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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Shred of Truth by Eric Wilson

Aramis Black has changed in the months since his encounters with his past and with greed. His half-brother, Johnny Ray Black, is making it big in country music. Aramis' coffee shop, Black's, is successful. Things are quiet until Aramis discover Johnny Ray tied to a statue one night with the letters AX carved into his back. From there on out, Aramis begins to meet people from his past he thought and wished he would never see again. Someone begins writing notes to him telling him that they have his mother, who was assumed dead for years, in custody. Johnny Ray doesn't believe it, but Aramis does. He begins to compile a list of suspects all while trying to hold his life together. He teams up with Freddy C, his homeless friend, in order to find some answers. But Freddy C knows more than he lets on. Aramis is grasping for a shred of truth no one seems to have.

The Best of Evil

was fine in itself, therefore I am pretty sure that it did not need a sequel. All A Shred of Truth does is taint Eric Wilson's previous 100% Elite rating. Eric always had trouble with his ends, but this time, he had no safety net.

The characters remain the same as they were in The Best of Evil, which is a plus because this does not happen often. Often times, authors will get lax on their characters and let their personalities slide. This was not the case with A Shred of Truth. Aramis, Johnny Ray, and the rest continued to be the same, proving that Eric Wilson cares about his characters. Any extra characters are at least interesting. Eric even threw in several fake villains. The character department is not something Eric struggles in.

Plot elements is a mixed area for Eric. He tends to stray from romantic subplots are at least create different romantic subplots. He knows how to add tidbits of history into his plot in places that need flavoring. Eric creates one key character death and surprises readers with his choice of villain. The looming problem with this book is its cheesy end. I was sure that Eric was going to have Aramis' mother being alive be a hoax, but I was wrong. Eric surprised me in this way, not a good way. He even used a cheap "suspenseful" showdown scene to free her from her bonds. This was uncharacteristic for him as an author.

I do not wish to think that Eric Wilson is sliding as an author and running out of good ideas. I can only hope the A Shred of Truth was a hiccup in a better career stretching ahead of him. I hope he finds his way back to the originality before it's too late.

3 stars

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