David Hollis is a university historian, a late twentieth century man obsessed by his city’s history and the people who lived in it before him. He has become convinced that a complete set of the earliest photographs ever taken of the city of
Jem Hallam is newly arrived in the
In alternating segments, the reader is able to follow both the efforts of David Hollis to identify the possible location of the missing plates and the evolution of Jem Hallam from failed pharmacist to successful photographer. Hollis, becoming more and more helpless at the hands of the cruel disease he suffered, and finding little support in his quest from colleagues, decided to end his life. It is left up to his wife and his daughter and her fiancé to try to salvage his reputation as they try to stop the construction of a new sports facility on the very spot identified by Hollis as likely to be the final resting place of this important record of
Redhill seamlessly moves back and forth between the stories of these two men whose lives have become intertwined despite the fact that they lived more than a century apart. Jem Hallam, forced to fight for his survival in a manner he had no way to foresee when he arrived in Toronto, and feeling guilty for carving out a new life for himself with strangers while abandoning his wife and daughters in London to the care of his father, eventually produces the photos that David Hollis will so desperately search for in the future. Or did he? That’s where the mystery begins.
Rated at: 4.0