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Reviewed by Jane Finch for Readers' Favorite
A Light Shines Bright: The Collector by J. E. Holling is a novella that follows Detective Jason Sterk as he gets caught up in the mysterious disappearance of several homeless people. At first it seems like a routine case, but as the number of disappearances increases, it becomes obvious that there is far more going on than a straightforward missing person. One of the missing is Michael Savoy, whose sister, Gail, reports him to Jason as a missing person. Michael’s past leads Jason to suspect that all is not as it seems and that there are more sinister happenings afoot. Meanwhile, Michael disappears off the streets and finds himself a prisoner in Libya. Add to this a sinister lone figure who seems a prime suspect, and the plot thickens.
J.E. Holling has woven a clever tale that keeps the reader guessing as the plot unfolds, culminating in a very unexpected ending which confirms this as a solid, well thought out and planned story. The characters are well developed, particularly Michael, who could really prove to be a good protagonist for other stories of this ilk. There are unforeseen twists and turns and the true identity of the lone figure at the end is a real surprise. Fast paced, this is an enthralling tale which speaks of the skill of the author. The settings appear authentic and transport the reader to the arid deserts of Libya with sleek descriptions. A clever tale, and worth reading. This author doubtless has more up his sleeve to surprise us all.