Retribution Road

Written by Antonin Varenne
Review by Alan Cassady-Bishop

Sergeant Arthur Bowman is a veteran of war, a member of the army of the East India Company, fighting in the Second Anglo-Burmese War. He and a select team of troopers are sent on a secret mission deep into the Burmese jungle. Meeting him are death, pain and torture. Years later, trying to dull his memories with drink and opium, he’s confronted with a mutilated body in a London sewer during the Great Stink. The victim has been subjected to the same tortures that Bowman and his men endured. Who has done this? Who has woken these terrible memories? Beginning in the steamy jungles of Burma, Bowman is driven from the stifling streets of London to the wide-open country of the United States. He’s driven by the knowledge that whoever is replicating the tortures he and his men survived, must have been there. One of his tortured team is torturing. Why? How can Bowman stop them and, in that way, stop the horrors that he lives with day and night.

A dark and brutal read, this is not for the faint-hearted. There is humour, there is romance, and there is redemption in Retribution Road. It’s wide in scope, it’s personal in feel, and it draws the reader into the story and makes us care about Sergeant Bowman and what happens to him.