Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Descent (2015)

DescentDescent by Tim Johnston
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Tim Johnston's novel is very disturbing. I realized it shortly after beginning, but I kept reading.

OPENING LINE: "Her name was Caitlin, she was eighteen, and her own heart would sometimes wake her - flying away in that dream-race where finish lines grew farther away not nearer, where knees turned to taffy, or feet to stones." 

Visiting Colorado on vacation, Caitlin, with her younger brother Sean tagging along, goes for a run leaving her sleeping parents behind. What happens then is every parents' worst nightmare. Only Sean returns.

The story explores the aspect of each person's life as it is affected by the disappearance, not just the immediate family but others in the community as well. The author brings the Colorado mountains to life. As a matter of fact, his descriptions would easily transfer to a visual story telling medium.

For most of the story I was totally anxious about what was going to happen and it only got worse as the end approached.

Don't misunderstand. This is an excellent story beautifully told. Almost like a impressionist watercolor painting, details and feelings are only suggested in beautiful and emotional language. And the reader doesn't see everything all at once. Instead bits and pieces are revealed over time.

This haunting thriller will stay with you for a long time.

BOTTOM LINE: Well written, plotted, and with incredibly real characters, this book is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Title: Descent
Author: Tim Johnston
Genre: Literate Thriller
Publisher:  Algonquin Books
No. of Pages: 384
Copyright: January 6, 2015
ISBN-10: 1616203048
ISBN-13: 978-1616203047
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Net Galley

Disclaimer: An advanced copy of Descent was provided to me by Algonquin/Net Galley for review purposes.

Tim Johnston , a graduate of the University of Iowa and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has done a lot of writing and won awards for it, but Descent is his debut novel. He currently teaches in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Memphis.

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