FOR a writer who enjoys giving his characters different lives, James himself has lived several of his own.
Before he became a successful crime writer, he was also a writer of spy thrillers and a moderately successful film producer.
The three key elements of writing for James are character, research and plot.
Hence, the cleverest twist will count for nothing if the reader doesn’t believe in the characters or the world they live in. So, if a writer can’t surprise himself, then he won’t surprise his readers.
Working on that premise, Absolute Proof kicks off with reporter Ross Hunter, a survivor of a volatile attack while on location in a military zone, receiving a phone call from a Dr Harry Cook.
Cook tells Hunter that he has irrefutable proof of God’s existence and wants to meet up with Hunter and give him a manuscript.
He hopes to encourage the reporter’s engagement in the search for the items that will support his revelation.
But from the moment of their first meeting, Hunter becomes the hunted. He is watched, stalked and pursued by a secretive group called Kerr Kluge.
Hunter then goes an Indiana Jones-like adventure to locations using the coordinates given by Cook.
But before he can proceed further, Cook is killed by agents of Kerr Kluge and Hunter must continue the search alone.
The novel is also driven by competing proponents hoping to benefit from the proof of God’s existence – the Catholic Church and a died-hard atheist as well as a medical company cashing in on modern medicine.
Its climatic ending, however, reveals a challenging moment for the reader.
This book will appeal to those who love thought-provoking and adventure theme but it also requires a suspension of disbelief.
However, fans of the genre who are familiar with the likes of The Da Vinci Code will be thrilled at Hunter’s exploits.