I bought Red Gloves by Tim Greaton because I quite enjoyed the first story in the Samaritans Conspiracy series, The Santa Shop. This isn’t top shelf literature, but it’s considerably better than the average Christian novel, and the author manages to radiate an atmosphere of goodness that’s hard for an author to do but welcome after you’ve read a few dozen gory thrillers.
Priscilla Harris is a detective with the Portland, Maine police department. Although she’s good at her job, she seems (to a male chauvinist like me) a pretty good argument for women—generally—staying out of policing. She’s close to breaking down under the pressures of her job and her family. Her teenage son, a former college basketball hot prospect, had his dream shattered in a car accident and has slid into drug addiction. She’s also certain her husband is having an affair with his secretary.
Meanwhile she’s got a growing drug problem in her city to fight. As she tries to defuse a stand-off with drug dealers in an apartment building, a mysterious stranger wearing a parka and red gloves steps in mysteriously to prevent bloodshed. Later the same stranger keeps her son out of a situation that would have gotten him arrested. Who is this man, and is he a good guy or a very clever bad guy?
The pleasant theme of the Samaritans Conspiracy books is the idea of a group of people devoted to acting in the world like we wish angels would, to straighten things out, rescue people, and turn people onto the right road. I like to imagine it, though I don’t actually think it would work very well in real life. Real life has a way of sending things to hell on a slippery slope of good intentions. But that doesn’t prevent me enjoying the story. And the characters are very well done.
Tim Greaton’s writing is good, but not entirely polished yet. He tends to overwrite, telling us more than he needs to. And his word use can be poor, as when he describes someone as having “an honest core about him,” or when he writes “allusions” when he means “illusions.”
Still, I think our readers will enjoy Red Gloves. Cautions for saltier language than you generally encounter in Christian literature.