The Redeemer

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
365 Pages
Reviewed on 08/30/2020
Buy on Amazon

Author Biography

Tank Gunner is the pen name of a retired combat cavalry trooper, Senior Parachutist, and Jumpmaster awarded a Combat Infantry Badge and decorated with a Silver Star, three Bronze Stars, one for Valor, and a Purple Heart. He served his nation with pride and honor for more than a quarter of a century as an enlisted soldier and officer. An award-winning author and speaker, Tank published Prompts a collection of stories at age 76, Prompts Too another collection of stories at 77, Cookie Johnson, his Vietnam historical fiction novel at 78, Palomino, his WWII historical fiction novel at 79, Porky Baycann, his coming-of-age and adolescent friendship novel, and companion to Palomino, at 80, and The Redeemer, his powerful drama of love, conflict, and redemption, at age 81. He and his wife live with Toby, 100 miles southwest of Palomino.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite

The Redeemer by Tank Gunner is a historical fiction novel that keeps you hooked until the end. The story centers around the main character Dr. Greffen Gates, nicknamed Pearly, a doctor who is released from a Texas prison after being cleared of murdering two of his patients. Having spent ten years behind bars, he faces many hurdles in trying to reclaim his life as a practicing doctor again, like people who misunderstand and mistrust him, and those who won't let him forget his past. Part of his problem is that he appears to have a miraculous ability to save lives in a way other doctors can't, but divulging what the power is would be spoiling the story. And if that isn't enough, there is a woman in the picture, but do the two of them stand a chance?

From the first page, you're into Dr. Gates' story all the way. Gunner's writing is straightforward, his style easy, but there are layers of deep thought and feeling going on between the lines, a lot like a Cormac McCarthy novel. The dialogue is strong and moves the story along at an even pace, and the settings and atmosphere are realistic and well-drawn. He gives you a real sense of time and place by talking about certain events and people from that time in history, like WWII, The Dust Bowl, etc. While reading, you get the idea the author is passionate about his characters and his story and knows them well. This author is highly skilled at plot development, character arcs, and knowing when to give enough information to the audience, and when to pull back. The story isn't predictable or cliched, and you will enjoy the relationship between Gates and his love interest, wondering if things will work out for them. The Redeemer by Tank Gunner is one of those novels that plays like a movie in your mind.

K.C. Finn

The Redeemer is a work of fiction in the interpersonal drama, historical fiction, and suspense sub-genres, and was penned by author Tank Gunner. Set on the eve of the Second World War, our story follows a once-well-respected Dallas physician who has been serving time in prison and possesses some mysterious power which he does not fully understand. Hailed by some and judged by others, the ex-con takes up a new position in small-town Palomino, wherein he faces conjecture, rumor and backstabbing as he tries to start life afresh. But when he meets someone new and very special, the stakes are even higher, and his past threatens to catch up with him and ruin everything new that he has built.

Author Tank Gunner has crafted a unique and fascinating work of fiction in this genuinely unpredictable and intriguing drama. It’s clear that plenty of hard work went into the complex development of central protagonist Pearly Gates, a doctor with a lot more than simple medicine on his mind. You can feel the stigma coming off his skin in waves, such is the close attention to detail in the narration and his feelings about his past and present treatment whilst the plot develops. A true character-driven tale, secrets and rumors fuel the twists and are sure to give the reader some real mysteries to uncover along the way. Overall, I would highly recommend The Redeemer to fans of historical, mysterious works with a lot more to them than first meets the eye.

Jose Cornelio

The Redeemer by Tank Gunner is a historical novel that follows Dr. Greffen Gates, a once respectable physician from Dallas, who lost his reputation and dignity when convicted and imprisoned for the murder of two patients. When released and exonerated, he goes to live in Palomino where he hopes to restart his practice. But life isn’t what it used to be for him. While many people believe that he has great powers to miraculously save lives, like Jolene who thought she was already dead, there are detractors and enemies, those filled with envy that will do everything to sink him. While his past haunts him, there is a woman who sees the beauty of his heart. Can he find meaning and solace with her?

The story is set in a small town in the wake of WWII and I just loved how well the author writes about the setting. The opening introduces the reader to the prison experience of Dr. Gates, an experience that is filled with humiliation at his release. What immediately caught my attention is the author’s gift for descriptive prose which conjures up strong images in the mind of the reader. The writing is superb and the dialogues are wonderfully crafted. They fill every page and this style infuses the story with life, allowing readers to discover characters by the way they speak and from what they say. The dialogue is one of the most effective tools that build the entertainment value of the narrative. The Redeemer follows the life of a powerful protagonist, a gifted physician yet a man fully human and genuinely flawed. He draws the sympathy of the reader from the moment they meet him. The story is well-plotted, beautifully paced, and rich in character.