Screenwriter and graphic artist Stephen Romano plunges into a frenetic plot that doesn’t slow down until the very last word in the adrenaline-rich thriller Resurrection Express.
Along the breathless way, Romano slows down only to invest in sturdy characters who can make the nonstop action of Resurrection Express plausible.
Elroy Coffin is a hacker genius, specializing in high-tech robberies, capable of breaking any code. Or at least he was before a gunshot to his head affected his memory. Now in prison for attempted murder and armed robbery, Elroy feels guilty only because he believes his skills caused his wife, Toni, and father to have been murdered by David Hartman, a sociopathic crime boss.
But Elroy is about to learn that everything he thought was real is false when he is visited by “concerned citizen” Jayne Jenison. The wealthy Jayne promises she can get him released if he agrees to help find her grown daughter who’s being held captive by Hartman with Toni, his very much alive wife. And by the way, your father is alive and well and waiting outside in the car. Supposedly, Hartman’s impregnable vault holds the answers, but that should be no problem for a hacker with Elroy’s skills.
Motivated by revenge, Elroy dives into his assignment but finding Jayne’s daughter and Toni pits him between two criminal kingpins, each with a separate agenda. With his faulty memory and betrayal around every corner, Elroy must make split-second decisions about what is the truth and who to believe.
Romano infuses blink-and-you’ll-miss-it action into Resurrection Express, careening from one unpredictable plot twist to the next. But Romano also delivers a complex story that does not stoop to gratuitous violence.
Extreme suspense and a cinematic approach make Resurrection Express a solid thriller.
“Resurrection Express” by Stephen Romano; Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster ($25)