket fits perfectly, and so does the name, but there is a second name on the label, the name of the tailor who made the suit and an address in southern France. Solomon heads to France in search of this man, hoping to discover more about who he is. But instead of answers he finds a bloody corpse, the Star of David carved into his chest and the words “Finishing what was begun” daubed in blood on the wall.

When the police discover Solomon at the crime scene they suspect he is the murderer and lock him up. Solomon must escape to clear his name and solve the mystery of why the last remaining survivors of a notorious Nazi death camp are being hunted down and murdered. Only by saving these survivors from evil can Solomon hope to piece together the truth about a decades-old conspiracy as well as discover the key to his own identity.

Solomon Creed has come to the small down of Cordes in France, looking for the tailor whose name is sewn in the exquisitely made men’s suit jacket he wears – the one giving him the only name he knows himself by. When Solomon finds the elderly tailor has been murdered – only hours before Solomon reached him – he knows solving the murder, and protecting the vulnerable, seven year old Leo are critically important. Can Solomon save the young boy?

This is the second novel about Solomon Creed, but I found it to be a very well woven story that stands exceptionally well alone. I was pleased the author gave a good amount of Solomon’s story without any massive info-dumps and managing to simultaneously keep the plot moving along at a good clip.

Readers should be aware that the Holocaust features quite heavily in this book, as does a lot of the more recent racial and political right-wing rhetoric. I felt the author did an exceptional job keeping it all tasteful, but Toyne doesn’t pull any punches of how a lot of society continues to be swayed and continues to voice their hatred. It is quite heavy reading in some respects and while I do feel there is an element of hope and peace retained in this, I could well understand how it won’t be an easy read for everyone.

That said I really enjoyed the characters and continue to be dazzled by Solomon and his quest to discover who he is and what his past history is all about. I was very relieved a number of answers were found – and given – but I hope and suspect there might be one more book coming down the line somewhere; possibly a concluding book where the rest of the mysteries surrounding Solmon might finally be unveiled.

For readers looking for a well plotted murder mystery with a lot of moving parts and plenty of weight and depth to it this should be a good and interesting read.

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