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Monday, January 5, 2015

Descent: A Novel

This book took my breath away. This is Descent by Tim Johnston. 

The Courtlands head to the Rockies for a family vacation before Caitlin, a track star, leaves for college. One beautiful morning she heads out for a run with her younger brother in tow on his bike. The next thing they know, their parents are told that Sean was found in the mountains hit by a car and Caitlin is nowhere to be found. After days of searching, Caitlin has disappeared without trace. Over the next few years, the family splits in their own directions: mom folds into herself, dad stays in Colorado to hunt for his daughter, and brother rebels in his own way. Before they know it, their lives will collide with those in the small Colorado town where things went wrong, and no one will ever be the same.

Holy hell, I wasn't expecting that. I knew it was going to be one great read, but I wasn't expecting that I would throw my hands over my head for mental protection and yelp in the middle of a crowded place. Which is what happened as I hit the climax of the story in a movie theater (before the movie began of course). It was like a subway train that was moving kind of slow at first and then all the sudden picked up speed until it slammed into the station, the riders shell shocked and grateful to be alive.

The characters are certainly compelling, but it was 100% the story that got me. You aren't sure for most of the book whether Caitlin is still alive, and I'm going to have to give a spoiler here, as if you're going to read the book you might want to avert your eyes for a paragraph. When you find out that she is, all you're going to want to do is scream through the book ways that might help her escape. It's a frustrating story but oh so delicious from a reader's perspective. The man who abducted her, and the story that goes with it, is at once unbelievable and at the same time completely so.

The end of this book is a heart pounder, and you will probably have the same aforementioned reaction that I did. And the one thing that makes everything turn okay in the end (for some, at least) will shock you and make your jaw drop. 

Or was that just me?

For purchase below.

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